Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Life After God


Life after God by Douglas Coupland
Paperback, 360 pages
Washington Square Press, 1994
ISBN-13: 9780671874346
very highly recommended

Synopsis
We are the first generation raised without God. We are creatures with strong religious impulses, yet they have nowhere to flow in this world of malls and TV, Kraft dinners and jets. How do we cope with loneliness? Anxiety? The collapse of relationships?
How do we reach the quiet, safe layer of our lives? In this compellingly innovative collection of stories, bestselling author Douglas Coupland responds to these themes. Cutting through the hype of modern living to find a rare grace amid our lives, he uncovers a new kind of truth for a culture stuck on fast-forward. A culture seemingly beyond God.

My Thoughts:

This very short book (the page count doesn't reflect this fact) is full of the personal thoughts of a man reflecting on parts of his life. Life After God is very different from any other Copeland book I've read, but I actually think I liked it more than all his other books. Sure, there were some stories I couldn't relate to, some parts were overwhelmingly sad, but I could identify with many of the reminiscences and all of them were insightful. In the end, his conclusion found on page 359 was simply beautiful. This was a real little gem. Very Highly Recommended

Quotes:
I was driving you up to Prince George to the home of your grandfather, the golf wino. opening

It was a jerky drive, punctuated by my having to stop at convenience stores and diners all along the way to try and reach my lawyer from pay phones. On the good side, however, you were noticing all of the animals in the world for the first time in your life - all of the animal life outside the cars windows. pg. 4

The end-of-day sunlight was strobbing through the treetops beside us and in a valley below we saw a tuft of white birch that looked like the garnish on a Japanese meal. The road was so long and so steep, and the mountains so large, that I began to think of how the new world must have frightened and enchanted the pioneers. pg. 8

The only activities I could think of that humans do that have no other animal equivalent were smoking, body-building, and writing. That's not much, considering how special we seem to think we are. pg. 12

I had thought I was finding consolation in solitude, but to be honest I think I was only acquiring a veneer of bitterness. pg. 30

A third recurring image, very simple: at my parents' house, in their living room looking out through the front window framed by pyrocanthus berries, out at the maple tree on the front lawn; The Flash flashes; I am awake. pg. 107

...I have never really felt like I was "from" anywhere; home to me, as I have said, is a shared electronic dream of cartoon memories, half-hour sitcoms and national tragedies. I have always prided myself on my lack of accent - my lack of any discernable regional flavor. pg. 174

2 comments:

botheyes said...

ZOMG I loved this book! I highly recommend everything by Coupland, especially "Girlfriend in a Coma."

Lori L said...

Thanks! Girlfriend in a Coma goes on the wish list!