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Life after God
     

Life after God

4.9 19
by Douglas Coupland
 

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What happens if we are raised without religion or beliefs? We are all living creatures with strong religious impulses, yet where do these impulses flow in a 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

Overview

What happens if we are raised without religion or beliefs? We are all living creatures with strong religious impulses, yet where do these impulses flow in a 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, international bestselling author Douglas Coupland responds to these themes. Cutting through the hype of modern living to find a rare grace amid our twentieth century lives, he uncovers a new kind of truth for a culture stuck on fast forward. A culture seemingly beyond God.

Editorial Reviews

Brenda Peterson
Imagine a sour Prufrock on Prozac, measuring out his 30-odd years in teaspoon-sized stories. This is the monotonic voice brooding over "Life After God," a book of stories by Douglas Coupland. Though each of these very short tales has its own narrator, the voice never really varies: it drones where it might delve, it skims where it might seduce, it hoards where it might offer sustenance. The range of character and emotion is so slight as to be undetectable. Presented with such an unmoving feast, a reader might starve to death....Mr. Coupland's real storytelling may begin when he can wean himself from his willful attachment to the wasteland and to the easy safety of ennui. -- New York times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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 primeval landscape enveloped in snow. After his car conks out in a desolate stretch of Nevada, the protagonist of ``In the Desert'' meets a wizened vagrant who feeds him cold fast-food before vanishing without a trace, leaving the narrator to muse about the transcendent value of ``small acts of mercy.'' Like Generation X , the margins of which held snippets of data and other visual aids, Life After God is illustrated with childlike drawings of cute animals, appliances, barren landscapes, road signs and other symbols, a faux naif touch that underscores Coupland's fetish for lost innocence. Although these tales of escape from the taint of middle-class culture and technology occasionally do strike a note of real feeling, they succeed less as an allegory for a postmodern, post-ironic spiritual life than as an amusing travelogue for jaded, pop-culturally literate couch potatoes. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Coupland's novels (e.g., Shampoo Planet, LJ 8/92) appeal to young, confused, and disenfranchised waifs who like to characterize themselves as Generation X. This audiobook features two complete stories selected from the print version and read by the author. In ``One Thousand Years,'' a young man flees to the wilderness in the wake of an existential crisis, while ``Things That Fly'' tells of lost love and the death of Superman. Coupland's endearing Canadian accent will be a welcome change to listeners accustomed to the usual Brit or Yank reader. Yet his monotone delivery, however appropriate to his characters' weary internal ramblings, is at times difficult to savor. For large popular collections.-Mark Annichiarico, ``Library Journal''
From the Publisher
Will Blythe Esquire A revelation...Coupland's most accomplished fiction to date...suffused with a mystery and regret unique in his work.

The New Criterion Coupland's hipster credentials are...impeccable.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671719043
Publisher:
Atria Books
Publication date:
03/28/1994
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
4.33(w) x 6.69(h) x (d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Will Blythe Esquire A revelation...Coupland's most accomplished fiction to date...suffused with a mystery and regret unique in his work.

The New Criterion Coupland's hipster credentials are...impeccable.

Meet the Author

Douglas Coupland is Canadian, born on a Canadian Air Force base near Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1961. In 1965 his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he continues to live and work. Coupland has studied art and design in Vancouver, Canada, Milan, Italy and Sapporo, Japan. His first novel, Generation X, was published in March of 1991. Since then he has published eleven novels and several non-fiction books in 35 languages and most countries on earth. He has written and performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, England, and in 2001 resumed his practice as a visual artist, with exhibitions in spaces in North America, Europe, and Asia. 2006 marks the premiere of the feature film Everything's Gone Green, his first story written specifically for the screen and not adapted from any previous work. A TV series (13 one-hour episodes) based on his novel, "jPod" premiered on the CBC in January, 2008.

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Life After God 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an avid (hence a bit of a persnickity) reader, and rarely if ever do I toss around terms like 'life changing' or 'brilliant', but I cannot comment on this book without using both exaltations, and many, many more that would never fit into this brief review. Coupland is not for everyone, and I find that older friends of mine can't relate to his particular themes of pathos, loss, searching for redemption, and in this case, something to fill the void that the loss of 'God', or something like it, has left in many lives; but perhaps because I am a member of Generation X, have felt the joy and grief of falling in and out of love, and often lament the mistakes and wistfully remember the days of my youth, I found his stories painfully beautiful. His writing style is at times sparse, and yet he can fill a simple sentence with a jaw-dropping elegance and poignancy I've rarely, if ever, encountered. I've given inumerable copies fo this work of art as gifts, and will continue to do so as long as the recipients are as blown away by it as they have been thusfar -- they generally end up buying it for others. I've read all of Doug's books, but none are as compulsively readable and overflowing with depth as this one. It's a classic. Buy it now. Trust me. You'll thank me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have given away four copies of this book, but I am always sure to keep at least two on hand at all times. Coupland has once again cornered my life between the pages of yet another book. I consider him to be one of the greatest authors of our time, and this to be his finest work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
why I love this book, which is definately couplands best: it is a book which I can (and did) read over and over again and still find new passages, that make me think about them. it is a book, that you can pull out off your shelve, open any page you want to and start reading for a while. it is like a bible for someone like me who does not believe in god (and actually never missed it). and it is a book, which is perfekt as a present. read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading Life After God is like reading an autobiography of yourself. With each of the short stories, a voice in your head nods and says, 'yes, it was just like that for me, too.' Probably the best of the Gen-X writers, this is undoubtedly the best of Coupland's novels. The characters are all struggling to discover what God is in their own lives and how he manifests themselves to them after a loss of faith in traditional religions. Unlike similar books, however, Life After God is not a mean spirited diatribe against the religious. It's about putting the past behind you, and finding God in a vagrant beggar in the desert, or a child's bedtime story, or a person who looks just like your long lost sister. If you're struggling with a loss of faith in your own religion (as so many of us in our twenties are), or if you don't believe in God but want to believe in something to fill the void, or if you love your faith but would enjoy looking at it with an exciting new perspective, read this book. But don't read it all at once. Put it in your purse, pocket, or glove compartment. Read a little on the bus, on your lunchbreak, while having a cigarette, or waiting for the computer to boot. You'll enjoy it more that way
Guest More than 1 year ago
No, some Couplandites will not like this book because they will be reminded a little too easily what they could have been thinking yesterday and didn't get around to writing down themselves. But LIFE AFTER GOD is a testament remedying how far we have come into stream of consciousness prose, all the while supplementing the abstracts with something very real, very thought-provoking (a cliche, I know), without being exactly sentimental as I am being now. I suspect the only gripe about Coupland's psych-philosophical efforts will be that the book is a little 'too' ordinary. I predict lots of 'I could have done that's,' which are easier said than done. I really was beginning 'to feel like a person inside a story,' Mr. Coupland...yet again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
okay....i have probably read this 7 or 8 times now...in a couple words, 'life changing'. coupland more than any other author puts the unspeakable into words....