Friday, January 18, 2008

The Gum Thief

Quickie recap: Bethany and Roger are both Staples employees, with nothing else in common whatsoever, except a lack of friends. They don't make friends, though - instead, they become correspondents of sorts. They take turns writing entries in Roger's journal as he pens his first novel.

Quickie review: Okay. Right out of the gate, you know how I feel about Coupland. I like the idea of him more than I like him in actuality. His books are very hit and miss for me, but there are definite cases of good work, and I dare say I think this is one. Roger and Bethany and ordinary people, veering toward loserdom, working in a big box office supply store and hating it, as you would expect. But they find a form of escapism - they write. And they're not very good at it, but their attempts are sweet and entertaining. These characters made you root for them no matter how pathetic they came off. Their problems - alienation, stagnation - their suffering, they're our problems, and our suffering. It's universal. This book made me feel like, maybe every one of us is all alone, but we're together in this aloneness, and that's something, right?

Quickie recommendation: I admit it. I liked it. I think this book does what his earlier ones were supposed to - it speaks to who we are.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Hah - so you will admit it, will you?

I have to say, I'm pretty much the same with Coupland, and am relieved that someone else can say it first.

I will pick this one up and it will be a TRUE test of whether I can trust your opinion. If yes, I will be rushing back here to jot down every title!