The View from Saturday

A heart full of love and a bookshelf full of hope and some books.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Desperate times.

Any of you who are in Canada (hello, I have a readership of like FOUR, and probably none of you even read anymore anyway because I haven't updated in weeks...the shine wore of THIS apple pretty fast) have likely heard about the sad, weird, sobering event yesterday in Montreal. I'm not going to be Captain Blog Hero and wax philosophical about violence in society and how goth kids are fucked up; I'll leave that to greater windbags than I. What I WILL do, though, is tell you that you should run right out and read Hey Nostradamus!, by Douglas Coupland, if you want a lovely little book that will make you think about school shootings, lost love, and the total randomness of the world. It's my favourite of Coupland's books, probably because it's his most emotionally sincere, and because it deals with loss and recovery and the inexplicable end to relationships that seemed to be going just fine.

Nostradamus opens with an eerie first-person account by Cheryl, a secretly-married highschool girl who describes the day she died in a school shooting with creepy foreboding. We're in the present and the future the whole time, aware that tragedy is going to strike. After it does, the rest of the book is spent jumping from Cheryl's distraught husband, Jason, who struggles to make sense of the event that ripped his life apart, to Heather, Jason's much-later, estranged girlfriend, whose desperation to find Jason leads her into a sketchy situation with a would-be psychic, to Reg, Jason's too-religious dad. My favourite of these later sections was Heather's; as she tries to piece together the reasons why Jason might have left her, she reconstructs the off-beat, particular world they inhabited, the characters they created, the ongoing jokes that became their reality. I don't know--it struck a chord with me. Coupland is at his most thoughtful in this book, but his characters are still as weird and wonderful as ever, with personalities, and hearts, a little larger than life, floating a little bit outside the world they inhabit. Also, Heather refers to herself as Eleanor Rigby at one point, which, in retrospect, is a coy little jab at Coupland's next novel (haha, I'm so good at picking out intertextual references...thanks, U of T.).

Yup.

In other news, I love the dinner hour...all the rowdies go home and I am left in peace to help the keen kids learn how to use an index. Good times, my friends. Good times.

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Oh my goth, somebody get that goth some candles, stat.

 
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