Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Beginnings: The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland

How to participate: Share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments. Include the title and the author so we know what you're reading. Then, if you would like, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line, and let us know if you liked or did not like the sentence. The link-up will be at A Few More Pages every Friday and will be open for the entire week.

------------------------------------
Roger
A few years ago it dawned on me that everybody past a certain age--regardless of how they look on the outside--pretty much constantly dreams of being able to escape from their lives. They don't want to be who they are any more. They want out. This list includes Thurston Howell the Third, Ann-Margret, the cast members of Rent, Václav Havel, space shuttle astronauts and Snuffleupagus. It's universal.
------------------------------------
I read The Gum Thief a few years back, but saw it on the returns shelf this morning and thought it might be due for a re-read. I love everything Douglas Coupland writes, but this one is my favorite.  You've got Roger a divorced, middle-aged "aisles associate" at Staples and Bethany his co-worker who's a Goth in her early twenties.  She has never noticed Roger.  He has been secretly writing a mock diary in what he imagines to be her voice.  Well, one day, he leaves it in the break room and she finds it.  It progresses from there.

The tone is similar to Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris, but I found it even funnier. It's very Office Space-esque.  Try it, you'll like it.

4 comments:

  1. Wow. The opening paragraph really sets the tone.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, poor Roger is a tad depressed. His eventual friendship with Bethany does help his outlook on life. I love your blog, by the way. I just checked and my library has the audio version of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"--can't wait to listen to it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does it say something about me that I can relate to what that beginning is saying? *blush*

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings! Sorry I didn't come by sooner. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOL! Thanks for stopping by--I am a big fan of your blog. Book Beginnings is such a fun meme, too. I've added so many books to my TBR through it (and "met" some really nice bloggers).

    ReplyDelete