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Who's like Douglas Coupland?

(14 Posts)
racingheart Sat 24-Aug-13 23:57:40

I've just read Hey Nostradamus! and loved it. I wanted it to be twice the length, and from the viewpoint of all the other main characters, such as the mum and Barb.

Can anyone recommend something with that sort of wit and tenderness and cleverness and big ideas really accessibly written?

OP’s posts: |
MuswellHillDad Sun 25-Aug-13 08:14:12

I loved MicroSerfs. Haven't read many of his later books, but might be worth a go!

JimmyCorkhill Sun 25-Aug-13 09:18:07

Watching with interest as I love Douglas Coupland smile. He has written loads though, have you read any others of his? My favourites are Girlfriend in a Coma and Microserfs . I also really like Chuck Palahniuk. His books are weirder/darker but have that same attention to mundane detail that I really enjoy in Coupland's books. And Bret Easton Ellis is also similar (America Psycho/Less than Zero).

teabagpleb Sun 25-Aug-13 10:41:22

Neal Stephenson? Try Snow Crash.

racingheart Sun 25-Aug-13 10:47:10


I've read Bret Easton Ellis - think he's good Never quite got into a Chuck Palahniuk. Need to try again.

I've read other Couplands and loved them: Generation X, Miss Wyoming, Girlfriend in a Coma. He just has this exquisite fine line balance between too cool for school and really emotionally accurate. As well as being so funny and wise about society. Not read Microserfs though, so will put that on the list. Thanks for the tip.

Never heard of Neal Stephenson - thanks for that.

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JimmyCorkhill Sun 25-Aug-13 20:32:52

Well I've just finished reading Fight Club (again) by Chuck P. Survivor, Choke and Lullaby are good too. Haunted, however, is weird and gross and generally very horrible so I got rid of my copy!!

I am going to check out Neal Stephenson too teabagpleb smile.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sun 25-Aug-13 20:41:30

Douglas C has disappointed me tbh. When I read Girlfriend in a Coma, Microserfs, Miss Wyoming and Life After God (my favourite) years ago, I thought that he had it in him to write an absolutely perfect novel. Since then though, I don't think he's lived up to his former promise and the most recent few have been pretty useless.

Fight Club is only £2 in HMV at the mo. I bought it in the hope that dd2 might actually read something, but my ploy has failed thus far. I didn't like it much tbh but LOVED Lullaby. I liked another one too, which I think may have been called Coma, but they get progressively hideous/unreadable.

If you don't mind children's books, Skellig, Heaven Eyes and The Fire Eaters by David Almond have that combination of harsh brutality and tenderness which I think Coupland at his best does so well - a sort of atheistic spirituality if that makes sense?

And you might also like Liz Jensen - The Ninth Life of Louis Drax is her best imho.

He's not at all popular on here but I love A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggars.

You might also like A Prayer For Owen Meaney - but I didn't.

racingheart Sun 25-Aug-13 21:35:18

Remus thanks for the tips. Too many people whose taste I trust hated Owen Meany so much I've never tried to read it.

I find Dave Eggers a bit clever-clever and self-aware. What I like about Coupland is that you think he's going to be no more than a cool dude but he goes way beyond that. He's so compassionate and wise and dry. Have you read Hey Nostradamus? It is powerful. Maybe not a genius novel but one of the best things I've read in a long time. Really vivid, really moving.

Don't know Liz Jensen, so will look her up too. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sun 25-Aug-13 21:38:05

Hey Nostradamus was one of the ones I was disappointed by tbh, though not as much as Eleanor Rigby.

racingheart Mon 26-Aug-13 09:43:15

Remus what disappointed you? I thought the characters were so well drawn and the development in their behaviour, because of what had happened to them, was very moving and believable.

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RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 26-Aug-13 11:30:33

It's so long ago that I can't remember much tbh. It just left me a bit cold. I remember being irritated at parts of it being narrated by a dead person, which I think is clumsy and a bit lazy.

Stokey Tue 27-Aug-13 16:35:41

William Gibson? Cyberpunk slightly futuristic
his early stuff is quite copeland like in a way

Then we came to the end - joshua Ferris - dysfunctional workers quite reminiscent of teh Copeland slackers

JimmyCorkhill Tue 27-Aug-13 22:34:39

I remember disliking the Owen Meany book too but I can't even remember what it was about now grin.

Stokey - I have just added the Joshua Ferris book to my Amazon wishlist, cheers!

MegBusset Tue 27-Aug-13 22:44:49

YY to Neal Stephenson. Try also:

Jim Dodge - Stone Junction
Don DeLillo - White Noise
Tom Robbins - Even Cowgirls Get The Blues

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