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This is not a book that might have gotten my attention on the bookshelf, but was recommended to me by two close friends So I picked it up at the bookstore when it was on the bargain shelf for 5 and I had a gift certificate It then sat on my shelf for a few months until I started this whole reading marathon.I m sorry I waited so long to read it The way the 4 narrators told their stories and how you were able to understand how the actions of one person can affect so many people was wonderful It made me think about how I personally feel about other people s actions and how I might not know the full story behind the scenes that led to how they might act I definitely recommend this book It was a great read and one I m glad I finally gave a chance. It s 1988 On a morning unlike any other at a suburban high school in Vancouver, 3 teens attempt to achieve the highest kill count in the history of school shootings Flash forward 11 years into the future the incident has or less been forgotten by most but remains ingrained in the memories of a select few closest to the tragedy.I was really enjoying this book I could go so far as to say I was loving it However, right up to about the halfway point, something so insane occurred that it took me completely out of the story and nearly ruined the entire novel for me Coupland spends a decent amount of time building a world in which I bought in to, characters that I truly felt sorry for He then throws this ridiculously unnecessary event that wasn t even needed I ll tag a spoiler at the end so I can complain about it.That being said, I really did like the characters in this novel Well, aside from Reg, but you re not supposed to like him anyway I have this thing with overly self righteous parent figures that can drive me up the wall I think it comes from having a few in my family, however, I m not going to subject you to that.In terms of writing, it had its fair share of memorable quotes and passages I can complain all I want about that one problem, but Coupland proved he has some serious writing chops It has been drilled into us that to feel fear is to not fully trust God Whoever made that one up has never been beneath a cafeteria table with a tiny thread of someone else s blood trickling onto their leg. Trust me, you spend a much larger part of your life being old, not young Rules change along the way The first things to go are those things you thought were eternal.Those two, especially the latter, really connected with me Hey, I m not exactly old 27 years old, here but I m starting to get that outlook I understand exactly where he s coming from As iffy as I felt after reading this novel, I m really excited to try something else of Coupland s I thoroughly enjoyed his style, I hope that he s bound to impress me There was enough within these pages to draw me back for another round view spoiler Okay, so I can believe that Jason needed Barb to marry him before he fathered her child ren What I have a hard time believing is what followed For starters, that Barb actually agreed to it and flew to Vegas with Jason to fulfill his wishes And second, the worst part, is that totally unnecessary murder I actually said out loud, What when it occurred I was so distracted by how ridiculous it was that it nearly ruined the whole thing I m still mad about it It took what could have been a 4.5 to 5 star experience right down to a solid 3 hide spoiler I knew basically nothing about this book before I started reading it And even though the flap mentions a massacre in the high school not a spoiler , I wasn t prepared for those details, and I as read the first part, I actually felt very scared, which was quite appropriate for what I was reading At the end, I again felt quite emotional, for different reasons, and was impressed with what the author could do.Crazy things happen in this book, but only one felt very unrealistic and that still kind of bothers me though I understand what the author was trying to achieve with it I thought perhaps I d end up giving this one less star than I did, but the themes the effects of such a tragedy coupled with the effects of a community s rush to judgment mis communication extreme loneliness and the fact that we may never know the inner life and other important things about those people we think we ve figured out, or even those closest to us are so well done that I did end up really liking this book. I had no idea what this book was when I started reading it so I can t say I was expecting great things, I wasn t expecting anything really I didn t enjoy this book Even though it was written from different points of view which is my fav format I didn t like any of the characters or their opinions or what they did I hated Jason He simply annoyed me the most.And I enjoyed Part 3 with Heather chasing up Allison That was interesting than the entire book in general Easy read, didn t take me long but wished I used the time for something else. Coupland 1 never convinces me that Reg s unrelenting, myopic, savage pieties could let alone would spring from a Mennonite upbringing and worldview indeed, Coupland exhibits so little understanding of the Mennonite perspective as to leave one wondering why Reg is written as having come from a Mennonite home in the first place , and 2 remains wearily incapable of giving his characters voices and ways of seeing the world distinct either from one another or from himself, and 3 commits the cardinal sin of adding an s to Revelation a telling, and lamentable, oversight in any book passing even the most conditional as this one s is critique on the Christian religion But despite all of this, Hey Nostradamus was enormously moving in the way of Generation X and Microserfs, bracingly perceptive about how two people who love one another communicate and fail to communicate, and adept at subverting this reader s expectations without leaving one feeling as though Coupland has cheated his narrative s integrities in doing so Light years better than either Girlfriend in a Coma or Shampoo Planet. What a great book I didn t know what to expect coming into this one, but wow The world can be a very awful place, and this one gives no apologies in depicting it as well as the lasting consequences of such things My heart hurts and I m still seeing here cheering for how it ended. This is the worst book I ve ever read and I ve read in progress drafts from beginning writers There s zero difference in the narrative voices There s a gimmick for how the story is being told ex a letter, notes by a court stenographer compelled to tell her story The plot is laughable and the character reactions could be called unrealistic if the characters themselves behaved the least like actual people I mean, Well someone saw us together in this Vegas hotel lobby so, naturally, I killed him not actual quote, just actual storyline I read this for a book club It was the only book I read for the book club I would sell it except that I feel wrong inflicting this literary pain on other people.BTW Coupland seems to have some very rabid supporters When I blogged a longer