Douglas Coupland

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nanski
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Re: Coupland

Post by nanski » Wed May 06, 2009 04:08

I found myself in a bookstore in Naha the other day, with a large English-language book section, everything 70% off for their grand opening sale. I had realized not so long ago that I had stopped reading Coupland for some reason. It wasn't a conscious decision I remember making, probably more that I got hooked on Murakami or something. I think Life after God was the last thing of his I read. and i really liked that, so, again I'm not sure why this happened.

Anyway, I picked up Hey Nostradamus and MIss Wyoming (and a guidebook for SE Asia). I've already finished Hey Nostradamus, and am wishing now I had picked up more.

I kind of understand why some people don't like him. Same with Dave Eggers. They both have styles I can easily imagine finding annoying. I love them both, though, for what it's worth.
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Re: Coupland

Post by everard » Tue May 19, 2009 01:40

linus wrote:possibly one of my least favourite writers... when I was working in borders in brighton he came to do a reading ...
i went to one of his readings there, i think it was in 2000 for miss wyoming. i remember him talking about recently getting into belle & sebastian and my snootily thinking "hang on, you're supposed to be mr finger-on-the-pulse-of-pop-culture" :-)

in some cupboard somewhere i still have the cardboard display i nicked & got him to sign. i wasn't into the way he came across during the reading, but probably i'd already hardened my heart to dislike him (despite being a huge fan of his work and his being, as linus said, a delightfully offbeat character) because he was a famous closet case. no longer, i'm pleased to see.

microserfs is really wonderful, and i like most of the stuff before that. but it's a long time since i've really enjoyed one of his books. i now wait til the paperback comes out or i can find it discounted, which i never would have done ten years ago. of his non-fiction, i liked city of glass a lot.

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Re: Coupland

Post by crystalball » Wed May 20, 2009 11:41

I'm losing my mind. Thought I'd start on Miss Wyoming this morning, opened the book, read two lines - turns out I've already read it. But I've no recollection of ever doing so despite knowing every single word of that first page and recognising the story from the back cover blurb. Bloody hell.

Anyway, I suppose I should read Generation X at some point, right? Ooh and maybe Miss Wyoming too.

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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by indiansummer » Wed May 20, 2009 12:02

Generation X has probably dated a bit by now, and while it blew my mind when i first read it, it's nowhere near as immediate as his stuff post-Microserfs. But it's probably worth a go.

Just don't forget to read Miss Wyoming, that's all.
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by Final Loan » Tue Sep 08, 2009 14:35

JPod is the only one I've read of Coupland's work but I thought it was hilarious.

What are his best then? Clearly I've been going about this all arse-backwards...
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by indiansummer » Tue Sep 08, 2009 14:42

i've recommended Hey Nostradamus! and Miss Wyoming before as i think they're his best, but pretty much everything he's written is worth a go, for one reason or another. You could always read Microserfs to see which of his own books he's parodying with jPod.

I can imagine that jPod might be quite entertaining if it was the first one i'd read, but it's very 'knowing' about what is supposed to constitute a Douglas Coupland novel, and seemed a bit smug about it for me. And the ending was a bit shit. I wonder if the tv series was any good...?

Coincidentally, i thought All Families Are Psychotic fizzled out a bit too. So basically the ones i didn't like as much are the ones that have been filmed. Ho-hum. I should read them again really.

Incidentally, i bought Generation A the other day, but i've got a lot in the 'to read' pile before i get round to it. Still, exciting!
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by Eddie » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:45

indiansummer wrote:Generation X has probably dated a bit by now, and while it blew my mind when i first read it, it's nowhere near as immediate as his stuff post-Microserfs. But it's probably worth a go.
Generation X was the first Coupland book I'd read and that was only last year but it had much the same effect on me even then.

Went straight out and bought Hey Nostradamus!, The Gum Thief and Girl In A Coma, and haven't managed to actually read of any of them. Go me.

