Wednesday 29 March 2017

Hey Nostradamus! // review

I promise Douglas Coupland isn't sponsoring my blog - but I've just read another of his books and had to review it. This is actually the first of his books that I owned - I picked it up years ago, and have just never got around to reading it.

It's similar, in a way, to Player One - it's written from the perspectives of four different people. It differs, though, because whereas Player One takes place in just one day, Hey Nostradamus! stretches over several decades, with each character writing in a different year. It's like a series of letters - starting with one from Cheryl, who dies in a school shooting and isn't very likeable, in all honesty. The next letter is from Cheryl's at-the-time boyfriend, Jason, written over 10 years later to his nephews. He talks about his life then, about going through tragedy, about religion and his family and his life now. The third letter is Jason's now-girlfriend, Heather, who I felt quite sorry for. She writes about Jason, and his family, and her job - she opens up more questions about the past, questions that don't ever get answered. The final letter is by Reg, Jason's dad, who has been painted as a villain throughout but actually turns out to be okay.

A major theme is religion, which it also was in Player One, but in this case it seems more practical and more applied, rather than being a grand idea or discussion point, and the way it features in almost every situation in the book is really interesting. Other themes include tragedy (obv) which I think is handled in a really clever way, as well as grief and love and family.

The characters are so intricately put together yet at the same time so ordinary; it's a massive situation written in such a realistic, simple and relatable way. It's clever, it's beautiful, it's funny and sad and confusing. The ending let me down a tiny bit, but other than that I loved this book and would heartily recommend it - Douglas Coupland is an incredibly talented writer who has a way of drawing you so far into story, that you're not sure you'll ever get back out.

1 comment:

  1. Coupland is such an amazing author! I really need to go and read more of his work, don't think I've read this one!

    Sarah :)
    Saloca in Wonderland