Friday, November 4, 2011

Book #71

The Gum Thief, by Douglas Coupland. Hardcover.

Up to about 5 years ago, I had read all of Coupland's novels. I am a huge fan of Generation X, Life After God, and Miss Wyoming, the latter of which is criminally underrated. But for no good reason, I haven't read any of his more recent works.

Reading The Gum Thief was my first effort to rectify this situation. Like much of Coupland's work, this is a literary novel that manages to also be a quick read. Always experimental, this time Coupland gives us an epistolary novel, told in letters. Think of a "found footage" movie, but in this time it is a "found notebook" novel.

Like much of Coupland's work, this novel deals with the anonymity of the modern business world; in this case, the setting is Staples, where forty-something loser Roger and twenty-something Goth chick Bethany work. Roger leaves his notebook in the break room, which contains his novel manuscript. Bethany reads it, leaves him a note (or does she?) and the series of journal entries, notes, letters and scenes from Roger's novel takes off.

Not onloy is there a "book inside a book" aspect to this novel, the "book inside a book" also contains a book. Very meta.

I am a fan of Coupland, but I recognize he is an acquired taste. I would not necessarily start reading his novels here, but if you've enjoyed some of his prior work, you'll probably enjoy this one, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment