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Hey Nostradamus! Paperback – Jun 29 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (June 29 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679312706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679312703
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elfdart TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 10 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is a story about high school massacre in Vancouver in 1988 and how that massacre affected various characters in the novel, at least on the surface. More than this story being about a cause and effect play by play of an unfortunate event, it is about how people deal with situations with faith and the difference between religion and spirituality. Before I get ahead of myself here I would like to say that this book is not at all preachy, nor is it accusatory or abrasive. It is not so much a book about religion as it is a book about how people act when being 'religious' or not, and what that actually means. Each of the main characters in turn display a fervent belief and then a denial or realization that what they once believed may not be what they supposed it to be. Some people may not want to read this book because it has religion in it, and to those under that category I say that you will not be offended and will enjoy the book. To those who may read the book because it is about religion I want to say that it is more about individual interpretation and potentially exploitation for personal gain than it is a celebration of any faith, and you may be offended at some parts, but not deeply.

The novel told through the eyes of four people, and each person was strongly impacted by the narrator before him or her. The story begins with two high school sweethearts, Cheryl and Jason, who love each other immensely and get secretly married (both because they love each other and because they want to have sex without committing a sin).
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Format: Paperback
This book was anything but boring. I always enjoy the unique writing-style of Douglas Coupland. He has never disappointed me. His characters are always well-developed and the plots never disappoint me. I'm happy to recommend, "Hey Nostadamus" to anyone that enjoys an entertaining book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Penmachine on Aug. 4 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read plenty of books, but few of them are novels, probably because, as I age, I can "hear the devices clanking away" (in the words of Richard Rodriguez, author of "Brown," who knows what he's talking about).
Nevertheless, I remain drawn to the novels of Douglas Coupland, who like me is from Vancouver. That despite his being an extreme example of "write what you know"--his characters are pretty much all young, white, and middle class; they live in the Western United States or just across the border in Canada; when they travel, they go to Vegas or Oregon or Seattle, never to Alberta or New York (forget about Japan or Madagascar); they all talk and think in some variation of semi-ironic, simile-heavy, pop-referencing Coupland-speak; their themes are sudden loss, pointless death, loneliness, running away, and vague dread, even from the afterlife; their tales often start strong and then slowly vaporize rather than coming to a strong conclusion. Clanking devices indeed.
Somehow, though, I don't care. His novels are better than his non-fiction, which (while entertaining) feels dashed-off, undisciplined, and improperly researched. In fiction, he takes advantage of those same tendencies to write with a strange propulsion, even when his characters are doing nothing but sitting and thinking. The stories are short but dense. His eye for detail evokes the true feelings of a place. Even his weakest books, such as "Shampoo Planet," "Girlfriend in a Coma," and "Miss Wyoming," have something to say, although neither the reader nor the writer might know exactly what that is.
"Hey Nostradamus!," from 2003, is an extreme example.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sainte-carmen on Sept. 17 2007
Format: Paperback
While I enjoy Coupland's work and respect his vision, I often find his writing fails to touch me on an emotional level. This book is the exception. I found the story incredibly compelling; and, in spite of the timing, it did not seem exploitative or opportunistic.

Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Upon reading the first few pages of this book, I had no idea what to expect... and the more I read, the more I had no idea what would follow... it kept me intrigued yet satisfied the entire way through. It's an interesting book dealing with life, death, religion, and chaos. Definitely some of Coupland's best work, and I loved it... a personal favorite. :)
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Format: Hardcover
"Hey Nostradamus!" has an atypical structure, each of its four chapters being narrated in first person by a different character. The first part of the story is told from the point of view of a victim of a high school massacre that is obviously patterned after the Columbine incident. Her recounting of that violent day sets the pace for the rest of the book, as the subsequent characters are, in turn, effected by its events. Each of them is lead, at some point, to question his or her religious convictions - some are strengthened and others are lost.
By the time the novel reaches its fourth segment, it has morphed into a completely different tale than what is expected from the beginning. The transitions can be jarring, but then, so can life itself.
I found myself sympathizing with each character as he or she took hold of the story, despite the fact that they were each capable of some pretty horrible or foolish acts. The moral flaws of the individual characters don't seem to matter though. It's the rest of the world that's a mess, and they're just trying to get through it.
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