Sunday, May 04, 2008

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland

A school shooting in Vancouver, BC affects the lives of every single person involved and their families. Hey Nostradamus! focuses on Jason and his family. Jason's girlfriend was the last person shot in the massacre, just as he arrives in the cafeteria. She dies in his arms and he is deeply affected by this throughout his entire life. Furthermore, his family life is in shambles. His dad's only contributions to the family are through preachy sermons on how God wants people to live life, his mother is a drunk, and his brother is the perfect son.

The book is split into four sections, each narrated by a character affected by the massacre. A little more is explained in each section about how the shooting has affected those involved and Jason's family. The characters are realistic, yet confusing because at first you aren't quite sure what their intentions are.

Despite my love for Coupland's book Microserfs which is a nerdy comedy, I think that this book is Coupland's best. Coupland takes a grave subject, one that everyone can relate to feeling emotionsalwhen seeing similar stories on tv, and shows how deep and wide the sorrow can spread. Yet the entire time you expect that there is something Coupland isn't telling you, which makes this book a page turner.

If you have read Coupland before and not enjoyed it, don't be deterred from reading this book. It's not like any of Coupland's other works.

First Line: "I believe that what separates humanity from everything else in this world - spaghetti, binder paper, deep-sea creatures, edelweiss and Mount McKinley - is that humanity alone has the capacity at any given moment to commit all possible sins."



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