Douglas Coupland is an amazing author. The compilation of short stories made reading this a very interesting journey. I have heard that through a lot of his work, he seems to have a good understanding of the generation that I am a part of. Though this one was written in the mid-90s, I still think that he understands people in their late teens/twenties quite well. It hardly had to do with the time, but more with the questions we ask ourselves and the shit we have to go through in order to bridge the gap from childhood to adulthood. And he understands that, for many people, it is a really shitty time.
All that being said, I can see how this book is not for everyone, and it depends on what is going on in your life that will cause you to like or dislike it. For the past almost three months, I have been in the WEIRDEST funk. There have been happy things but with the stress of putting myself through community college, preparing to transfer to a four year, dwindling friendships, family issues, and work, my brain has been just all sorts of crazy. As a result, I think I read this book at the perfect time. I related to each narrator of each individual story through their thoughts. I was amazed at how similar they were to mine. It’s like they are IN MY BRAIN it was so amazing. Everything from how people were dealing with what it means to be human, to what death is like, and to how our past connects to our future, or how it doesn’t.
The thing that stood out the most to me was the analogy of the glass full of memories. When you are born, you start out with an empty glass that you begin filling with memories, and it will only be filled with memories until you are about 30. Once it’s full, it’s full. You can’t replace anything inside of it. The memories you make after you are 30 will have little impact. Not that I agree with that, but I do think that it stresses the importance of doing the most outrageous things that you can while you are still young so you don’t look back at that glass of memories and feel any sort of regret. The generation above us, in my opinion, seems to stress the opposite of that. You know, be safe, don’t to anything crazy, save money, be boring. What the fuck kind of life is that?
One more thing this book pointed out very well is that when you are experiencing something dreadful, or you’re going through a rough patch, you just have to remember that it is a situation that will not last forever. That is something I need to focus on A LOT. Instead of feeling defeated from the start, fight back. It will suck, but…c’est la vie.
Overall a very insightful read. I want more people to read it so I can have deep conversations with them about it!!!