12 December 2010

98. Hey Nostradamus!

Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland

This was an outstanding novel that captured me right from the start. It is written as four seperate first person narratives. Each of these people have been affected by a fictional Columbine type shooting at a High School in Vancouver.

This is a book about the victims...not the killers.

The first narrative is given by Cheryl in 1988. Cheryl is giving this narrative after she has been murdered in the shooting.

The second narrative is from Jason in 1999. Jason was Cheryl's boyfriend/husband at the time of the shooting. Needless to say, the events of that day tremendously affect the rest of his life and the decisions he makes. Jason writes his narrative as a series of letters to his twin nephews/sons.

The third narrative is by Heather in 2002. Heather is Jason's girlfriend and the first person since Cheryl that he has had any real relationship with at all. She is writing as journal entries following jason's disappearance. She has some interesting moments with a character that is an admitted fake psychic.

The last one is the shortest and is by Reg, Jason's father. He wraps up a lot while wishing he had treated people differently all his life.

The characters are the real story here. Yes, the school shooting was a big event that caused many problems for years, but the real story started long before that shooting. The massacre was a catalyst that may have sparked some change, but the snowball was already rolling down the hill.

Some things I found fascinating:
Cheryl would not have pre-marital sex so the 17 year old flew to Vegas and got married jsut so they could have sex.

When Jason's brother Kent died in a car accident his wife, Barb, called Jason because she wanted to have Kent's baby. The police were still at the accident scene. Jason was to impregnate Barb and then they would raise the child like it was Kents. Jason would not have sex unless they were married...so once again a vegas chapel trip occured. Barb had twins. Jason never told anyone they were actually his children except in his letters to the kids.

This was a very good book that I recommend to all.

1 comment: