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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proven Wrong Once Again
I am a person of strong moral upbringing, and upon stumbling across this book, my first intention was that it would be just another book to unteach religion. But I soon discovered that this "life" that is being discussed is precisely how the world exists.
Coupland hasn't merely written blatent observations about spirituality, or even about morals or...
Published on Dec 12 2000 by chapsnick

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but...
...after setting Life After God down, I began thinking about Coupland's narrative methods, and I ended up feeling manipulated. His narratives seem desperate to avoid traditional continuity, which is perfectly fine. The problem, though, is that his characters never have a life of their own. Their identities are never clearly defined, and in the end, are only a means for...
Published on June 13 1997


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proven Wrong Once Again, Dec 12 2000
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
I am a person of strong moral upbringing, and upon stumbling across this book, my first intention was that it would be just another book to unteach religion. But I soon discovered that this "life" that is being discussed is precisely how the world exists.
Coupland hasn't merely written blatent observations about spirituality, or even about morals or living, but about rather philosophical views of life.
If one was to take the time to read and ponder the views of the author, he/she might be able to connect with that inner belief. What Coupland is trying to portray is not so much that there is a God, but that we need a God.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coupland sets a new pace with X'er brand literature., Sept. 25 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
Coupland continues to do us all a favor by describing the world from a previously unnoticed perspective. His innovations in language and storyline are an exciting change of pace from the status quo. Even so, his quirky, often cynical observations, are an acquired taste for those who have not grasped this brand of grunge-techno-pop-iconic-insider literature. He will be studied by young writers in ten or twenty years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, Dec 31 2006
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life After God (Perfect Paperback)
This is one of those books that I have wanted to review for a while, but was unsure of how to approach it. I love the book and have read it over a half dozen times in less than two years. Yet it is such an atypical book that it is difficult to review. I can just be blunt and state that the book will grab you and draw you back in again and again.

The book is published as fiction, yet rumors have it that Coupland will admit that it is at least partially autobiographical. It is a collection of recollections, thoughts, memories and drawings by Coupland. It is the recount a man’s life, and as we find out he is telling the story to find out how his life got to where it is. He wants a record for his daughter so that maybe she will understand him better. My favorite of the individual entries is:

"Now -- here is my secret:

I tell it to you with an openness of heart I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God - that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem capable of giving; to help me to be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond able to love." p.359

Every time I pick up this book, I get something more out of it. Sometimes I read it from beginning to end, and then at other times I just pick it up and read at random. This book deals with many of the ‘big’ questions all of us will have to deal with in our lives. Questions like: How do we deal with Loneliness? Anxiety? Failed relationships? How can we find quiet in our lives? It also deals with the question of being raised without a religion or belief system and how, as we age, we end up struggling with spiritual questions.

If you can track down the first edition hardcover it is worth it. It is in a different format and shape. With the dust jacket off, it looks like a prayer book or bible. If you read it without the jacket in public places people will often ask you what you are reading. This was intentional and the shape and design of this book are part of the art of the book, and part of the complexity Coupland has woven into it. The front cover of the hardback also has an outline of a hand, like a tracing of a child’s hand. As we are all reaching out beyond ourselves in search of some greater meaning in life, we are reaching out like a child in search of a parent.

My hat is off to Coupland and this amazing work of art - on all the levels that it is art of the deepest level. Coupland has created a masterpiece that will become a classic, which will survive through the ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, Dec 31 2006
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
This is one of those books that I have wanted to review for a while, but was unsure of how to approach it. I love the book and have read it over a half dozen times in less than two years. Yet it is such an atypical book that it is difficult to review. I can just be blunt and state that the book will grab you and draw you back in again and again.

The book is published as fiction, yet rumors have it that Coupland will admit that it is at least partially autobiographical. It is a collection of recollections, thoughts, memories and drawings by Coupland. It is the recount a man’s life, and as we find out he is telling the story to find out how his life got to where it is. He wants a record for his daughter so that maybe she will understand him better. My favorite of the individual entries is:

"Now -- here is my secret:

I tell it to you with an openness of heart I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God - that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem capable of giving; to help me to be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond able to love." p.359

Every time I pick up this book, I get something more out of it. Sometimes I read it from beginning to end, and then at other times I just pick it up and read at random. This book deals with many of the ‘big’ questions all of us will have to deal with in our lives. Questions like: How do we deal with Loneliness? Anxiety? Failed relationships? How can we find quiet in our lives? It also deals with the question of being raised without a religion or belief system and how, as we age, we end up struggling with spiritual questions.

