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Polaroids from the Dead (Anglais) Broché – 20 septembre 1997
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Description du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
For years, Coupland's razor-sharp insights into what it means to be human in an age of technology have garnered the highest praise from fans and critics alike. At last, Coupland has assembled a wide variety of stories and personal "postcards" about pivotal people and places that have defined our modern lives. Polaroids from the Dead is a skillful combination of stories, fact and fiction -- keen outtakes on life in the late 20th century, exploring the recent past and a society obsessed with celebrity, crime and death. Princess Diana, Nicole Brown Simpson and Madonna are but some of the people scrutinized.
Biographie de l'auteur
Douglas Coupland is the author of twelve novels, including Generation X and Microserfs, and several works of nonfiction, including Polaroids from the Dead. He lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Coupland populates "Polaroids" with people who contemplate the past, and how it fringes on the present: mothers telling their children parables, an older woman revelling in a Dead concert, a younger group observing aging hippies. And he himself is in quite a bit of it. There are essays on Brentwood (the site of Marilyn Monroe's mysterious death), a trip to Germany post-Berlin Wall, a letter to late rocker Kurt Cobain, descriptions of Palo Alto, and musings on the human preoccupations with crime, celebrities, fame, aging, death, and dead celebrities.
"Polaroids From The Dead" seems like an apt title for this book. Each short story isn't really a story. There's no true beginning and no end. It's just a snippet that shows the outlook and some of the life of the people in it, and their thoughts. While this type of writing is very vivid while you're actually reading it, it makes the characters difficult to remember later. Likewise, the essays show one of the facets of Coupland's outlook. It's pensive, a little sad at times, and at other times just provokes your thoughts and makes you wonder.
Likewise, the black-and-white photographs sprinkled through the book are curiously intimate; some of them (like a burning stick of dynamite) don't make sense until you're partway through the story. OJ and Nicole, models of T-Rexes, the Vietnam monument, flowers and skeletons turn up in the photographs. They don't add a great deal, except perhaps to underline the words Coupland writes.
"Polaroids From The Dead" is a collection of snapshots of all kinds -- photos, experiences, and stories. Meditative, melancholy and atmospheric.
But Coupland's FUN "expose" of Bay Area culture, especially DeadHead culture, is right on. Anyone who has walked down Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley will smile upon reading the opening paragraphs here. And anyone who has seen (or been around) any of the Deadhead carnivals around the Greek Theater in Berkeley will also laugh and smile knowingly....
This is a groovy book, baby.
However, only one-third of the book is about the Dead. The second section are snapshots of various people and places, ranging from young politicos in Washington, D.C., to musings on post-Communist East Berlin and the architectural landscape of Vancouver. The third section is devoted to a socio-philosophical analysis of the Brentwood community and its residents from Marilyn Monroe to O. J. Simpson. Here he provides his keenest observations on the poverty of wealth and celebrity, something like a Gen X version of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
While introducing several interesting themes regarding the nature of identity in what he calls a culture of "denarration," the reader senses that Coupland's latest outing is merely a hodgepodge of his random thoughts and observations. This book lacks the thematic coherence of his earlier works, primarily because this is a collection of articles and essays rather than a novel. The quality of his material varies widely from chapter to chapter, as if illustrating his own struggle to portray life as a narrative. This book, like life in general, has its good and bad days. Worth reading, but not Coupland at his best.