review after reading it and then a shorter, softer review at , they came out of the closet to tell me how I didn t get it and how ludicrous my opinion is They re entitled to that opinion and I m entitled to mine this book sucks. I wanted the book to be so much MORE I was really intrigued by the description As far as I could tell, Jason and I were the only married students to have attended Delbrook It wasn t a neighborhood that married young It was neither religious nor irreligious, although back in the eleventh grade English class I did a tally of the twenty six students therein five abortions, three dope dealers, two total sluts, and one perpetual juvenile delinquent I think that s what softened me up for the conversion I didn t want to inhabit that kind of moral world Truth be told, I wanted everything those kids had, but I wanted it by playing the game correctly I really enjoyed the beginning of this story, I quickly felt that the author dramatically overplayed the school shootings and the violence And ripped from the headlines stories rarely excite me, hence my disliking of The West Wing Overplayed works, if the entire story is tsatire But this book didn t cross that line One minute it was a story wanting desperately to be telling so much and the next trying to be dark to make a point, that was printed, but not necessarily developed through the characters stories Perhaps if the letters and the shifting point of view ran through the pages smoother the author s points would have come through Past No present, wait dead Future Augh Nephews Sons Redemption exists, but only for others, I believe, and yet I lack faith I tried building a private world free of hypocrisy, but all I ended with was a sour little bubble as insular and exclusive as my father s Wah, wah, wah Somehow I got lost trying to care I guess the concept of telling the central story whatever that was got tangled up in way too many people and tangents and things I could care less about in the following chapters Which I think is a real shame, because like I said, I really thought the story had potential The harder people try to be the opposite of their parents the quicker they become them It s a fact The brother Yeah Who cares He dies Jason becoming the husband of his brother s newly widowed sister turn wife A little out there, but again, since the entire story didn t lend itself to outrageousness or at least well written outrageousness that made me care I could have done without this whole stupid mess Getting married in the same chapel doesn t add any nuances to Jason s tortured past, it just annoyed me And the newly wedded widow becoming a murderer Whatever I didn t know what to say, because I was thinking, Oh God, this is how my father left back in 1988 Yeah, yeah we get it Moving on Part three Heather What a waste of space I didn t feel like I saw another side of Jason because this chapter read just like all the others All I learned was, um, nothing In the end, I think the relationships that survive in this world are the ones where two people can finish each other s sentences Forget drama and torrid sex and the clash of opposites Give me banter any day of the week Yeah, highly unusual for a couple to have their own little code and phrases and stories blech As the book went on, I became and frustrated that each character had to constantly remind the reader that they were writing a letter On pink paper Into a courtroom system At Kinko s Who cares I m smart enough to understand the writing of the letter, thank you very much Part Four Reg The father By this point in the book, I wanted it to be over I thought perhaps something would be resolved through the father s chapter, but no All in all I wanted to read the last two chapters because I wanted to know what was going to happen What a waste of time. Warning Do not read this while depressed.My primary coping mechanism whilst depressed is reading But picking up a random work from the stack of 200 or so unread books isn t gonna do the job The book has to be undemanding in terms effort to read and preferably plot driven and gripping James Blish was my go to author in this circumstance for many years but I ve read all his novels too many times in recent years Ditto a number of other authors who I know would fit the bill Which leads back to the unread pile and taking a bit of a risk Hence Douglas Coupland who has only let me down once in half a dozen or so books and has always been fairly compelling Now, across all the books I ve read by Coupland, the general themes have remained constant how to cope with a modern world that isolates people and offers no automatic purpose in life The reason this hasn t become boring or tiresome is that he seems to come at the question from an at least slightly different angle each time, his answers aren t always the same if he gives any in that particular book and the general tone and mood varies too So in Generation X we are offered, run away to Mexico, as a solution In Microserfs, make virtual Lego or is that Jpod or seriously, work for yourself, not some giant inhuman corporation In Miss Wyoming, running away doesn t work so Generation X turns out not to have the right answer after all And so on Some of these are post modern and ironic, even openly comic e.g Generation X and Jpod Others are or less earnest, like Eleanor Rigby and Miss Wyoming And here s the risk some are really upbeat and others are not This one also shows Coupland s great skill with first person voice character creation.So Hey Nostradamus Starts with a school shooting massacre obviously intended to be reminiscent of the Columbine incident and then gallops off into a discussion of religion, redemption, despair, forgiveness and how parents can screw up their children The plot is gripping but in retrospect completely preposterous and goes off in directions I would never have guessed The protagonists have various fates and one is left to sift through the aftermath and try to figure out what, if anything, Coupland is saying about Christianity It s no straightforward thumbs up or thumbs down And the outcome for some people is optimistic, for others well don t read this book if you are depressed. ^FREE PDF ⇭ Hey Nostradamus! ↝ Pregnant And Secretly Married, Cheryl Anway Scribbles What Becomes Her Last Will And Testament On A School Binder Shortly Before A Rampaging Trio Of Misfit Classmates Gun Her Down In A High School Cafeteria Overrun With Paranoia, Teenage Angst, And Religious Zeal In The Massacre S Wake, This Sleepy Suburban Neighborhood Declares Its Saints, Brands Its Demons, And Moves On But For A Handful Of People Still Reeling From That Horrific Day, Life Remains Permanently Derailed Four Dramatically Different Characters Tell Their Stories Cheryl, Who Calmly Narrates Her Own Death Jason, The Boy No One Knew Was Her Husband, Still Marooned Ten Years Later By His Loss Heather, The Woman Trying To Love The Shattered Jason And Jason S Father, Reg, Whose Rigid Religiosity Has Separated Him From Nearly Everyone He Loves Hey Nostradamus Is An Unforgettable Portrait Of People Wrestling With Spirituality And With Sorrow And Its Acceptance