Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Gum Thief

Douglas Coupland's novel The Gum Thief is a twisty collection of letters sent back and forth between various pairs of the novel's characters. Some of the main character's manuscript is also included, and other characters are reading it as it progresses. No one ever speaks to anyone else in person, and only occasionally, at the beginning, does the main character address the reader.

It's like reading the notebooks we and our friends filled with color-coded ink in middle school, but significantly more intelligent.

The short, witty chapters had me hooked from the first page. I laughed out loud, insisted on reading a few lines to everyone who said something that reminded me of the book, and only picked up my crocheting when reading wasn't possible (which wasn't often because I read the entire 275 pages in just four days).

It was a very entertaining book -- a delightful surprise for having borrowed it from the library just because it has "Gum" in the title and the cover looks like this:

I'll be reading more Coupland in the near future. If the rest of his oeuvre is half as good, it will still be worth the read.

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