Douglas Coupland: Worst Person Ever

ONLINE EBOOK Worst Person Ever – chernov–

Y important plot points in the story Fans of Coupland will ecognise his famous footnotes wittily explaining esoteric mentions by the characters a plot device seen as far back as his first novel Generation X which also iffed on an end of the world scenario and Coupland s humour from books like Microserfs All Families Are Psychotic and jPod is here but amplified far beyond what you d expect This is a book where I was constantly smiling as I ead it and literally crying with laughter in some scenes Worst Person Ever has an amazingly uniue narrative voice in Raymond Gunt who thinks things like Christ how do people manage not to shag their own kids when embraced by his attractive teenage daughter Emma but importantly just thinks it and doesn t do anything further so it s ok to still like him The est of the varied cast are incredible from his viper like TV exec former wife with a grudge against him his self involved disturbing mother the brilliant Neal and a evolving door of female characters whom Ray tries often unsuccessfully to get off with at inappropriate times much to the disgust of their boyfriendsIt s a superbly written story that s well paced and never boring hysterically funny and genuinely inspired It s a novel you ll want to force on people not for its message or anything else beyond the fact that it s so damn entertaining that it ll make anyone want to put down every other form of media to consume it Worst Person Ever isn t just the funniest novel of the year or maybe the best book of Coupland s career but is also the best novel of the year Impending nuclear annihilation was never so much fun Worst Book Ever I can t emember hating a book as much as I hated this one I would have given it a zero if I could have I am a huge Coupland fan but I am starting to think that his best years are behind him I hope I am wrong but this book was awful How it got past the publisher I don t know If anyone eads this and likes it you will have to tell me why because I can t find any edeeming ualities in it Don t waste your time with this too many other books to ead The new novel from Douglas Coupland is not as some lazy eviewers who think they e being original and witty would have you believe the Worst Book Ever Oh how they must have patted themselves on the back and given self hi fives when they came up with that one It is actually a brilliantly funny assault on contemporary western civilisation through the eyes of someone who just might be one of the biggest bastards in modern fictionOffensive man acts offensively his karma appears to be in the toilet he s unnaturally angry and so very completely correct about the things he verbally assaults The challenge in eading about an awful person is usually to ead beyond the brash exterior the despicable actions etc and find entertainment in the prose something that a large number of sensitive souls struggle with But with Worst Person Ever Coupland takes things a step further he is not only entertaining you with his skilful choice of words whilst making astute and witty observations he forces you to acknowledge that you are Raymond Gunt you may not scream these obscene statements out loud but I know you ve all thought them at the very least I feel certain that your ealisation of this fact will heavily contribute to you calling it the worst novel ever not many sensitive souls out there want to face up to their inner self after allCoupland doesn t hide anything from his eaders he shows you exactly how offensive things are going to be from page one the universe delivered unto me a searing hot kebab of vasectomy leftovers drizzled in donkey jizz is followed by eferring to his ex wife as a leathery cumdump and if you e too stupid to check out at this point you e setting yourself up for 300 pages of hurt complete with my favourite ant of the lot I seriously wish that he had spent his entire childhood being serially arse aped by teachers scoutmasters members of the clergy elatives policemen doctors door to door salesmen and all egistered sex offenders within a 500 mile adius of his unprotected bedroom Raymond Gunt is your modern everyman as far as I m concerned and Douglas Coupland nails him perfectly. Reenact the Angry Dance from the movie Billy Elliot and finds himself at the centre of a nuclear war We also meet Raymond's upwardly failing sidekick Neal as well as Raymond's ex wife Fiona herself an atomic bomb of pain      Even though he eally puts the anti in anti hero you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable character.

Ach the island but pretty much everything that can go wrong does go wrong for Ray and the disastrous travel arrangements become the stuff of classic comedy I should also mention that despite being homeless Neal is incongruously sexually attractive to all women On their flight out to LA Ray is booked in business class and Neal in coach but after the first of many mishaps with customs the tickets get switched and Ray winds up in a middle seat in coach between some Bunuel children basically special needs kids who scream constantly After enduring enough screams and clothing stains Ray heads to business class where he finds Neal sat next to Cameron Diaz sharing champagne and flirtations with her This is the beginning of some superbly put together misanthropic statements from Ray who calls Neal a fecal scented golem and the stewardess who tries to throw him out lady ctly mcrazorpanties leading to what you would expect would happen when you verbally assault a stewardess in a post 911 world But in the next plane he does manage to get a first class seat leading to this brilliant passage As I settled in a gratifying phalanx of the babbling poor began scuttling past back towards the fartulent abbit warren of coach It was all I could do not to stick out my leg and trip these fking losers but knowing that I had the power to do so was all it took to make me glow inwardly and efrainFirst class filled up bit by bit Nice enough looking lot most likely took a bath before coming to the airport not on the dole or whatever it s called in the States haven t yet sold their children to work in thrice a day stage showings of burro sex If you didn t enjoy that passage this novel simply isn t for you Ray emains a prickly but fiercely elouent narrator throughout the story who emains at odds with nearly everyone he meets and vice versa With the one exception of Neal who despite consistent abuse from Ray emains cheerfully upbeat and stands or less alongside him In fact their elationship and Ray s vitriolic verbiage Neal less than a week ago your entire physical being esembled a dag hanging from a sheep s ahole eminded me a lot of the TV series Blackadder with Ray as Blackadder and Neal as Baldrick albeit a sexually charged Baldrick though no less smelly Which is to say that Coupland manages to eplicate one of the greatest comedy couplings ever and actually make them as funny if not so with fresh unexplored scenarios and no limits on adult material One of these ingenious scenarios happens later on the way to Kiribati when they approach a emote island in the Pacific controlled by the US Military called Wake Island Ray is asked to close his blinds on the approach to landing and efuses going so far as to say in Morse code try and make me lower my blinds you fking American cts which leads to a punishment that s both cruel and unusual e enacting the angry dance from Billy Elliott in front of the entire island s personnel and includes a link to a Youtube video of that scene that I imagine will be useful for those eading the e book version of this Other highlights in the book include an amazing discussion on the merits of hypothetically having sex with either goats or sheep a dare to steal a skin tag from an unsuspecting crew member the mysteries of the ed plastic brilliant imaginary letters from Ray to the eader and The Gods and a hilarious list of spam ingredients that include unsold Shrek DVDs broken dreams and kittens with mittensAnd speaking of spam here s a passage from the novel describing spam which I loved I sat down on the floor and opened a sample can of God s Meat with its little key Its clear jelly bits soaked up a ay of sun coming through a plastic oof vent Fking marvellous like the beginning of the universe eally Subtle beige chunks of tallow surrounded by pinkish grey mystery tissue fine Roman marble As much as I ve talked a lot about the novel s contents it contains much much and these details are just the tip of an inspired comedy iceberg I haven t even mentioned how the teasing of a victim of Homeland Security by Ray inexplicably leads to nuclear armageddon or how a vintage t shirt of The Cure and the misspelling of Harry Potter somehow become overl. Ng pile of pure id He's a B unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor style eality show Along the way Gunt suffers multiple comas and unjust imprisonment is forced to.

