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3rd November
2009
written by Steph
My doubleheader for the November issue

My doubleheader for the November issue

For the November issue of BookPage, I pulled double duty and reviewed TWO books.  I first elected to cover The Pursuit of Other Interests by Jim Kokoris, but when Generation A by Douglas Coupland popped up a week or two later with no one to cover it, I knew I couldn't let it lie by the wayside and volunteered to read and review it too. I went into Pursuit hoping it might be a bit like Joshua Ferris's Then We Came to the End.  It didn't wind up matching the brilliance of that novel for me, but to be fair, I love TWCTTE A LOT.  And Pursuit was actually a really engaging and fun read in its own right - just ask Tony.  I laughed out loud at least 3 or 4 times while reading it, and when the book largely revolves around job loss in these trying economic times, you know that's no small feat.  This book had a lot of heart and managed to walk the ridiculously tricky line between levity and sobriety, and I ultimately enjoyed reading it very much.  If I were rating it on the blog, I'd probably give it a 4 out of 5, so it's well worth spending a few days with.  You can read more on my thoughts here. As for Generation A, well, what can I say except that I LOVED IT and it easily sauntered onto my "best books I've read this year" list.  The writing mesmerized and excited me, and when I was through with it, I was in a frenzy to get my hands on more Coupland. And this is coming from someone who up until this book had had a slightly negative view of Coupland (though I had never read him before).  Now I'm completely in awe and on a mission to read everything he's written.  This book was brilliant and could very well wind up being my favorite read of the year.  This easily snagged 5 stars from me.  Go out and read it now!  You can read my official review of it here. So, all in all, loved the books I covered for November's issue.  Next month?  Nanny Returns... The Pursuit of Other Interests Rating: 4 out of 5 Generation A Rating: 5 out of 5

9 Comments

  1. 11/03/2009

    I had meant to read Gen X for years (since I was a student), but there never appeared a copy in our town at all. Incidentally, all the libraries I have been to here in the GTA, none of them carries it, too. (Have I been around the wrong libraries?) So I’ve seen his newer books, and have only checked out Eleanor Rigby, which I really liked. Still, I plan to read Gen X foremost, but then will have to purchase to get a copy. And then I’ll read Gen A. It’s good to hear that it’s that good! I can’t wait! Now off to read your reviews..

  2. I hated Then we Came to an End, so am quite pleased to hear that Pursuit is nothing like it!

    Both books sound great. I haven’t read any Copeland, but you are really persuading me to seek out a copy of the book. Thank you!

    PS. Your image isn’t showing up on my computer.

  3. 11/03/2009

    Both of these books look interesting to me, but I think I am a bit more excited about the Coupland book. I have never read anything from him before, but have heard lots of praise for his writing. And the fact that you consider it one of the best books of the year? Well, I need to check it out. Going to head on over to check out your new articles.

  4. 11/04/2009

    @ claire: I’ve never read Gen X either, but I would like to now that I’ve read and loved Gen A. In a way I think I’m glad I didn’t read it first, as I would probably keep comparing the two and maybe I wouldn’t have enjoyed Gen A as much. Sort of like when I wrote about how much I enjoyed A Mercy, but that I hadn’t read Beloved yet, so that might have had something to do with it! But anyway, Gen A was fantastic, and I loved it and I hope you do too!
     
    @ Jackie: I loved the dry humor in TWCTTE, but I’ve read plenty of reviews where others found it boring and/or not funny. I was the complete opposite and just couldn’t stop reading it, but it just goes to show that not every book will be for every reader! I hope you enjoy your first Coupland whenever you should get to him… I wish I hadn’t waited as long as I did!
     
    @ zibilee: It really was lovely to have two such great books to read, although sometimes it makes writing reviews harder because you find yourself wondering how you can do the books justice. You kind of just want to say “go read it and you’ll see what I mean!” Anyway, as I said, I had avoided Coupland for a looong time. I think I saw him read once, and I thought he was really pretentious… and maybe he is pretentious, but he’s also a great writer and storyteller, so I will overlook any personality flaws in this case! I have two more books by him now, and I hope to get to them soonish!

  5. 11/04/2009

    I’m very glad to hear you loved Generation A! Douglas Coupland is one of my absolute favourite authors, and I’m really looking forward to reading it myself. And in case you’re looking for recommendations of where to go next, my favourites of his are Eleanor Rigby and Life After God. Both are extremely perceptive, insightful and moving books.

  6. 11/05/2009

    @ Nymeth: Thanks so much for the suggestions re: future Coupland reads. I picked up Microserfs and All Families are Psychotic on my last trip to the bookstore, so I will probably tackle those first (I’m not sure that they had copies of Rigby or God), but I will absolutely keep my eyes open for those titles!

  7. […] knew that Steph loved Generation A, but I was completely unprepared for how much I’d enjoy it. I’ve had to […]

  8. […] score.  The few books that managed to nab 5 out of 5 from me were: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee, Generation A by Douglas Coupland, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte […]

  9. […] thoughts: Steph & Tony Investigate, Farm Lane Books, Leeswammes’s […]

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