Not sure what the point of a Douglas Coupland is, in a world where he has been outclassed and superseded by Chuck Palahniuk, but on the strength of this novel it’s to show how to be trite and banal and to manage to write a claustrophobic set of inane characters making obvious insights and all speaking in the same voice, likely that of the author. There are a few smart lines, and moments where you think some point is going to be made, but it always falls short of the sting and cleverness Palahniuk would bring to the work.
Starts with The Mutant Mountain Boys live at 15X-Day. Another song by them closes this show, which, except for PR Gnus by LeMur, is entirely composed of an Hour of Slack delivered , in the wind, before a live audience of the undead at Wisteria Campground on July 4 during 15X-Day. The panel participants include Dr. Hal, Dr. G. Gordon Gordon, Priestess Pisces and Rev. Ivan Stang. All possible subject matters are covered thoroughly, then washed and put out to dry, then carefully folded and burned.
I very much want to give this book five stars, I really do. It’s the best horror novel I’ve read in years. The characters are deftly, if lightly, drawn, and their stories are immediately engaging. The protagonist is one of the most ingenious - and sympathetic, and simple - villains I’ve ever read; no irredeemable and totally evil bad guy, but a flawed and sad character who is as interesting as the others who oppose him. And the writing is sublime; far too assured for a first novel, with King’s pacing and eye for detail, and Bradbury’s lyrical description, it’s a pleasure to read.
But it’s a first novel, and there are many - minor, minor - faults that come along with that. It’s too short, for one. In these days of ponderous doorstops, that’s a rarity, but I could have read so much more of this. The characters, the setting, the mystery, I could have managed a book twice the length. And with its brevity comes a scarcity of incident; while the central mystery, and its attendant investigation, is gripping, there seem to be many avenues of plot left untapped. This gives the impression of a novella stretched to novel length, though any writer with as firm a grasp of his craft as Bailey shows here should be able to fill a novel easily enough, it’s odd that so little happens.
It’s a shame that these faults, small as they are, overwhelm the brilliance of the rest of the novel, but there it is. This book is far closer to five stars (“it was amazing”) than it is to four (“really liked it”), but honesty prevails. It was very nearly amazing, and I shall be looking for more of Dale Bailey’s work in the future.
"Regeneration can be confusing for even the most ardent Doctor Who fan. Our intrepid hero literally becomes a new person and the adjustment is always a little heartbreaking, as though you have to say goodbye to one friend in order to gain another. The process itself is woolly; the Doctor himself admitting upon his seventh transformation that it was “a lottery” and that he had never been any good at it.
"But does regeneration make sense, even if you’re no good at it? I think it does. In fact, I’d argue that the events leading up to each regeneration have a very heavy impact on how the next incarnation turns out. Though he can’t pick out faces and then discard them the way other Time Lords can, subconsciously, the Doctor is clearly and cautiously reconstructing himself, adapting according to his triumphs and failures each time.
"Don’t believe me? The pattern is there. Check it out…"
"It appears she had even taken part in the search, without realising that she was the woman being searched for. Eventually, it occurred to her that she could very well be the “missing person” being described, and reported the matter to the police. The search was called off shortly thereafter.”
"Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Schneider says friends of the victim said Tenley was wearing a military-style camouflage ghillie suit in hopes of creating a Bigfoot hoax.
"Schneider said Tenley was first hit by a 15-year-old Somers girl driving in the right southbound lane who said she couldn’t get out of the way. Tenley was then struck by again by another Somers teen’s car as his body lay on the road."
"A collaboration between a Stanford ant biologist and a computer scientist has revealed that the behavior of harvester ants as they forage for food mirrors the protocols that control traffic on the Internet."
"We have on tape the perpetrator pulled his gun out and tried to shoot at the cops," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "Whether he got off any bullets or not, to be determined."
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the bystanders were not hit directly by police, but rather the officers’ struck “flowerpots and other objects around, so … their bullets fragmented and, in essence, that’s what caused the wounds.”