If you can track down the first edition hardcover it is worth it. It is in a different format and shape. With the dust jacket off, it looks like a prayer book or bible. If you read it without the jacket in public places people will often ask you what you are reading. This was intentional and the shape and design of this book are part of the art of the book, and part of the complexity Coupland has woven into it. The front cover of the hardback also has an outline of a hand, like a tracing of a child’s hand. As we are all reaching out beyond ourselves in search of some greater meaning in life, we are reaching out like a child in search of a parent.

My hat is off to Coupland and this amazing work of art - on all the levels that it is art of the deepest level. Coupland has created a masterpiece that will become a classic, which will survive through the ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, Dec 31 2006
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
This is one of those books that I have wanted to review for a while, but was unsure of how to approach it. I love the book and have read it over a half dozen times in less than two years. Yet it is such an atypical book that it is difficult to review. I can just be blunt and state that the book will grab you and draw you back in again and again.

The book is published as fiction, yet rumors have it that Coupland will admit that it is at least partially autobiographical. It is a collection of recollections, thoughts, memories and drawings by Coupland. It is the recount a man’s life, and as we find out he is telling the story to find out how his life got to where it is. He wants a record for his daughter so that maybe she will understand him better. My favorite of the individual entries is:

"Now -- here is my secret:

I tell it to you with an openness of heart I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God - that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem capable of giving; to help me to be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond able to love." p.359

Every time I pick up this book, I get something more out of it. Sometimes I read it from beginning to end, and then at other times I just pick it up and read at random. This book deals with many of the ‘big’ questions all of us will have to deal with in our lives. Questions like: How do we deal with Loneliness? Anxiety? Failed relationships? How can we find quiet in our lives? It also deals with the question of being raised without a religion or belief system and how, as we age, we end up struggling with spiritual questions.

If you can track down the first edition hardcover it is worth it. It is in a different format and shape. With the dust jacket off, it looks like a prayer book or bible. If you read it without the jacket in public places people will often ask you what you are reading. This was intentional and the shape and design of this book are part of the art of the book, and part of the complexity Coupland has woven into it. The front cover of the hardback also has an outline of a hand, like a tracing of a child’s hand. As we are all reaching out beyond ourselves in search of some greater meaning in life, we are reaching out like a child in search of a parent.

