I just finished reading Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland. Man, what a good book. I think he’s surpassed Stephen King and Diana Gabaldon as my favourite author. And he’s a Canadian, which is reason enough to ditch the other two!
Eleanor Rigby is about a middle aged woman who’s inflicted with what seems like irreversible loneliness; she’s finally come to terms with it and feels quasi-content about it. That is until she receives a phone call in the night from the hospital, about her son whom she gave up for adoption 20 years earlier. She hasn’t seen him since the day she gave birth, and the book reads like a journal, relaying the story of how her son came into existence.
If I had to pin it down, I’d say the theme of this book is loneliness and how people get over it… but it’s a great story, too- about life, being a kid, travelling, a bit about mysticism, astronomy and death.
A couple key phrases:
“Death without the possibility of changing the world is like a life that never was.”
“I look at the stars and pluck them from the sky, and flick them at you like diamonds, like seeds.”
I related easily with the protagonist of this story, what with the alone-ness and all. That’s what made the book so good at the beginning. But as it continued on, it just became a really good story. I guess that’s the key to a good novel- hook your readers in at the beginning by being an easy book to read, and one that speaks to a person on a deeper level. Once they’ve been caught, you can make the book as weird as you want. Who ever only reads a book half-way?!? Coupland definitely has this formula down pat.
Which is why he’s my favourite author now!