Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Worst. Person. Ever. Hardcover – April 3, 2014
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Down-on-his-luck Raymond Gunt fancies himself a Jason Bourne type, although he is basically a contemptuous, lustful, self-centered arse. He may, in fact, be the worst person ever, although he certainly has lots of competition. Raymond’s luck appears to be improving when he is hired on as a cameraman shooting young lovelies in a Survivor-like TV show on the Pacific island of Kiribati. The catch is that he will be working for Americans (so it’s bound to be shit), and Kiribati turns out to be anything but a tropical paradise. Ray never gets a break: his flight is horrible; he gets detained by security; he suffers extreme reactions to macadamia nuts; he eats bugs; he gets banished from the island. He’s even blamed for an escalating nuclear crisis. He’d almost be sympathetic if he wasn’t the worst person ever. Comically satirical in his depiction of the blistering superficiality and inanity of modern pop culture, Coupland (Generation X, 1991) here wallows in the carnivalesque as he indulges in gross-out humor and his characters’ bad behavior, but, unfortunately, it all comes off as misanthropic and unpleasant. --Ben Segedin
“The plot is an unbridled romp. Absurd scenarios (Gunt is forced, at one point, to perform a Billy Elliott dance sequence on a US military base) are juggled with ludicrous stock characters — including a fabulously naive homeless man, Neal, who is recruited as Gunt’s sidekick. The whole roiling mishmash eventually falls neatly into place for the novel’s Armageddon in the Pacific.
In its picaresque extravagance, the novel resembles a globetrotting, 21st-century version of Voltaire’s Candide — Neal, in fact, is an uncanny double of Voltaire’s wide-eyed protagonist. And in place of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake (to which Voltaire’s Pangloss responds with renewed optimism about the rightness of everything in the world), we have, instead, the US military merrily detonating an atomic weapon over the Pacific to clear the ocean’s mass of plastic debris. “I know nuclear warheads have a bum rap in our culture,” remarks Gunt. “But to watch one exploding in real life is insanely f****** awesome.”
It is hard to describe, out of context, quite how funny Coupland’s novel can be. A lot of its humour springs from the relentless hideousness of Gunt. And yet, increasingly, it is the very fact that Gunt — in Voltairean fashion — is the only character in Coupland’s menagerie who can see the awfulness of the human apocalypse around him that makes the book so compelling. Coupland’s eye for the strange, mesmerising wonder of modernity is being put, more than ever, to extremely dark use here. The fact that it is all so demented — and so frequently, belly-achingly hilarious — only makes that darkness all the more impressive.”
—The Sunday Times
“Provocative and entertaining.”—The Daily Mail
“Riotous, frequently very funny.”—The Independent
“Filthy and funny.”—TimeOut London
“Clever bits of observational humour … his best book in recent years.”—The Toronto Star
“An entry – a fun one – in a personal, pop-cult canon of its own.”—Toronto Globe and Mail
“[Raymond Gunt] is a fabulous monster, with nothing and no one safe from his vitriol. Raymond torments the obese, faces multiple incarcerations, makes leering advances at every woman crossing his path, and plays a role in a potentially globe-threatening nuclear event… Coupland skewers a pop world’s growing insensibilities, and his protagonist is a charming villain whom readers will likely root for, even as he’s insulting them.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred)
“It’s hard to imagine Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans wouldn’t feel at home in this absurdist British-flavored comedy.”—Erin McReynolds, American Short Fiction
“In Gunt, Coupland has created one of his most memorable characters to date, memorable for all the wrong reasons. He's ignorant, crass, self-absorbed, and you're going to love him.”—Joshua Chaplinsky, LitReactor
“This evil amalgam of Larry David and Mr. Bean endures misfortunes hilarious, disgusting, and well-deserved.”—Boris Kachka, New York Magazine
Top customer reviews
I've read almost all of Coupland's work, for some 20 years now, and he just gets better and better...
This story is so colorfully narrated, with such intense whit and charm, that it begs to be made into a movie!
Where are the airheads at HBO Films? Why haven't they made a deal for this?
It's got lots of saucy dialog, nudity, sex, vomit, sex, and more vomit, with a side order of shlt... It's exactly what HBO wants!
The whirlwind story takes the central character - Raymund Gunt - from England to an obscure Pacific island to shoot an episode of Survivor, which seams to never get shot. The world almost ends, while the anti-hero makes cynical jokes about the women he wants to do...
And all the while his John Sparrow-like side-kick, picked from the gutter by Gunt, gets more tale than he can handle...
It's like Coupland ate Hunter Thompson, digested what he could, and spat out the rest on paper.
This can only be removed from my brain with surgery or electro-shock.
The story revolves around a “B” unit television cameraman (apparently a rung below “A” unit), who is down on his luck and is relegated to begging his ex-wife, a very successful network producer, for scraps. She gets him a gig on a reality TV show (Survival) being filmed in the remote South Pacific nation of Kiribati. He is authorized to hire an assistant and selects a random homeless man from his neighborhood. He and his assistant undergo numerous adventures, both on the journey and upon arrival.
Many of the events and circumstances of the book are absurd and intentionally ridiculous. The style is somewhat reminiscent of Catch-22 and more closely that of Kurt Vonnegut’s work. I would recommend for a lengthy plane flight.
I haven't enjoy reading that much for a long time! Couldn't stop reading!
I really don't understand people who took the plot serious and then complained about the story line. Don't you people know what satire is?
The main character is a compilation of everything terrible that modern society has. Is he unlikeable? Absolutely! Is he funny and charming? No questions! Looks at the 'normal' people in his universe. Is he that terrible?
This novel reminds me the best tradition of modern European counter culture.
Mr. Coupland, thank you so much!
My issue with this book is the plot - it seems like he made it up as he went along. The hallmark of his best works are a more cohesive, believable, and relevant story line. Some aspects (the pending nuclear war) of the plot in this work strain credibility.
At his best (Generation X, Microserfs, etc.) Coupland has a way of capturing the collective phsyche and pop culture at exactly the right time - when his commentary is very relevant, incisive, and "ahead of it's time" or "exactly on time". The background story in prior works make them seem that much more genuine and complete to me. That was missing from this book.
Despite my issue with the plot, this book has some truly funny moments. The humorous parts to me were truly gut-bustingly funny and we all need a good laugh some time. If you take this as a light read that will make you laugh and don't look for deeper insights into modern society you won't be disappointed.
I should also point out that Coupland's insights on human nature (the underbelly as well as the polished front facia) as always are spot on.
I would have given it a 3.5 if that was allowed.