Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 249
Reason for Reading : Challenge with Nymeth

Named after the title of a Beatles song by Lennon and McCartney which inspired it, Eleanor Rigby is a tale about loneliness. Liz Dunn has never really felt like she fit in. She is 36 and has no friends, has never had a relationship, works in a job she doesn't really enjoy with people she doesn't like. The only people she really sees are her beautiful cosmetically enhanced older sister, brother (and his children, but rarely his wife who she doesn't get on with) and her mother who is barely present. One day a comet Hale-Bopp appears in he sky, signifying change and Liz's world is turned upside down when she has a call from the hospital telling her they have her grown son.

From here the story alternates between her childhood and teenage years, the present and seven years earlier when the comet was spotted and she first learnt about her son. We learn more about her family and liz herself. She is self deprecating but honest at the same time. There are lots of mini stories within the novel and I love the way Liz is able to see into others hidden agendas. My edition also has an interview with Coupland at the end which was fascinating.

It is a very sad book, but never falls into depressing. It is humorous and witty and I loved it. I couldn't put it down and was very interested to see how it would all turn out. I won't give it away, but it's enough to tell you I was more than satisfied with it. I will defintely be reading more by Coupland in the future (thanks Nymeth!).

11 comments:

Nymeth said...

You're most welcome :) I'm really glad you enjoyed it so much, and I'll keep the fact that you did in mind when making the final list for next year. I know I owe you an e-mail and I'll get to it soon!

raidergirl3 said...

I really enjoyed this one too. I've enjoyed nearly all the Couplands I've read.
Your first Coupland? wow, you still get to read All Families are Psychotic, Hey Nostramdamus!, and The Gum Thief. Those are the ones I've read so far that were very good. Gen X was the one that didn't do much for me, too iconic.

Kailana said...

Man, I read this book earlier this year and I hated it! First time I have ever said that about Coupland... Maybe I should put it aside and try it again down the road! I love him, though, All Families are Psychotic was my first and is sort of my favourite, but I like a lot of his other books too. :) I still have to read a few books by him... Maybe I will read him next.

Alice Teh said...

It's nice that you're doing this challenge with Nymeth. It sure sounds like a great read.

mariel said...

Sounds really good. Coupland is one of those authors I keep picking up when I'm at the bookshop, but never get around to reading. Maybe I'll start off with Eleanor Rigby.

Bellezza said...

Have you ever seen the film The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft? (I believe that's her in it!) She plays Mrs. Rigby, who is a very sad and lonely character. How interesting that this book continues with the character. A great review!

Bellezza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ladytink_534 said...

I've heard that a lot of people liked his book The Gum Thief but I've never had the pleasure of reading him myself. I do like that song though! Glad you enjoyed it so much.

Lightheaded said...

I liked this book a lot. Glad you enjoyed reading it as well.

I like Coupland a lot as well but I've yet to read his other works.

Debi said...

Wow, this does sound great! I've never read anything by Coupland, but this sounds like a great place to start.

samantha.1020 said...

I've never read anything by this author before but this sounds like it would be an interesting read. Great review!