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Having reviewed over 1100 books on this blog, I have now written one myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. It is available on Kindle through Amazon. Read it and find out whether this critic can write. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

"Eleanor Rigby" by Douglas Coupland

 Liz is single, in her forties and lonely. Her story is about seven years ago when she was in her late thirties and single and lonely and discovered the son she had when she was sixteen and gave away for adoption. He undermines all the defences she erected as a single, lonely person. He is a charming person who has mystical visions, talks about his multiple dreadful foster families, and can sing songs backwards. And he is dying of MS.

Jeremy is an original character who grabs your attention as soon as he appears. As for Liz, his mother, she is a magnet for disaster, finding a dead body when she is still a child. These two power the novel.

As original and thought-provoking as Shampoo Planet (and Coupland also wrote Generation X). 

Memorable moments:

  • "I'd been sieving the contents of my days with ever finer mesh, trying to sort out those sharp and nasty bits that were causing me grief" (p 3)
  • "The clinic ... an architectural version of myself ... it was cool and smelled of sanitation products." (p 7)
  • "Loneliness is ... the gun that shoots the bullets that make is dance on a saloon floor and humiliate ourselves in front of strangers." (p 9)
  • "My relief after they had gone was akin to unzipping my pants after a huge meal." (p 28)
  • "'When was the last time you ate?' 'As in food?' 'No, as in tractors. Of course I mean food.'" (p 40)
  • "Visiting another country is really just the same as going into someone's house to soak up its aura." (p 66)
  • "He was the wonderful Christmas present, and I was merely the box, the wrapping paper, and the postage stamp." (p 97)
  • "What if God exists but he doesn't really like people very much?" (p 139)
  • "If our subconscious was attractive, we wouldn't have to bury it down deep inside ourselves. It'd just be another feature on our face, like our nose." (p 205)

A funny, moving and profound novel. April 2021; 249 pages

This review was written by
the author of Motherdarling

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