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Planet Simpson
Chris Turner
0306813416
Nov 2004
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Although this unauthorized book "was not prepared, licensed, approved, or endorsed by any entity involved in creating or producing" The Simpsons, Canadian journalist Turner embarks on an encyclopedic exposition of the show's episodes, catchphrases, characters, cultural impact, social commentary, themes and influences. In 1987, 33-year-old cartoonist Matt Groening devised the dysfunctional family during a 15-minute wait before pitching the concept to producer James L. Brooks. Short segments on Fox's Tracey Ullman Show escalated into the full series in 1989–1990, with accolades and awards piling up during the following 15 years. Turner flavors his straightforward Simpsons study with footnotes and facts on everything from Ayn Rand and Columbine to Y2K and Yeats. Unraveling and analyzing plot threads, he views...


All Families Are Psychotic
Douglas Coupland
0641596537

Hardcover
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Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture
Douglas Coupland
031205436X
March 1991
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Coupland sheds light on an often overlooked segment of the population: "Generation X," the post-baby boomers who must endure "legislated nostalgia (to force a body of people to have memories they do not actually own)" and who indulge in "knee-jerk irony (the tendency to make flippant ironic comments as a reflexive matter of course . . . )." These are just two of the many terse, bitterly on-target observations and cartoons that season the margins of the text. The plot frames a loose Decameron -style collection of "bedtime stories" told by three friends, Dag, Andy and Claire, who have fled society for the relative tranquility of Palm Springs. They fantasize about nuclear Armageddon and the mythical but drab Texlahoma, located on an asteroid, where it is forever 1974. The true stories they relate are no...


Polaroids from the Dead
Douglas Coupland
0060987219
Oct 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
A collection of essays by Douglas Coupland, whose first novel Generation X received critical acclaim. In his mid-30s, Coupland writes about what it means to grow up and the realization that he is not young anymore. Essays include observations on parents his age at Grateful Dead concerts who seem intent on preserving a youthful reckless and carefree lifestyle at the expense of their children, to the "gristled leather bachelors" and "straw-permed sex androids from Planet 1971," to mourning his own sense of youthfulness as he revisits old haunts in his native Vancouver. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly
A cult writer for the disaffected (Generation X), Coupland combines manic poetry and scary...


Prague: A Novel
Arthur Phillips
0375759778
June 2003
Paperback
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Book Review
In Prague, Arthur Phillips's sparkling, Kundera-flavored debut, five young Americans converge in Budapest in the early 1990s. Most are there by chance, like businessman Charles Gabor, whose parents were Hungarian. But one of them, John Price, has the more novelistic motivation of lost love. He is following his older brother, Scott, intent on achieving an intimacy that Scott, a language teacher and health enthusiast, is just as intently trying to escape. The romantic hero of this unsentimental novel, John Price lives like an expatriate of the 1920s. He longs for experience (and more or less stumbles into a writing job for an English language paper), but even more so for the great, obliterating love that takes the form of the perky assistant Emily Oliver. Mark Payton, a scholar of nostalgia whose insights are touched with...


jPod
Douglas Coupland
1596911042
May 2006
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Already dubbed Microserfs 2.0 by some pundits--a winking allusion to Douglas Coupland's previous novel Microserfs, which similarly chronicled pop-culture-damaged twentysomething misfits flailing, foundering, and occasionally succeeding in the high-tech sector--JPod is, like all of Coupland's novels, a byproduct of its era and yet strangely detached from it. Only this time with a bold and very crafty narrative device: Douglas Coupland, novelist, is a character in Douglas Coupland's novel. Which, when you think about it, makes sense since the type of people Coupland depicts are precisely the type of people who consume Coupland novels. As the once-great comedian Dennis Miller might holler, "Stop him before he sub-references again!" Readers familiar with Coupland's oeuvre know what to expect with the...


