Coupland's Generation X and Shampoo Planet explored the ennui of a generation of young adults, reared on a promiscuous diet of mass culture, who regard politics, sex, the job market, global events and religion with the same degree of ironic apathy. His new collection of stories offers variations on that same theme, a series of loosely connected, escapist adventures in which a 30-year-old narrator flees a middling job and hits the road in quest of authentic spiritual experience, reflecting with mixed nostalgia and despair upon past events, from his insular suburban upbringing to his recently dissolved marriage. In the opening story, "Little Creatures," the narrator, harassed by legal troubles and recriminating phone calls from his ex-wife, accompanies his young daughter on a car trip north from Vancouver into a primeval landscape enveloped in snow. After his car conks out in a desolate stretch of Nevada, the protagonist of "In the Desert" meets a wizened vagrant who feeds him cold fast-food before vanishing without a trace, leaving the narrator to muse about the transcendent value of "small acts of mercy." Like Generation X , the margins of which held snippets of data and other visual aids, Life After God is illustrated with childlike drawings of cute animals, appliances, barren landscapes, road signs and other symbols, a faux naif touch that underscores Coupland's fetish for lost innocence. Although these tales of escape from the taint of middle-class culture and technology occasionally do strike a note of real feeling, they succeed less as an allegory for a postmodern, post-ironic spiritual life than as an amusing travelogue for jaded, pop-culturally literate couch potatoes.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In his first collection of stories, the author of Generation X (St. Martin's, 1991) and Shampoo Planet ( LJ 8/92) seeks understanding in a world gone mad, a world in which the lack of any spiritual center hastens people's rapid descent into an entropic black hole. Coupland's characters are lost souls, wandering on widely divergent paths, all seeking to fill an aching void. His vivid depictions of life's greatest fears (including chilling vignettes about the bomb going off) remind us that human beings have the ultimate power to destroy but lack the moral fiber to end such a threat altogether. Throughout this striking, sometimes poignant, sometimes horrifying book, Coupland poses thought-provoking and troubling philosophical questions that will challenge readers. In "Gettysburg," a character thinks, "Imagine that I am drowning and I reach within myself to save that one memory which is me--what is it?" Illustrated by the author. Recommended for all libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/93.
- 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.
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 5 months ago by Merle K. Gatewood
I love this book. Bought a few extra copies to give to people.Published 6 months ago by Ann Johnson
Good but not the best of Douglas Coupland. I preferred Microserfs.Published 7 months ago by Dean Avery
My favorite book of all time. This book speaks to my spiritsoul. A book like this comes along once in a generation and articulates all of your thoughts.Published 13 months ago by Dean
What an amazing journey through life in the search for meaning and purpose to finally realize that what you are looking for is actually so close to you that you unfortunately... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Vitor Pinheiro
Read the whole damn book in a few days after a rough break up. It's about a few different people all questioning life and having mini existentialist crisis. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Wayne
Love this book so much! I think I've given it as a gift at least twenty times! Everyone has loved it, too.Published 19 months ago by Emily A deVitry