Eleanor Rigby Hardcover – Jan 2005
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
'A high spirited moving study of loneliness and all its opposites.' Observer Books of the Year. 'A powerful and moving examination of a life lived negotiating loneliness.' Independent 'Eleanor Rigby is one of Coupland's subtlest indictments yet of Yankee-yuppie culture.' Daily Telegraph 'Bristles with acerbic observations of modern life.' Sunday Telegraph 'Funny, unexpected and fragile, here [Coupland is] the chronicler of our potentials rather than our losses.' Guardian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
"This book is funny and strange, but it's also moving and bittersweet... the story's ending proves unexpected yet exactly what you'd hoped: 'Even the most random threads of life always knit together in the end,' Coupland writes, and indeed they do. Eleanor Rigby is the most impressive novel he has written in years. It might prove to be among the best fiction of this new year as well."
—Los Angeles Times
"Coupland's ear for the vernacular is solid, and his prose is lean and stripped, making for a fast read.... Coupland moves his story quickly, handling narrative flashbacks with assurance, and gives his plot several screwball twists."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Essentially the story of how a middle-aged spinster finally comes of age, throws off her isolation, and begins living her life, it is told with abundant wit and a deceptive simplicity, courtesy of a sardonic office drone named not Eleanor Rigby (the title is borrowed from a Beatles song about loneliness) but Liz Dunn.... 'Eleanor Rigby' is earnest and warm-hearted, a pleasant landscape dotted with small deposits of profundity. Even as her struggles grow from small and solitary to almost absurdly oversize, Liz's voice remains wonderfully, wittily human."
"Part of the joy in reading a Coupland book is the wonderful and unexpected way in which the details are meted out and skillfully woven together for the finale. All the same lively with that was apparent in All Families Are Psychotic and Hey Nostradamus! is evident here, and Coupland’s talent for capturing the mundane and sparking recognition among his readers — especially Canucks — is here too."
—The Guelph Mercury, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, Brantford Expositor
"But intricate plot twists aren’t the driving force of a Coupland novel. The true force is embodied here by the most weak-bodied of the book’s characters. Jeremy, through his drug-fuelled visions, offers original ideas about the Earth and how we’re looking after it…. [Coupland’s characters] all still struggling with the big themes of life on Earth; love loneliness, death and how to make sense of the world."
—Victoria Times Colonist
"What makes him hit us again and again, as though he were pelting meteorites from on high, is his ability to connect with ordinary human emotions and to make them profound."
"Coupland has a canny take on everything, and his oneliners zing because they invoke people you know…you’ll be right there with Liz as she discovers that, with a little push, any of us can find our proper place in the solar system."
"There’s a brief moment in Douglas Coupland’s latest novel when he draws the reader’s attention to some peonies, cool and white and beautiful, placed in a room. They’re a fitting flower for a Coupland novel; his latest could rest next to the vase, equally cool and well-arranged."
—Quill & Quire
Praise for Hey Nostradamus!:
A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2003
Named one of the top five novels of 2003 by Quill & Quire
“Tempered with Coupland’s wry wit and acute observations, it adds up to an irresistible read.”
“Coupland has become a master of suspense and pacing. Hey Nostradamus! is a cannily crafted page-turner. . . . an excellent, skilfully written story.”
“A leap sideways from the acid irony which has shaded some of Coupland’s earlier novels. Instead, from the pen of one of the coolest authors on the planet has come a work of suffusing humanity.”
—Sunday Herald (UK)
“Tough, accomplished and subtle, it addresses all the big issues — God, suffering, miracles, family life, why bad things happen to good people — without ever becoming grandiose or pretentious.”
From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Top Customer Reviews
Middle-aged Liz Dunn is crabby, lonely and fat. After dental surgery, she seals herself in her apartment with a stack of sad movies, until she receives a shocking phone call. A young man ODed and ended up in the hospital -- and he claims to her son, the result of a drunken tryst when she was only a teenager in Rome. For the first time, Liz finds herself actually having to be a mom.
As if that weren't enough of a shock, Jeremy is also dying of multiple schlerosis. But he is also chipper and upbeat, unwilling to let his impending death get him down. The mother and son start to get to know each other, with the bittersweet knowledge that whatever bond they form is temporary. But Jeremy's mere presence is enough to change Liz forever.
Yeah, it sounds like a Lifetime tear-jerker. Fortunately, Douglas Coupland is able to yank the seemingly ordinary plot up by its acid-wit shoestrings. He isn't exactly known for his chipper outlook on life, but there's a certain poignant optimism to this novel. Its most memorable line is "Death without the possibility of changing the world was the same as a life that never was," challenging the bleak life that Liz is living, and defining the too-short life her son had.
At times, Coupland seems a bit too flip about Jeremy's M.S. Maybe that humor keeps the book from becoming morbid. The tone is also intimate than his prior books, since it focuses mainly on two people. His smooth, stripped-down writing style is intact, along with dry witticisms.Read more ›
I also enjoyed how Coupland was able to write about the interplay between family members. In reading the interactions between the main character and her mother, sister, and brother, each conversation felt as though it could actually have taken place. These are not phoney characters, designed simply to advance the plot. Rather they come across as real people with feelings and emotions.
In the words of Siskel and Ebert, I give this novel two thumbs up.
I recommend this book to anyone feeling a bit under the weather: there's always someone more miserable than you and they still manage to make you laugh and smile and you'll see your life with a totally new perspective.
I adored this novel and I'm pretty sure I'll read it again...
Most recent customer reviews
I found the book extremely riveting and well written. Am looking forward to reading more Douglas Coupland in the futurePublished on Nov. 28 2013 by Sandra Evanchu
This is not my favorite Coupland book, but I did find it to be more memorable than some. I enjoyed reading it and am saddened by the fact that I only have a handful of his works... Read morePublished on May 22 2013 by Daniel