Girlfriend in a Coma
Douglas Coupland
0060987324
Mar 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
In this latest novel from the poet laureate of Gen X--who is himself now a dangerously mature 36--boy does indeed meet girl. The year is 1979, and the lovers get right down to business in a very Couplandian bit of plein air intercourse: "Karen and I deflowered each other atop Grouse Mountain, among the cedars beside a ski slope, atop crystal snow shards beneath penlight stars. It was a December night so cold and clear that the air felt like the air of the Moon--lung-burning; mentholated and pure; hint of ozone, zinc, ski wax, and Karen's strawberry shampoo." Are we in for an archetypal '80s romance, played out against a pop-cultural backdrop? Nope. Only hours after losing her virginity, Karen loses consciousness as well--for almost two decades. The narrator and his circle soldier on, making the slow progression...


Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation
Chris Turner
030681448X
October 2005
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Although this unauthorized book "was not prepared, licensed, approved, or endorsed by any entity involved in creating or producing" The Simpsons, Canadian journalist Turner embarks on an encyclopedic exposition of the show's episodes, catchphrases, characters, cultural impact, social commentary, themes and influences. In 1987, 33-year-old cartoonist Matt Groening devised the dysfunctional family during a 15-minute wait before pitching the concept to producer James L. Brooks. Short segments on Fox's Tracey Ullman Show escalated into the full series in 1989–1990, with accolades and awards piling up during the following 15 years. Turner flavors his straightforward Simpsons study with footnotes and facts on everything from Ayn Rand and Columbine to Y2K and Yeats. Unraveling and analyzing plot threads, he views...


Microserfs
Douglas Coupland
0060987049
June 1996
Paperback
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Book Review
Microserfs is not about Microsoft--it's about programmers who are searching for lives. A hilarious but frighteningly real look at geek life in the '90's, Coupland's book manifests a peculiar sense of how technology affects the human race and how it will continue to affect all of us. Microserfs is the hilarious journal of Dan, an ex-Microsoft programmer who, with his coder comrades, is on a quest to find purpose in life. This isn't just fodder for techies. The thoughts and fears of the not-so-stereotypical characters are easy for any of us to relate to, and their witty conversations and quirky view of the world make this a surprisingly thought-provoking book.

" ... just think about the way high-tech cultures purposefully protract out the adolescence of their employees well into their late 20s, if not their early...



Miss Wyoming
Douglas Coupland
0375707239
Jan 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
The eponymous heroine of Miss Wyoming is one Susan Colgate, a teen beauty queen and low-rent soap actress. Dragooned into show business by her demonically pushy, hillbilly mother, Susan has hit rock bottom by the time Douglas Coupland's seventh book begins. But when she finds herself the sole survivor of an airplane crash, this "low-grade onboard celebrity" takes the opportunity to start all over again: She felt like a ghost. She tried to find her bodily remains there in the wreckage and was unable to do so.... Then she was lost in a crowd of local onlookers and trucks, parping sirens and ambulances. She picked her way out of the melee and found a newly paved suburban road that she followed away from the wreck into the folds of a housing development. She had survived, and now she needed sanctuary and silence. ...


Shampoo Planet
Douglas Coupland
0671755064
May 1993
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
This nicely balanced collection of 20 stories--most of them familiar--from the past 15 years was a Literary Guild selection in cloth. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
Still a cultural pulse-taker, Coupland (Generation X, 1991) organizes his hip bromides and next-wave sententiousness into a rather humdrum narrative that's long on posturing, short on plot. Laughing at disaster, Coupland's post-post-baby-boomers rationalize the culture of constant change, self-reinvention, and immediate gratification. Tyler Johnson, the 20-year-old narrator whose ``memories begin with Ronald Reagan,'' is an apocalyptic entrepreneur, a hotel-motel studies major who believes wholeheartedly in a boundless future, one he hopes to see as an employee for a...


Housebroken: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad
David Eddie
0641681305

Paperback
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Life After God
Douglas Coupland
0671874349
Mar 1995
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
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...


