Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland
Reviewed by Steve Rudd
I realise that by deciding not to do things, I've lost millions of threads of chance
and opportunity to have new experiences, to meet new people - to be alive, really.
So now I'm going to start doing things I'm bad at again. Heck, I'm going to do things
I've never even tried.
The latest novel from cult American writer Coupland, Eleanor Rigby
is a truly extraordinary affair.
The initial premise of a middle-aged woman meeting for the first time the son that
she gave up for adoption over twenty years earlier might not sound that engrossing,
but there is always far more to Coupland's work than the premise ever could hope to suggest.
Focusing on the importance of family ties and how loneliness really can depress a person,
Eleanor Rigby (that is narrated by Eleanor herself, the lady who
abandoned her son) is a contemporary masterpiece.
Our short lifespan short changes us of knowledge of the profound.
This is a complex work of art... sheer human drama that explores the magic and
mysteries that anchor our lives and beckon our deaths.
Those people who are familiar with Coupland's work will realise that the author
seems to be obsessed with death in the majority of his work, especially in his
previous book Hey Nostradamus!
Death without the possibility of changing the world is the same as a life that never was.
Still, the overall effect of his writing is bewitching and uniquely inspirational, as
he philosophises until both his heart and soul are that little bit more content.
Below a certain point, if you keep too quiet, people no longer see you as thoughtful or deep;
they simply forget you.
While Coupland's scale of drama is exquisitely rooted in the mundanity of daily life, he
also experiments with a certain sense of the surreal and very cleverly incorporates his
characters' dreams and visions into the stories to give his work a genuinely distinctive edge.
Come the end of his novels, it's almost impossible not be moved by the way in which he metaphorically wraps things up. His writing is so poetic and graceful that it proves to be unforgettable.
I suspect that all human beings have a point where they realise that what they have is the
most they're ever going to have, be it love, money or power.
You have to make peace with who you are, and what you've become.
And that's where the sermon ends.
Reviews, Books - The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy Reviewed By Steve Rudd
The one way to be happy is to love, to love self-denyingly, to love everybody and everything.
If you fancy a nice little slab of classic literature, then this beauty of a story might be for you.
Set on the harsh Russian Steppes back in the nineteenth century, this simple-living
Reviews, Books - Pink by Gus Van Sant Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Famed Hollywood-based director Gus, like actor Ethan Hawke, is now making his name as an author too.
This is his debut novel, and a bizarrely tripped-out one at that, putting the reader in the mind of
Douglas CouplandRead more...
Reviews, Books - God's Debris by Scott Adams Reviewed by Katherine Horrex
God's Debris explores the philosophy of physical science within a fictional story.
It was written by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert and is the number one best-selling
E-book on the planet.
Adams himself describes it as a
Reviews, Books - Ice Run by Steve Hamilton Reviewed by Steve Rudd
This is Steve's sixth action-thriller novel, and it is arguably his most exciting and accomplished so far.
Michigan-born Steve sets all his work in such a perpetually snowbound state
(or so it would seem from reading his work),
Reviews, Books - The Shark Net by Robert Drewe Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Ok. So most movies, books or long-running TV-orientated soaps tend to
dwell on the sunnier side of living in Austrailia. Am I right?
Sure, there are instances of scandal now and again amidst the emotionally
challenged sprawl of Ramsey Street, but nothing too shocking or
Reviews, Books - Lost Horizon by James Hilton Reviewed by Steve Rudd
This awesome tale of adventure and intrigue was first published in 1933 and still makes for a
remarkable read, as four people are kidnapped in the Far-East and then somewhat inexplicably
left stranded in a secluded Tibetan valley, an area that they soon come to know as
Reviews, Books - To the Poles Without a Beard by Catherine Hartley Reviewed by Steve Rudd
This extraordinary woman was the first British woman to reach first the South Pole and then the
North Pole (along with another lady called Fiona), and this is her story...
Essentially an exquisite autobiography, this book starts out by chronicling Catherine's life -
in brief -
Reviews, Films - Ae Fond Kiss by Ken Loach Reviewed By Jane Foster
I've been a Ken Loach fan ever since I saw Kes. I tend to think of that film now as the
million-times-better precursor to Billy Elliott ( I couldn't be doing with that schmaltzy
effort). Loach is the king of social realism that hits you where it hurts, and yet
leaves you with a lingering sense of having
Reviews, Books - Touching the Void by Joe Simpson Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Autobiographical tales don't come much more nail-biting than this living nightmare, recalled
by mountaineer Joe who was left for dead on a snow-riddled peak in Peru back in 1985.
After getting into trouble on the 21,000 ft Siula Grande with friend Simon YatesRead more...
Reviews, Books - One Man and his Bog - 20 Years of The Adelphi Reviewed By Michelle Dee
I have just returned home from a Monday night at the Adelphi club on De Grey Street clutching
a prized copy of the unique One Man and his Bog. (The History of the Adelphi)
I had new dark Kit Kats to eat but I didn't spare them a thought, until I had read
Reviews, Theatre - Julius Caesar at Hull Truck Wednesday 10th November 04 By Nicholas Boldock
Predictably, Hull Truck dispenses with tradition for this pulsating performance
of one of Shakespeare's most ambitious plays. The differences between Godber's version
and Shakespeare's are glaring - an original cast of 51 is slashed to just 6 actors
(although most of them play multiple roles)
Reviews, Films - Collateral By Steve Rudd
Starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, this rollercoasting thrill-ride is
one of the coolest of action movies to have hit the screen in 2004, as Summer goes out to the
dogs and the first pangs of Autumn strike the air.
Tom, like his ex-wife Nicole Kidman, never seems to stop working