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Life After God Paperback – Dolby, March 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
- Kevin M. Roddy, Univ. of Hawaii at Hilo Lib.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
The stories here deal with that in-between world of the childishness of youth and the maturity of adulthood -- and how the people existing in that world make the transition. Some simply take the step, while others -- the people here -- can't help but pause and reflect, to question it, to wonder if it's even sensible.
Coupland's premise seems to be that this young generation of the '90s, so deadened by irony, so empty and unfeeling, experience this crushing loneliness because they are without religion (which is something I don't agree with, since I side with Marx and think of religion as nothing more than an opiate).
Coupland does understand his characters, though, and as someone who's just a bit younger, I identified with them (even when I found them pretentious and dramatic). There are times when I felt like Coupland was stealing my thoughts. Showing me conversations I've had about the worries and insecurities in my life.
The greatest thing about "Life After God" are the staggering and utterly true thoughts Coupland drops here and there, which are so perfectly accurate, they leave you gut-punched.
I probably enjoyed the final two stories the least, and "In The Desert" the most, but "Life After God" is an excellent story collection that displays Coupland's considerable talent.
The reason I bring up "Fight Club" is that "Life After God" posits "You are the first generation raised without religion," and "Fight Club" says men today are a generation raised by our mothers. So, I guess the problem boils down to "Where's Poppa?"
My friend Todd loaned me this book after I graduated college. I felt really hollow then, like a robot that required pop-culture and irony to survive. All the characters in "Life After God" feel hollow, and it was comforting to read about them. I felt less alone afterward, and somehow the book gave me hope for a better future, even though it features a story about the apocalypse.
I guess the key thing is that the book sparked me to feel again, shaking up some long dormant emotions. It's a quick read that I usually recommend to depressed friends.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not bad. Get's super depressing towards the end. Read especially if you often think about nuclear explosions.Published 4 months ago by sprocketplug
Read this on recommendation. A quick read - a matter of a day or two when I found a moment to sit down. Read morePublished 4 months ago by M. Childers
Many first person books are designed to help you put yourself in the shoes of the character and feel what it might be like to be in his shoes. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ye Shall Be As Gods
Life After God was an extremely resonant read. Often within the book it feels like Douglas Copeland is using a small trowel to scrape away towards innermost thoughts and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kelsey Abney
This brief collection of well written episodes, reflections, and images was included on a list of literary works that were said to promote serious thought about religion. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Merle K. Gatewood
I love this book. Bought a few extra copies to give to people.Published 15 months ago by Ann Johnson