City of Glass: Doug Coupland's Vancouver
Douglas Coupland
1550548182
April 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
Eclectic and provocative, this book, designed to resemble a Japanese underground zine, looks at Vancouver from inside out, from the Grouse Grind to the shimmering glass towers, First Nations to feng-shui. Douglas Coupland takes on monster houses, weather, Sandra Bernhard, Love Boats, SkyTrain, fleece, that endless rivalry with Seattle, and even includes a short story about living in a low-rent Granville hotel. Over 100 archival photographs, maps, and "beauty shots" add to the fun in this witty survey by the noted chronicler of alternative culture.


Eleanor Rigby
Douglas Coupland
0753173751
Jan 2004
Large Print Hardcover
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Book Review
Liz Dunn isn't morbid, she's just a lonely woman with a very pragmatic outlook on life. Overweight, underemployed, and living in a nondescript condo with nothing but chocolate pudding in the fridge, she has pretty much given up on anything interesting ever happening to her. Everything changes when she gets an unexpected phone call from a Vancouver hospital and a stranger takes on a very intimate place in her life. From here the plot of Douglas Coupland's Eleanor Rigby skyrockets into a very bizarre world, rife with reverse sing-alongs and apocalyptic visions of frantic farmers. The style and plot paths are very identifiably Coupland--slightly mystical, off-kilter, and very, very smart. Ultimately a novel about the burden of loneliness, Eleanor Rigby takes its characters through strange and sometimes nearly unimaginable...


Eleanor Rigby
Douglas Coupland
1582345236
January 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Liz Dunn isn't morbid, she's just a lonely woman with a very pragmatic outlook on life. Overweight, underemployed, and living in a nondescript condo with nothing but chocolate pudding in the fridge, she has pretty much given up on anything interesting ever happening to her. Everything changes when she gets an unexpected phone call from a Vancouver hospital and a stranger takes on a very intimate place in her life. From here the plot of Douglas Coupland's Eleanor Rigby skyrockets into a very bizarre world, rife with reverse sing-alongs and apocalyptic visions of frantic farmers. The style and plot paths are very identifiably Coupland--slightly mystical, off-kilter, and very, very smart. Ultimately a novel about the burden of loneliness, Eleanor Rigby takes its characters through strange and sometimes nearly unimaginable...


Hey Nostradamus!
Douglas Coupland
1582344159
July 2004
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Considering some of his past subjects--slackers, dot-commers, Hollywood producers--a Columbine-like high school massacre seems like unusual territory for the usually glib Douglas Coupland. Anyone who has read Generation X or Miss Wyoming knows that dryly hip humor, not tragedy, is the Vancouver author's strong suit. But give Coupland credit for twisting his material in strange, unexpected shapes. Coupland begins his seventh novel by transposing the Columbine incident to North Vancouver circa 1988. Narrated by one of the murdered victims, the first part of Hey Nostradamus! is affecting and emotional enough to almost make you forget you're reading a book by the same writer who so accurately characterized a generation in his first book, yet was unable to delineate a convincing character. As Cheryl Anway tells her story, the...


Dictator Style
Peter York
0811853144
June 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
Welcome to the fabulous lifestyles of the cruel and despotic. Running with the idea that our homes are where we are truly ourselves, Peter York's wildly original and scathingly funny look at the interior decorating tastes of some of history's most alarming dictators proves that absolute power corrupts absolutely, right down to the drapes. Mining rare, jaw-dropping photographs of interiors now mostly (thankfully) destroyed, York's hilarious profiles of 16 inner sanctums of the scary leaves no endangered tiger pelt unturned, from Saddam Hussein's creepy private art collection to General Noriega's Christmas tree to the strange tube and knob contraption in the Ceausescu bathroom. All your favorite dictators are here: Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Tito, Mussolini, Mobutu, Idi Amin, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos—each with their...

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