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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by amypanda » Wed Sep 09, 2009 22:15

at the risk of turning book debate into something much more superficial .... LOOK AT HIS HOUSE

Image

Image

Image

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/0 ... how_5.html

amazing!

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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:24

THAT'S INSANE CRAZY MADNESS! I had no idea..

Anyway, recommendations: Hey Nostradamus was a goodie, The Gum Thief was the last one I read and I really enjoyed it, Shampoo Planet was the first one I read and that made me go for others, and I really likedAll Families Are Psychotic, I think mainly because it was the most fully dysfunctional of all the ones I've read. Wait, that's a really poorly constructed sentance. ah what the hell.
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by nanski » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:42

i had a wee panic when i was buying coupland books in the US when I was back in Aug. i couldn't remember which ones people thought were crap. i got girlfriend in a coma, which i was pretty sure i'd only heard good things about. i wish i'd gotten more :(
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by indiansummer » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:45

I wouldn't worry about it; no-one seems to agree anyway. Miss Wyoming seems to be perceived as crap by a lot of people, but to my mind it's one of his best because it's sweet and doesn't try so hard.

As i recall, i loved Girlfriend In A Coma, but it's over a decade since i read it and i can't remember exactly what happens. Someone tried to tell me the ending was a huge cop-out once and i couldn't remember enough about it to agree or disagree.
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by Paquito » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:53

I remember racing though Girlfriend In A Coma and loving it until it got to the end. A massive, massive cop-out, it still fills me with thoughts of murderous rage!

Hey Nostradamus is fantastic and I love his "littler" novels like Eleanor Rigby and The Gum Thief. I'll get Generation A once it comes out in paperback.
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by Paquito » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:04

Oh and jPod is currently on Virgin On Demand TV if anyone is interested in seeing it. I watched about half of it after I "acquired" it but then my external HD crashed and I lost everything on it so didn't see the rest of it. It was OK.
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by humblebee » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:58

There was a pretty good interview in the Guardian the other day, by Decca Aitkenhead.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/se ... s-coupland

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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by SophieC » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:47

is he doing a book tour in the UK again for generation A? i think that interview that pete links to demonstrates well his endearing ability to answer a completely different question to the one asked, meander back to it, then away again, then riff on one of his pet subjects (synesthesia, aspergers spectrum, corporate branding) then come back to it, then just suddenly trail off. definitely one of the most endearingly strange and engaging people i've witnessed.
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by indiansummer » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:49

That's a really nice read, that interview. Cheers Pete.
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by Gordon » Thu Sep 10, 2009 13:47

amypanda wrote:at the risk of turning book debate into something much more superficial .... LOOK AT HIS HOUSE

amazing!
He lives inside Google!
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by Final Loan » Thu Sep 10, 2009 14:17

Paquito wrote:Oh and jPod is currently on Virgin On Demand TV if anyone is interested in seeing it. I watched about half of it after I "acquired" it but then my external HD crashed and I lost everything on it so didn't see the rest of it. It was OK.
IS IT?! Awesomes! I might have a watch this weekend...
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by jonny » Thu Sep 10, 2009 20:38

I love DC, he's undoubtedly my favourite author. I Bought Generation A today, about two thirds through now.
Paquito wrote:I remember racing though Girlfriend In A Coma and loving it until it got to the end. A massive, massive cop-out, it still fills me with thoughts of murderous rage!
Girlfriend In A Coma is my favourite book. I love the ending. It's the only book that's ever made me cry (that probably says more about me).

I have a terrible memory for books, so I can just re-read his stuff every year or two.

Someone used this photo of me/mine in an article that I recently randomly found on Google News, about DC and Starbucks. In celebration I read most of Gen A in (new fairtrade™) Starbucks today.

Image

It's been a Coupland week this week.

(Oh yeah, that's a Couplandism below...)
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Re: Douglas Coupland

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Fri Sep 11, 2009 09:29

I've got that same edition of Microserfs. I have never purchased anything from Starbucks.
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