Eleanor Rigby: A Novel

Eleanor Rigby: A Novel

by Douglas Coupland

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Overview

Eleanor Rigby is the story of Liz, a self-described drab, overweight, crabby, and friendless middle-aged woman, and her unlikely reunion with the charming and strange son she gave up for adoption. His arrival changes everything, and sets in motion a rapid-fire plot with all the twists and turns we expect of Coupland. By turns funny and heartbreaking, Eleanor Rigby is a fast-paced read and a haunting exploration of the ways in which loneliness affects us all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596919624
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 12/30/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,231,944
File size: 635 KB

About the Author

Douglas Coupland is a novelist who also works in visual arts and theater. His novels include Generation X, Microserfs, All Families Are Psychotic, and Hey Nostradaumus!. He lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian Armed Forces Base in Baden-Söllingen, Germany, in 1961. He is the author of the novels Miss Wyoming, Generation X, and Girlfriend in a Coma, among others, as well as the nonfiction works Life After God and Polaroids from the Dead. He grew up and lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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Eleanor Rigby 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
autumnc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the protagonist in Eleanor Rigby...I think I might be her. What else can I say about it? A man writing a woman and doing it so well, this turned me on to other Coupland novels that I didn't feel as connected with. The radical and highly unlikely ending doesn't take anything away from it, either.
twomoredays on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow has Douglas Coupland¿s writing changed over the years. He¿s gone soft in his old age. (Old age being a relative term.) My favorite quote from Generation X, I think captures the old Coupland well: ¿You see, when you¿re middle class, you have to live with the fact that history will ignore you. You have to live with the fact that history will never champion your causes and that history will never feel sorry for you. It is the price paid for day-to-day comfort and silence. And because of this price, all happinesses are sterile; all sadnesses go unoticed. And any small moments of intense, flaring beauty such as this morning¿s will be utterly forgotten, dissolved by time like a super-8 film left out in the rain, without sound, and quickly replaced by thousands of silently growing trees.¿While of course not all of his novels share the same tone of Generation X none of them come close to Eleanor Rigby.Eleanor Rigby tells the story of Liz, a frumpy, lonely middle-aged woman, whose son she gave up for adoption years ago suddenly shows up in her life, completely, as the book blurb would say, changing everything.Luckily for me, I picked my copy up at our independent bookstore¿s closing sale, so I didn¿t even read the cover blurb. Plus, it¿s Coupland. I love him. And after Eleanor Rigby I still do, but I¿m surprised at the different direction the novel took. I had previously pigeonholed Coupland as being like Chuck Palahniuk, an author I dearly adore, who writes in one specific style. But Coupland has broken out of that style, at least for one book, which is something Chuck, as much as I love him, and I do love him, has yet to do.This is a book about the power of family. The positive power of family. We¿re not talking All Families are Psychotic, though there is still plenty of dysfunction to go around. No, Eleanor Rigby speaks to the fact that your family is the one place where you can be dysfunctional without judgment. It sounds sappy and it very nearly is, but Coupland manages to throw in enough of his trademark humor to keep the book somewhat level. There are some moments where the plot becomes stretched a little thin, but overall the book is touching, funny, and worth the read.Here¿s another four star-er for you.
annarama on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
it's the story of a canadian woman who, in her mid thirties, finally comes face to face with the son she gave birth to/gave away when she was a teenager. it has some very sad moments, but is also 'classic coupland' in the sense that it offers hope and optimism.
jaemaree on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
coupland's tribute to loneliness. i can't wait to check out j-pod!
Nickelini on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of those rare books that is both laugh out loud funny, sad and thoughtful, all at the same time. It made me a huge fan of Douglas Coupland.
extrajoker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
first line: "I had always thought that a person born blind and given sight later on in life through the miracles of modern medicine would feel reborn.""Look at all the lonely people." Loneliness is definitely a prominent theme of this book: the experience of loneliness; the ways we cloak it; why and how we overcome it. It sounds like a real downer, but it's got some wonderful imagery and humor. One of my favorite quotes:"the gas station...employees were the handsomest men any of us had ever seen, sculpted from gold, and with voices like songs. And there they were, in a gas station in the middle of nowhere, going to waste. They ought to have been perched on jagged lava cliffs having their hearts ripped out as sacrifices to the gods."
ocgreg34 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For Liz Dunn, life is fairly routine, dull and lonely. She's single, overweight, works a fairly tedious job and tries to put on a comrade-like face when dealing with co-workers. She doesn't realize how stuck in a rut she is until a Vancouver hospital calls, saying that a young man has been admitted, and the only number he carries happens to be hers. She visits him in the hospital and takes a chance on him, allowing the charming young man with strange, apocalyptic visions of farmers, into her home, changing her outlook of loneliness and life forever."Eleanor Rigby" weaves a fun tale of a woman overcoming her self-made obstacles to regain the life she thought she would never have. As Liz begins to learn more about the mysterious young man, she re-examines her teen years, realizing her life wasn't as bad as she makes it out to be. She traveled to Europe on her own, made a fairly decent amount of money in the stock market, and has a secret that at one time, she thought would be her undoing but instead has made her a better person. I like that she grows as the story progresses, and as a reader, I can see the changes as she becomes more outgoing and learns to allow others into her life rather than keeping them at a distance. Oh, and her conversations with the young stranger are wonderfully written, the kind of talks I wish I could have with people, saying whatever comes to mind and not feeling judged for it.It's well worth reading, and I recommend it highly.
MickyFine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Liz Dunn has verged on being invisible for most of her life and she spends much of her time attempting to avoid loneliness. Her dull life is irrevocably altered when she receives a phone call and discovers her name is on the Medic Alert bracelet of a young man she's never met.Coupland is an excellent writer of literary fiction whom I've always enjoyed and I wasn't disappointed when I picked up this novel. He beautifully writes about the issue of loneliness for a middle-aged single woman living alone in Vancouver. Her voice is clear and the passages in which she reflects on herself and her struggle with loneliness are so evocative. The other characters in her life are equally rich that provide flashes of humour and contrast to Liz. The prose is harsh and realistic but beautiful at the same time, and the narrative, while heading to darker places, ultimately arrives in a more optimistic place.
Meggo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent, bittersweet tale of lost love, loneliness, discovery and tragedy. Told from the viewpoint of a lonely woman whose life is irrevocably changed when her 20-year old son, given up for adoption at birth, finds her and puts her name on his medicalert bracelet. I greatly enjoyed this book, and had a hard time putting it down - so instead I read it cover to cover.
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Opalite More than 1 year ago
It didn't take me long to finish this book. I found the main character engaging and intriguing. I enjoyed her cynical look at life along with her witty comments. Lately I have been stuck reading cheesy romance novels which aren't bad, they just don't make you think ... at all. I don't consider focusing on the baser aspects of humanity as being very thoughtful. With this book I found that my mind had been awakened once more! I also plan on reading more from this author.
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ClarkP More than 1 year ago
It is hard to put into words how much I liked this book. The writing is flawless, the plot is fantastic and creative. It is impossible not to sympathize with the main character. Douglas Coupland engages the reader and never lets go, even after you have finished reading. Coupland has become one of my favorite writers. Eleanor Rigby is one of my all time favorite books. I cannot see how anyone would be disappointed after reading this outstanding book. I feel confident in recommending this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as awesome as all famalies, but i can still appreciate the dry protagonist and the lure of happy endings slipping away into unexpected ones.