Saturday, August 03, 2013

Eleanor Rigby : Douglas Coupland

Eleanor Rigby
By Douglas Coupland

Liz Dunn is a lonely, obese woman who goes through life with a casual sense of  resignation.  One day, she receive a phone call and ends up meeting her son, Jeremy, who she had given up for adoption when she was in her teens.  Although he has Multiple Sclerosis and has gone through 17 (don't remember the exact number) or so foster parents, his sense of humor and strange visions shake Liz out of her mundane life.

Liz knows that she conceived with Jeremy during her high school trip to Greece, but does not exactly remember who with or the exact circumstances.  The novel hops back between the Liz's time with Jeremy, her memories of a high school trip to Greece and then later on, her involvement with a pseudo-criminal investigation in Europe related to her trip.

There's a sense of flippancy throughout the entire novel.  Liz is lonely, but always has a self-conscious sardonic view on her feelings.  Similarly, Jeremy shows his humor when things get too serious with his condition. It makes them more realistic characters, like some folk I've met (strangely, it particularly reminds me of New Englanders).  However, the trouble is that when the story does wrap up, there's not really any emotional impact.

All in all, this is a book that cruises forward and is entertaining enough, but I'm not sure I'll remember this a few months later.

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