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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Nonlinear Time Series Analysis
Thomas Schreiber, Holger Kantz
Progress: 129/320 pages
The Politics of Neurodiversity: Why Public Policy Matters
Dana Lee Baker
Progress: 202/239 pages
Adam Mars-Jones
Progress: 26/733 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 359/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 110/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 76/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
Shampoo Planet - Douglas Coupland I found it very difficult to relate to the protagonist of this, Coupland's second novel. He leaves his dying town in the desert region of Washington State for a summer of rail travel round Europe and cheats on his girlfriend. He returns to Terminaldeclineville (I fail to remember the name Coupland actually uses) and pretends nothing happened. He bemoans the lack of ambition of just about everybody but drops out of college.

When Coupland talks about the USA I recognise the place. In this book he describes a Europe I've never been to, despite living in Brussels.

Coupland writes in the first person most of the time but his unique imagery, ubiquitous in his novels, makes this character seem like a clone of one of his other characters that suffered a lot of gene damage and didn't come out as a Asperger's Syndrome experiencing computer geek border-line genius - instead as a hotel manager wannabe!

So the protagonist is dull, dim, immoral and drifting through life - then the French Girl arrives. She's so unpleasant even our protagonist doesn't deserve her, but she takes charge of his life, until an unbelievable ending resolves matters. (Think fairy God-mother.)

For me this book was a complete failure, which was unexpected - I've read five other Coupland novels and always got something worthwhile out of them.