Hey Nostradamus!

Hey Nostradamus!

by Douglas Coupland

NOOK Book(eBook)

$10.49 $11.96 Save 12% Current price is $10.49, Original price is $11.96. You Save 12%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
LendMe® See Details
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now

Overview

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland

Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles what becomes her last will and testament on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst, and religious zeal in the massacre's wake, this sleepy suburban neighborhood declares its saints, brands its demons, and moves on. But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains permanently derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason's father, Reg, whose rigid religiosity has separated him from nearly everyone he loves. Hey Nostradamus! is an unforgettable portrait of people wrestling with spirituality and with sorrow and its acceptance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596917545
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 12/02/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 276 KB

About the Author

Douglas Coupland is the author of the novels Generation X, Miss Wyoming, and most recently All Families Are Psychotic, among others, as well as the nonfiction works Life After God and Polaroids from the Dead. He grew up and lives in Vancouver.
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.

Read an Excerpt

Internationally bestselling author Douglas Coupland’s eighth novel explores grief, faith and redemption in the wake of a high school shooting.
Several years after the 1988 Delbrook Senior Secondary School massacre, the television cameras have moved on to the next horror show; but for a handful of people in this sleepy corner of North Vancouver, life remains perpetually derailed.
Coupland writes this soul-searching tale in four voices -- Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason’s dad Reg, a cruelly religious man no one suspects is still worth loving.
With his inimitable style and his eye for the remarkable singularities of ordinary lives, Douglas Coupland masterfully weaves themes of alienation, violence and misguided faith throughout Hey Nostradamus!, creating a fateful and unforgettable knot from which three people must untangle their lives.
“I believe that what separates humanity from everything else in this world — spaghetti, binder paper, deep sea creatures, edelweiss and Mount McKinley — is that humanity alone has the capacity at any given moment to commit all possible sins. Even those of us who try to live a good and true life remain as far away from grace as the Hillside Strangler or any demon who ever tried to poison the village well. What happened that morning only confirms this.” -- Excerpt from Hey Nostradamus!

Author Biography: Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian Armed Forces base in Baden-Söllingen, Germany, on December 30, 1961. He is the author of the novels Miss Wyoming, Generation X, Microserfs, and Girlfriend in a Coma, among others. His most recent books are the novel All Families Are Psychotic and a book of essays and photographs, Souvenir of Canada. He attended Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Hokkaido College of Art and Design in Sapporo, Milan’s Istituto Europeo di Design, and the Japan/America Institute of Management Science in Honolulu and Tokyo. He lives and works in Vancouver as a novelist, designer and visual artist.

Table of Contents

1988: Cheryl1
1999: Jason43
2002: Heather147
2003: Reg229

Reading Group Guide

1. Discuss Cheryl’s description of the events in the cafeteria. Does her step-by-step account and her sense of calm make the actions of the young shooters seem more or less real? Is there immediacy here, or distance?

2. Which of the novel’s four narrative voices did you connect with the most? Which the least?

3. One reviewer has written that Cheryl is among the most “spiritually mature” characters in this novel. What do you think?

4. How did the time span of the novel (about 15 years) affect your view of the characters, and the event that set this story in motion?

5. Some reviewers have suggested that this is Douglas Coupland’s most spiritual book to date. Through his characters’ struggles with belief, is Douglas Coupland being supportive or critical of the Christian faith? Or a bit of both? Compare the different approaches to faith shown by the four main characters.

6. Discuss the epigraph from 1 Corinthians that appears at the start of the book. What is Coupland saying about hope and redemption in this novel? Are any of his characters redeemed? Ultimately, what forms does hope take in their lives?

7. Jason’s narrative exists in the form of an open letter to his brother Kent’s twin sons. Heather begins writing her story directly into official court transcripts at work. Reg posts thousands of copies of his narrative in the forest near Chilliwack. Discuss the importance of writing and correspondence in this novel. What might Coupland be saying about the act of writing in general, or about how we as a society deal with grief? Consider also the letters Jason receives from Cheryl’s family, the various letters to God that Cheryl begins composing in her head, and even the list that Jason leaves with the psychic.

8. The title of this book comes from Jason’s reaction to his mother’s “Nostradamus kick” after the massacre, as she searches the astrologer’s prophecies for some sign of it (page 91). Do you think the title fits the book? Why or why not? Discuss how foreseeing the future might relate to this novel.

9. What kind of a person is Heather? What is it about her that appeals to Jason, and allows Reg to open up to her – or perhaps even change?

10. How did your memories of school shootings like those at Columbine and the École Polytechnique affect your reading of this novel? Has Hey Nostradamus! changed the way you think about such horrific events and their aftermath?

11. Cheryl tells us that her conversion took place in her backyard as she sat surrounded by huckleberry bushes, experiencing the smells of warm cedar and dry fir. “The moment made me feel special, and yet, nothing makes a person less special than conversion – it… universalizes you.” Discuss the association of spirituality with the natural world in Hey Nostradamus!

12. Did your opinion of Reg change by the end of the book? Why or why not?

13. Jason tells us that a few celebrities emerged from the massacre: himself, first vilified, then cleared; Cheryl, whose GOD IS NOWHERE/GOD IS NOW HERE note was widely reported as miraculous; and the shooter who repented, only to be shot by the other two. What is Coupland saying about our need to find heroes and villains in such situations? And what is the media’s role in feeding, or creating, this need?

14. While reading, how did you feel about Coupland’s use of humour in the novel? Did it seem out of place at any point, considering the subject matter? Or did it seem to grow naturally out of his characters’ reactions to their experiences? Is embracing the humour, or everyday-ness, of difficult events sometimes the only way to make it through them?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Hey Nostradamus! 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Waits
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Puts food in her pssy qalking over to the gorrilla
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks around
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aprentice den, nursery, and elder den.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suree imma die a slow n pqinful death right now so *walks in room locking myself in n cuts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
* YAWNS*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book. I think that the synopsis given doesnt quite touch on the most vital parts of the book. While it is about a school masacre it touches on your emotions and the religious struggles people have after experiencing grief. A novel with insight on death and characters with voices that ring true. Just fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LaurenKangaroo More than 1 year ago
An outstanding piece of work. It's a well written page turner. Two of the major themes in the book are loss and religion and how they seem to go hand in hand. This book would be very good to use when writing a literary analysis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
Douglas Coupland is an amazing writer and Hey Nostradamus! is more proof of his greatness. This book touches upon many different aspects of life, ranging from tragedy, false accusations, religious fanatics and hypocrites. I especially enjoyed the multiple character approach to telling the story, it makes the book well-rounded. Hey Nostradamus! is a powerful and encompassing book. Coupland always delivers well-written books that are deserving of the readers' time and money. Hey Nostradamus! is a fine piece of literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book very much, it was major a page turner. I wish that he only wrote aobut Cheryl and Jason, I think that it would have been alot better. It was a great, sad, interging stroy. LOved it