Friday, September 20, 2013

Worst. Person. Ever.

Worst. Person. Ever.
Douglas Coupland

First of all, yes, he is. It's hard to imagine anyone more foul, in every sense of the word, than Raymond Gunt, the main character in Douglas Coupland's surprising new book. Raymond is selfish, uncouth, grossly misogynistic, and frequently covered in refuse. He is not, as the book jacket claims, "oddly likable." His adventures, however, are a great deal of campy fun. Yes, campy. This is black humour with bubbles. It's full of quips, arch dialogue, bright wordplay. There's no other word for it: it's a romp. Raymond, along with a fizzy mix of colorful secondary characters (almost all despicable) gaily bounce from unrepentant hit-and-runs to utterly debauched sexcapades, all loosely arranged around the plot device of getting to a remote island to film a reality TV series. Make no mistake: almost everything that anyone says or does in this book is offensive. It really, truly is. I kind of feel guilty for laughing so much.

- Melissa Pound

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