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south park

Best. Author. Ever.

If Worst. Person. Ever. isn't a brilliant book title, I'd like to know what is. But I expect nothing less of Douglas Coupland. Last night my friend Myk and I went to see him talk about his latest.

He was 'in conversation with' Miranda Sawyer. I wasn't previously familiar with her but she did a great job: she was funny, and steered the evening in the right direction, without detracting attention from the star of the show. Also on hand was an actor who read a couple of passages from the book, since the protagonist is English and Coupland confessed he couldn't do accents.

I was mildly annoyed, therefore, when the first extract contained both 'sidewalk' and 'diaper'. Hey, famous foreign authors trying to write Brits, why not consult ME in these matters? My rates are very reasonable! However, if what we heard was representative, this is a killingly funny book (and also full of swearing). The bit where a character speculates on the possible contents of a tin of Spam had me crying with laughter; I lost it around 'plaited gerbil urethras'.

Afterwards we had questions from the audience. The first was the kind of two-minute ramble in which a question might be hiding somewhere among the sycophancy and self-promotion, and so was the second. At this point I got fed up, stuck my hand in the air and asked which writers Douglas himself found funny. He blanked completely, then asked me the same question back and I blanked too.

In the signing queue I remembered Nick Hornby, and communicated my thought when I reached the head. Coupland agreed with me, asked about my motorcycle jacket (not for the first time), felt my elbow armour, and admired my Scottie-dog keyring. Then I sat down to wait while Myk got his copies of Microserfs and Girlfriend in a Coma autographed. Doug asked if we were together, so I explained that Myk is my official Douglas Coupland gig partner.

I hope we attend many more such gigs together!

Comments

Heh, yeah, getting an expert advisor for foreign lingo should be mandatory. (You call sidewalks "pavements", right? What's the British term for "diaper"?)
Nappy!
Right and right again!
Thanks!
Coupland has asked you about your jacket before? I am guessing he has, as you are generally tight with your meaning!

Miranda Sawyer is intelligent *and* beautiful. No fair.
Yes - I couldn't find the link, though I'm sure I LJed it, but I distinctly remember the last time I saw him he said "Wow, you're some kind of...biker chick"!
I can think of at least a couple of songs which could even be regarded as "educational" in the matter of British-American translation. It can be rather irritating when a publisher decides to "translate" a book for publication on the other side of the Atlantic, though...
How nifty!

I remember first reading Generation X. When I WAS one.
It's not something you stop being, is it? :)

Microserfs was the favourite in my family and the first we read.
Please read the book and review it for me! I've read one review that was very off-putting, so I'd like a second opinion...
Oh dear, I certainly will! I hope I'll like it; I tend to like him less when he's being nasty, but he's never been this hilariously nasty before...
Douglas Coupland is awesome, and so are you... I'm happy that you got to meet [again!] and pool your awesomeness. :-)

On the subject of funny authors, I recommend Christopher Brookmyre (not to be confused with Chris Brookmyre, who is the same person, but a little more serious in bent.)



Edited at 2013-10-10 02:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, both for the compliment and the recommendation! :)
You're welcome; hope it pans out! :-)