Friday, September 19, 2008

Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland was originally published in 2004. My hardcover copy has 249 pages. Even though I could see the flaws other reviewers pointed out in Eleanor Rigby, I liked it. I like Coupland. I like his writing style. This is only my second Coupland novel and I'm now going to be in search of more of his books. Very highly recommended. Rating: 4.5

The synopsis:
Liz Dunn is 42 years old, and lonely. Her house is like 'a spinster's cell block', and she may or may not snore - there's never been anybody to tell her. Then one day in 1997, with the comet Hale Bopp burning bright in the blue-black sky, Liz received an urgent phone call asking her to visit a young man in hospital. All at once, the loneliness that has come to define her is ripped away by this funny, smart, handsome young stranger, Jeremy. Her son.


"I had always thought that a person born blind and given sight later on in life through the miracles of modern medicine would feel reborn." first sentence

"Sure, I think the zodiac is pure hooey, but when an entirely new object appears in the sky, it opens some kind of window to your soul and to your sense of destiny. No matter how rational you try to be, it's hard to escape the feeling that such a celestial event portends some kind of radical change." pg. 3

"No more trying to control everything - it was now time to go with the flow. With that one decision, the chain-mail shroud I'd been wearing my entire life fell from my body and I was light as a gull. I'd freed myself." pg. 4

"We cripple out children for life by not telling them what loneliness is, all of its shades and tones and implications. When it clubs us on the head, usually just after we leave home, we're blindsided. We have no idea what hit us. We think we're diseased, schizoid, bipolar, monstrous, and lacking in dietary chromium." pg. 10

"You might ask, what was a twelve-year-old girl doing in a semi-remote place near a big city? Simple answer: it was the seventies. Past a certain age, children just did their thing, with little concern shown by their parents for what, where, when, or with whom." pg. 22

" 'You never met your own son?' " pg. 34

"I'm doing the thing that lonely people do, which is fine-tuning my loneliness hierarchy." pg. 67

"I've not discussed my mother much. She's not a mean person, but her moods have always been both extreme and random. Today she takes something twice a day, and she's stable - still random, but the mood yo-yos are gone. Back then? When she lost it, dogs halfway across the mountain bayed and yowled in sympathy." pg. 80

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