Coupland, Douglas Hey Nostradamus!

ISBN 13: 9780007162512

Hey Nostradamus!

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9780007162512: Hey Nostradamus!

The story of one family piecing itself back together after a tragic highschool shooting, Hey Nostradamus! is Douglas Coupland’s most soulful, piercing and searching novel yet.

Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles her last will and testament – and erie premonition – on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst and religious zeal in the ensuing massacre's wake, this sleepy Vancouver neighbourhood declares its saints, brands its demons and finally moves on.

But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains perpetually derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories in their own words: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason's father Reg, a cruelly religious man no one suspects is still worth loving. Each wrestles with God, self-defeat and a crippling inability to hold on to those they love.

Coupland's most surprising and soulful novel yet, rich with his trademark cultural acuity and dark humour, Hey Nostradamus! ties themes of alienation, violence and misguided faith into a fateful and unforgettable knot from which four people must untangle their lives.

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Review:

Readers of Douglas Coupland's more recent fictions have become accustomed to encountering characters touched by tragedy, whether it be falling into comas, surviving plane crashes or becoming infected with the AIDS virus after bizarre shooting incidents. Hey Nostradamus! is no exception: a novel in four voices. The opening narrator, Cheryl Anway, is the 17-year-old victim of a Columbine-style high-school massacre. Just before she was murdered in 1988, Cheryl had secretly married her high-school sweetheart Jason Klaasen and was expecting their child. The couple were part of a zealously evangelical Christian group, Youth Alive! whose members, immediately after the slaying, falsely accused Jason of masterminding the incident.

Eleven years later, Jason is still coming to terms with Cheryl's death. He is, as he admits to his faithful dog Joyce, a "social blank with a liver like the Hindenburg… embarrassed by how damaged he is and by how mediocre he turned out". (He fits bathrooms for a living.) Jason is also scarred by his relationship with his father Reg, a religious pedant so unyielding that he drove his wife into alcoholism and who genuinely believes that one of his identical twin grandsons cannot possess a soul.

Coupland persistently dissects notions of morality, faith, belief, forgiveness and devotion here. Even Reg, who leads the very final section of the story, is a multifaceted figure whose religiosity is handled with a surprising degree of compassion. Loss, however, is the main theme, exemplified by the fact that its two main characters are absent presences. Cheryl is dead throughout and by the time Heather, Jason's new partner, takes up the narrative, Klaasen has himself disappeared. His vanishing act forces her to engage Allison, the book's dubious Nostradamus; she is a fake psychic intent on ripping Heather off, yet mysteriously in possession of cannily specific "messages" from Jason.

The book's structure, epistolatory in parts, can make the story appear unfocused; some sections certainly err toward the frenetic, incident-wise, but Coupland's tremendous wit, humanity and moral force carry it along. As ever, splutters of dates and pop trivia mingle with profound reflections on life and death; surely, only Coupland nowadays could mark the time of day with a reference to McDonalds breakfasts and pull it off. That said, there's a very slight harking back to Life After God--the cartoon characters that Heather and Jason invent do seem rather similar to Doggles, the Dog who wore Goggles, and Squirrelly the Squirrel. Nonetheless, where those stories were about the "first generation raised without religion" this moving, prescient novel takes a long hard look at those who choose God, or have God thrust upon them. --Travis Elborough

Review:

‘Douglas Coupland has surely reserved his place at the top table of North American fiction.’ Independent on Sunday

‘Nothing less than sublime’ Time Out

‘This is far too wise a book to offer answers, but it affirms that seeking them is a necessary part of our humanity.’ Independent

‘Clever, affecting… God it was a pleasure to read.’ Ali Smith, author of Hotel World

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Coupland, Douglas
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 124 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The story of one family piecing itself back together after a tragic highschool shooting, Hey Nostradamus! is Douglas Coupland s most soulful, piercing and searching novel yet. Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles her last will and testament - and erie premonition - on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst and religious zeal in the ensuing massacre s wake, this sleepy Vancouver neighbourhood declares its saints, brands its demons and finally moves on. But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains perpetually derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories in their own words: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason s father Reg, a cruelly religious man no one suspects is still worth loving. Each wrestles with God, self-defeat and a crippling inability to hold on to those they love. Coupland s most surprising and soulful novel yet, rich with his trademark cultural acuity and dark humour, Hey Nostradamus! ties themes of alienation, violence and misguided faith into a fateful and unforgettable knot from which four people must untangle their lives. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007162512

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 124 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The story of one family piecing itself back together after a tragic highschool shooting, Hey Nostradamus! is Douglas Coupland s most soulful, piercing and searching novel yet. Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles her last will and testament - and erie premonition - on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst and religious zeal in the ensuing massacre s wake, this sleepy Vancouver neighbourhood declares its saints, brands its demons and finally moves on. But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains perpetually derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories in their own words: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason s father Reg, a cruelly religious man no one suspects is still worth loving. Each wrestles with God, self-defeat and a crippling inability to hold on to those they love. Coupland s most surprising and soulful novel yet, rich with his trademark cultural acuity and dark humour, Hey Nostradamus! ties themes of alienation, violence and misguided faith into a fateful and unforgettable knot from which four people must untangle their lives. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007162512

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Book Description 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 130mm x 197mm x 18mm. Paperback. The story of one family piecing itself back together after a tragic highschool shooting, Hey Nostradamus! is Douglas Coupland's most soulful, piercing and searching novel yet. Pregnant and.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 336 pages. 0.190. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007162512

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Hey Nostradamus!, Douglas Coupland, The story of one family piecing itself back together after a tragic highschool shooting, Hey Nostradamus! is Douglas Coupland's most soulful, piercing and searching novel yet. Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles her last will and testament - and erie premonition - on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst and religious zeal in the ensuing massacre's wake, this sleepy Vancouver neighbourhood declares its saints, brands its demons and finally moves on. But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains perpetually derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories in their own words: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason's father Reg, a cruelly religious man no one suspects is still worth loving. Each wrestles with God, self-defeat and a crippling inability to hold on to those they love. Coupland's most surprising and soulful novel yet, rich with his trademark cultural acuity and dark humour, Hey Nostradamus! ties themes of alienation, violence and misguided faith into a fateful and unforgettable knot from which four people must untangle their lives. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007162512

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