Douglas Coupland: The Gum Thief
January 13, 2008
Last week I finished last Coupland´s. No surprises here. The narrative experiments with a book within a book and the whole ouvre is a diary written by the main character all-suffering-lost-my-son Roger that ended up in a Staple and his never direcly speaking-to colleague a goth girl named Bethany. Doug makes Roger´s diary the plot epicenter by letting Bethany and others (her mom, others from Staples) getting to find it and starting to write stuff.
Bethany and Roger basically discuss the lives of losers (as they use to say in America) through short entries in this diary. In the meantime Roger keeps writing Glove Pond (a glamorous novel with witty people from the last century based on him and people in Staples). Glove Pond refers to Gum Thief itself (in a sort of recursive way) because the young writer that comes to visit the older one is also writing a novel taking place in Staples, the guy has a slight drinking problem just like Roger. Subtle geekish Coupland: creating strange loops.
The book is fun, but I think I am growing a little tired of pop-geek couplandish structure. But in a way, if books were restaurants, I keep reading him because I was once a very satisfied customer; the meal is just now not so much a novelty anymore.