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City of Glass: Doug Coupland's Vancouver Paperback – Bargain Price, May 1, 2003


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Paperback, Bargain Price, May 1, 2003
$8.90 $1.55

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City of Glass: Doug Coupland's Vancouver + Souvenir of Canada + Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550548182
  • ASIN: B007BWFSD4
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,946,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian Air Force base in Germany and raised in Vancouver, where he still resides. Among his bestselling novels are Generation X, Eleanor Rigby, Microserfs, Hey Nostradamus!, jPod The Gum Thief and Generation A, altogether in print in forty countries. Coupland exhibits his sculpture internationally and has launched furniture collections, consulted for Steven Spielberg, guest-edited Wired magazine and designed a Toronto park. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

You will come away with an interesting perspective on this very wonderful city.
Warren Liebold
For Vancouverites, it's a source of boosterist pride, a good chuckle at some in-jokes, and perhaps enlightenment on why things are as they are.
Jurgen Schaub
This book presents a charming, personal view of the city of Vancouver, BC, by an author both at home in and in love with his city.
Kaleberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jay3fer on May 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book will leave you aching for Vancouver, whether you've been there before or not. I have, but never lived it the way Coupland has. This is more than a travel book; it'll take you into the underside, and the overside, and every side Vancouver has.
Vancouver is lushly fertile and starkly commercial, historical and modern; Vancouver is Every City, with an emergent personality all its own. Until you can get there to see it yourself, buy this book, keep it on your coffee table, and dive with Coupland into his own bizarre Vancouver dreams.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Sure, it's only one person's view of Vancouver. But at least it's Douglas Coupland's view. In "City of Glass," the author of "All Families Are Psychotic" and "Generation X" strays from fiction to write about his home city. The result is a subdued love ode to Vancouver, peppered with photographs.

Coupland describes Vancouver with many page-long vignettes, sort of like a patchwork quilt: he describes feng shui in Vancouver, Japanese teenagers, a harbour full of sulfur piles, American couples on "love boats," monstrous houses, and the quiet detachment that Vancouver feels from the Rest of Canada. (Which has its own entry -- really!)

Coupland's fiction is generally distinguishable for its contemplative, cynically witty tones. But he drops all that for "City of Glass." Okay, there is a chunk of "Life After God" in the middle, blurry text and pics. And occasionally the transcripts of Coupland's memories remind one of his fiction, seeming sadder and darker.

Most of the time, he sounds fond and reminiscent, as if reliving the memories that come with salmon and fleece. Not to mention funny, such as when describing the confusing disagreements about feng shui (" this space should flowwwwww" or "flow is to be avoided at all costs"). And the photographs are quite good as well, with Coupland taking pictures of the prosaic subjects of his book -- a sleepy-looking Japanese teen, a fleece vest, a boat floating out on a light-filled harbor, a skiier in mid-twist on a sunlit hillside.

"City of Glass" isn't exactly going to make you race to Vancouver, but it will make you appreciate the little hidden facets of the city -- and perhaps make you notice the ones in your own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jurgen Schaub on November 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is my homesick book, my security blanket, my Postcards from Home.
For Vancouverites, it's a source of boosterist pride, a good chuckle at some in-jokes, and perhaps enlightenment on why things are as they are. For people who have moved away, it's a book of memories, recollections of a city of glass and the people who make it. For people who have never been there, it's the tourist guide that talks about things the Lonely Planet won't. It's like having Mr Coupland sitting next to you as you make your way through our city. It's probably as close to an autobiography as he's ever written. The mark of Vancouver is on him as it's on me, and on everyone else who was raised there.
Yeah, I love my hometown.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kaleberg on August 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book presents a charming, personal view of the city of Vancouver, BC, by an author both at home in and in love with his city. It is organized as an alphabet book, but this is just an excuse. Vancouver is a major city on the edge of one of the last great frontiers. It joins the Canadian wilderness and the Pacific Rim. It is a peculiar city of what we in the USA call the "Northwest', both cosmopolitan and local. I've read the book several times, both in Vancouver and at home, and I've enjoyed sharing with the author each time.
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Format: Paperback
City of Class made me both miss home and exude incredible pride in Vancouver. Now that the city has won it's 2010 bid, it'll be interesting how the dynamic of the city will change. This leaves us wondering if Mr. Coupland will release a City of Glass 2.
The original, however, is what every local wants to share with visitors, and yet keep to themselves. The city is like that; a 'show-and-tell' gem you want to show off, and yet a secret you don't want to make public... afraid it will lose it's awesome value... which it never really will, but who'd want to risk it?
Are you from Vancouver? When was the last time you did a tour of your own home? Take the book and give it a try. You'll find all sorts of things you never noticed before.
For anyone who's never grown up in Vancouver, but loves DC's books and wants to really visualise the backdrops many of his fiction book portray, I'd suggest a read of this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The weakness of traditional tourist or travel guides is that they're good at providing practical information but relatively weak on helping you understand the essence of a place. The things that make a place special or unique do not translate easily to an itinerary of museums and historical sites.

This book provides one person's well-considered views on things, people and events - some everyday and some profound - that make Vancouver the special place it is. Any given reader, and certainly some natives of the city may not agree with everything. You will come away with an interesting perspective on this very wonderful city.

The book's primary weakness is that it needs to be updated, particularly now that the Olympics have rolled over and through Vancouver but there was a strong argument for a new visit even before that just on the basis of the book being more than ten years old.
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