Characters Worst Person Ever

I can t uite decide whether I ve grown out of Douglas Coupland or he just isn t anywhere near as good as he used to be Way back when I loved Microserfs was pretty keen on Girlfriend In a Coma and even kind of appreciated Shampoo Planet But ecently I found The Gum Thief unremarkable and wasn t at all sure what the point of JPod wasAnd while this is far from the Worst Book Ever it s still Not Very Good A kind of surreal picaresue caper about a caricature of unpleasantness by the name of Raymond Gunt I wonder if he s heard of Philomena Cunk A character who could have fallen out of Martin Amis Money or perhaps appropriately Yellow Dog off on the kind of madcap adventure that William Boyd wrote about in Stars and Bars He s a second string camera man off to help film a eality TV show that sounds like a cross between I m a Celebrity and Big Brother on the island of KiribatiTo lay to est one criticism of this book I think the Guardian s eview attacking it as acist homophobic and misogynistic missed the mark mistaking the character for the book Yes Gunt is all of these and besides but we e not meant to like him far less agree with himNo the problem with the book is that it s a comedy that just isn t very funny There s a unning gag about sporks that sort of amused me I feel he vindicates me in my insistence when playing boggle that foon is a word and a good skewering of the all encompassing low grade awfulness of air travel But it didn t pass the literary euivalent of the six laughs test And as the book got gradually idiculous there s a nuclear war or not and Gunt discovers he has children whose existence his wife has hidden from him I was left wondering if Coupland was confusing being merely absurd for being funnyOr maybe I m missing the point and Coupland was not writing a screwball comedy but a kind of art experiment concerning just how singularly unsympathetic a narrator eaders can stay with over the course of a whole novel Of which all I can say is that it might have worked better as a short story UghMaybe not the Worst Book Everbut I d have to say that no aspect of my life was improved by having ead it I powered through the first half of this book and I guess it did offer some mild form of entertainment value at first but eventually I ju In 2009 Douglas Coupland s short story Survivor was published in McSweeney s 31 and featured a cameraman on a tropical island filming a Survivor esue eality show who discovers that nuclear war has erupted in the outside world and that they on this island in the middle of nowhere could be the last emaining descendants of humanity turning their survival eality show into a eality of survival The story clearly stayed with Coupland because 4 years later he s developed the short story into a full length novel Worst Person Ever And as good as the short story was the novel is even better in fact I would say it s the Funniest Novel Of The Year Raymond Gunt is a B unit cameraman who gets a gig on the eality show Survival which starts shooting shortly on the small island nation of Kiribati in the middle of the Pacific Ocean Ray doesn t know it yet but he s about to instigate nuclear armageddon and it all starts when he picks a fight with a homeless man called Neal and ends with a hybrid piece of cutlery Ray is also a despicable person who treats everyone like something he stepped in thinks only of himself in every instance and is a sleazy hateful miserable middle aged man and he thinks he s a decent bloke And actually as a protagonist he is a fully engaging completely fascinating person even if he is a swine you can t help but love his misadventures But I don t want to make you think that he does anything truly heinous that goes too far because he s endlessly likeable Think of characters like Flashman or Blackadder Ray is like them in nearly every way bungling his way through things and somehow making out ok in the end Kind of Because Ray has hideously bad luck which makes for one hell of an entertaining ead for us the eaders Ray s lengthy journey from London to Kiribati consumes much of the novel as he and his faithful companion Neal the former homeless man turned personal assistant take numerous planes to e. Douglas Coupland's gloriously filthy side splittingly funny and unforgettable new novel his first full length work of fiction in four years Worst Person Ever is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no edeeming social value Raymond Gunt in the words of the author is a living walking talking hot steami.

Generation X was published in March of 1991 Since then he has published nine novels and several non fiction books in 35 languages and most countries on earth He has written and performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford England and in 2001 resumed his practice as a visual artist with exhibitions in spaces in North America Europe and Asia 2006 marks the premiere of the feature film Everything's Gone Green his first story written specifically for the screen and not adapted from any previous work A TV series 13 one hour episodes based on his novel