Eleanor Rigby Paperback – May 30 2006
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“Coupland…writes a sparkling sentence and a mean epigram.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“Coupland has crafted a formidable pop style that hooks up dead-on cultural anthropology with surprising reserves of emotion…What's remarkable is how easy it is for even the best adjusted among us to see ourselves in Coupland's compassionate (and occasionally madcap) portrait.” ―Village Voice
“Told with abundant wit and a deceptive simplicity.” ―Boston Globe
“Coupland's weirdest and most accomplished work to date…could be one of the first great novels of the new century.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Poignant, funny, intrepidly offbeat…[a] clever, inspired, brilliantly strange tale.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
From the Inside Flap
A novel as compelling as Hey Nostradamus! and as inventive as All Families Are Psychotic, from the internationally bestselling author Douglas Coupland
"All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
The night that Hale-Bopp streaks across the skies over Vancouver, Liz Dunn has nothing in her life but impending oral surgery and an armful of verklempt-o-thon rentals from the video store to get her through her solitary convalescence. Though she is plump, quiet and plain, behind her eyes lurk whole universes, which she has never had the opportunity to express. Then a second comet traverses her life. It appears in the form of a young man dressed up in makeup and fishnet stockings who has her name and number inscribed on his Medic Alert bracelet: In case of emergency, contact Liz Dunn. One phone call can change a life.
The lonely planet, dirty bombs, fundamentalism, the war on terrorism, the unlikely places we find love, the peculiar power of visions: Liz Dunn's quiet existence is upended by them all. Who is more surprised than she, when she stumbles across a true-life happy ending?
Excerpt from "Eleanor Rigby:
"The summer of 1997, Hale-Bopp rode the sky above Hollyburn Mountain every night for weeks on end. Sometimes it was buttery and weak, and sometimes it looked like felt cut with blunt kindergarten scissors -- but not once during those weeks did I ever get used to seeing the damn thing up there. It wasn't natural. Nothing in the sky seems natural to me except the sun and the stars. Even the moon, for lack of better word, is on probation. Why the thing can't just stay full all the time drives me nuts. Crescent? Waxing? Waning? Oh, just make up your mind.
"Fromthe Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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...
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 ›
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