WOW. I have to say, this was a fantastic read. It reeled you in really quick, and I found it quite hilarious. But it was also extremely meaningful, which is my favorite type of book. The enjoyable ones that actually give you something to think about. It made me realize how true the title is--all families really are psychotic. It also made me realize how much I love my [psychotic] family =]
This novel tells the story of a dysfunctional Canadian clan that finds itself in Florida in 2001 to watch its only overachieving member take off as a member of the space shuttle crew. It's possible that one has never met a family quite as dysfunctional as the Drummonds. Their promblems include AIDS, liver cancer, suicidal depression, thalidomide-caused birth defects, baby-selling, adultery, illegal prescription drugs, just to name a few. You wouldnt' think that a book about this much tragedy is funny, but indeed it is. In fact, this book is very funny indeed. It's nearly impossible to explain the plot without spoilers, so suffice it to say that the novel jumps back and forth between the family's past and present, showing that they've always had issues. This is a great book for when you need something laugh-out-loud funny. Coupland has a tremendous gift for the bizarre and absurd. When you're done, you won't think your life is quite so strange after all.
Oh my gods. This book was amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone with a family that they don't feel close with. And here's why:
I'm not close with my family, but because of this book I see parts of my family that shows how much closer I am with them than I thought. Doesn't make sense I know, but this book was just...enlightening in that way.
It's a great story with so much to offer. I've read a few reviews of it, and some people said "These events would never happen" and no, they wouldn't. But, I don't think that it's the events themselves that were the point of the book. It was how the people in the book dealt with each other and the events.
This family is screwed up. Yes. They all have some interesting situations. Interesting being too light of a word. But, in a certain sense they are very close too. It's odd.
I read another review that said "I thought my family was dysfunctional" which seemed very generic to me and now that I've read the book I think it doesn't describe the book (not in the obvious way) properly.
Again, this is an A+ book, hell it's better than that. I do recommend it to anyone. I would give you my copy, but I'm sending it to my brother.
Fabulous! I always enjoy Douglas Coupland, but this is his absolute best. Deeply flawed and seemingly unlikeable characters, but after just a bit, you realize that you don't just like them. You love them. Just like our (psychotic) families.
I was attracted to the title of this book. Looked fun. It was strange. I finished reading it, but it was not that good really. Just kind of strange, odd. Dysfunctional family (aren't they all) with a bunch of whitty come-back lines. I don't know.
The last time I read Douglas Coupland was in the 1990s, and while I'm not sure his fiction will age well over time, I was hoping his talent would transcend the moment in which he wrote. I'm not sure if the book is too dated for me, or if my reading priorities have changed, but I was disappointed. The characters in this family are kind of kooky and awful, but I didn't see the humour in their awfulness. Maybe I've been spoiled by the incredibly well-written and flawlessly-executed Arrested Development, but I failed to make any emotional connection to the characters in this book. Even so, I might have gone on to finish it if I hadn't accidentally picked up and started a much more engaging book. Once I'm finished that one, I don't see myself coming back to finish this one.