My hat is off to Coupland and this amazing work of art - on all the levels that it is art of the deepest level. Coupland has created a masterpiece that will become a classic, which will survive through the ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A winner!, July 29 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
"Life After God" is a collection of short stories and pieces that seem to sort of tie together in plot and character, but each piece can stand well on its own. The main character in each story seems to be the same person at different points in his life. It's a very quick read, and you will find more satisfaction in the different thoughts and epiphanies that Coupland brings up than in the overall plot line. To me, it read almost like a non-fiction book--a collection of the authors thoughts in a diary, perhaps. I would say it's a must read for Coupland fans.
I think readers of this book will react with extremes--either you will find it pretentious and ridiculous, or you will find (like i did) that Coupland is putting words to the feelings that you've had about your life and your place in the world.
I have a hard time telling people what Life After God is about--the main Coupland-esque themes of isolation, growing up and growing disillusioned, the need for faith and religion, the loss of love are all explored in different short stories in this book. However, because there is less of a focus on telling a story, Coupland goes off on tangents that are quite profound and relatable.
My fave story is "My Hotel Year" in which the narrator spends a year of his life living in a rundown hotel with a cast of interesting characters who are all, in their own ways, looking to belong and be loved.
I read this at the end of my freshman year in college, and after a whole year of college philosophy and late night discussions about who we are and what is this world we live in, i found Life After God to be the kind of book where you go, "wow, that's exactly it!"
Also recommended: THE LOSERS CLUB by Richard Perez
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lingering, Feb. 25 2003
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
I was only recent introduced to Douglas Coupland by a pal of mine who pestered me for months to try his books. Now I'm glad she did. "Life After God" has a somewhat experimental feel to the narrative, but it's a successful experiment if it is.
Coupland explores the concept: "You are the first generation raised without religion." Or more specifically, how human beings (all of which are born with a drive to believe in something -- religion, politics, art) respond to the material-driven world. Meditations on what separates humans from animals, imagining a nuclear explosion and how it would immediately impact the people who die in it, a philosophical bout with depression, and how people respond to their "lives after God."
Disregard the initially off-putting title of the book, because that title really doesn't reflect what the book is about. At the end of one short story, the narrator concludes, "My secret is that I need God." Not the way religious fanatic Dana does, which is more needy and superficial, but rather in a deep and primal way. And Coupland doesn't go overboard trying to explain it to the readers -- he just writes it and lets it sink in.
It has a slightly odd format; the pages are tiny, and the parts of each short story are more like connected vignettes, some only a few sentences long. And it's sprinkled with cute little drawings, like Coupland doodled on his manuscript. (Rain, boxes, computers, matches, and a parakeet with a key in its beak, among others) As in Coupland's other books, there is a sort of unhappy optimism to these stories, and Coupland's musings about how a lack of emphasized God has affected our ability to love and believe.
"Life After God" is not exactly an ordinary book. But it touches very well on hard-to-write-about topics and its messages lingered for a long time in my mind.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book depending on your age, Feb. 16 2003
By 
D. Zweig (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
I first read LAG 8 years ago when I was 20. At the time I was just beginning to feel a sense of ennui and angst. LAG absolutely floored me. I had never really been exposed to these types of philosophical/sociological thoughts and observations about the modern condition and life.
This week on a whim I decided to read LAG again to see how it would hit me 8 years later. Now, as a 28 year old, the book seemed trite and callow. Most of the territory covered in the book has been covered over and over by so many authors. Part of this may be due to the fact that Coupland helped pioneer this style and message but a great book should always feel fresh and relevant and this feels cliche and dated.
With all that said, though, LAG still carries a great warmth and honesty. It is a wonderful book for people in late teens or early 20s (or for older people who are a little late to explore some of these themes). But authors like Dave Eggers, David Foster Wallace, and to an extent Don Delillo explore Coupland's themes but in a much more sophisticated manner. Coupland provides a sort of cliff notes version to deep thoughts. Nothing wrong with that though! And despite its callowness, LAG still provided some genuine moments were I had to put the book down and gaze out the window and think and/or feel for a few moments. If an author can elicit that response from a reader, that is an achievement. And again, I BELIEVE him, in his voice, and I'll take that any day over a more erudite book that rings pretentious and false.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic book, Aug. 16 2000
By 
Sherwood SK "Web Developer" (Sherwood, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
This book, like most by Douglas Coupland, is a fast-paced, easy read. The book that I read was very compact (more wallet-sized than like a book) and hard-back, so its small pages passed by in a flash of wonder and amazement.
In a collection of six poignant short stories filled with colorful and full characters, Coupland addresses issues that affects us all: bravely looking at death, change, the passage of life; wondering who you are or waking up to suddenly realize that you don't know where you're going, or that you don't like who you are.
Despite the atheistic title, the characters all are in search of God, and toward the end one of his characters admits that he "needs" God, but can't seem to allow that secret to come out. But how can we find any reality in the world of fast-moving cars, of freedom of movement and blindingly fast change, of religious fanatics, televangelists, a world tempered by drugs and a search for meaning, any meaning?
Coupland's answer comes out in the beauty of nature and the wonder of our relationships with the people around us. Although his characters can't relate to the Jesus-lovers of organized religion, they are all reaching out for something bigger than themselves, something that "the first Generation raised without Religion" has a difficulty grasping.
I have long felt that Douglas Coupland and his insights are perhaps the closest that popular culture gets to Truth spelled out on paper. This book has all the profundity and all the questions of his preceding books, in a very unassuming and readable manner. Pick it up: you'll read it in a single afternoon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, Funny, Perceptive -- Coupland's Best Work, April 3 2000
This review is from: Life After God (Paperback)
Forget the more famous "Generation X." The collection "Life After God" is Coupland's best work by far. This collection of stories is related by theme and narrative voice; while the characters change from story to story, the point of view remains the same, and Coupland uses the same narrative voice throughout. And what a voice it is! Funny, Perceptive, Sad, resigned to the past yet yearning for a better future--a future which the author fears might always elude him. The characters in "Life After God" are more like real people than the characters in his other books, who often assume the roles of cultural stereotypes and morph into cliches. In different ways, the characters in "Life After God" are all dealing with loss--the loss of a lover, of a sister, a childhood friend, one's own idealism. And there are no happy endings. At best the characters manage to accept their losses and find a sliver of hope to carry them through the rest of their lives. Coupland's prose is lean and poetic; his eye for detail manages to convey much about a character or a situation through the use of one or two objects. His monotone prose reflects the flat, wounded states of his characters' souls. Each of these stories is heartbreaking in its own way. Despite his reputation as a novelist, short fiction seems to be Coupland's natural medium. His storytelling talents are average at best, but his observations of character and feeling are superb. It is the latter which makes "Life After God" such a moving experience.
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Life After God
Life After God by Douglas Coupland (Paperback - March 1 1995)
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