All Families Are Psychotic: A Novel

Coupland, Douglas

Published by Bloomsbury, 2001
ISBN 10: 1582341656 / ISBN 13: 9781582341651
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[New York and London]: Bloomsbury. 2001. F First Edition. H Hard Cover. Near Fine. Slight rubbing to jacket; else a nearly new copy internally. [6], 279, [3] pages. Novel concerning the problems encountered in the first year of the new millennium by the fictitious dysfunctional family of a woman astronaut. Signed and dated by Coupland in black ink on title page, September 15, 2001. Signed: I Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis:

The most disastrous family reunion in the history of fiction.

The Drummond family descends upon the state of Florida, cutting a swath through Disney World, Cape Canaveral, the swamps and the highways, gathering to watch the launch into space of their beloved daughter and sister, Sarah. What should be a cause for celebration becomes instead the impetus for a series of mishaps and coincidences that place them in constant peril. In a family where gunplay, black market negotiations and kidnapping are all part of an afternoon in the sun, you can only imagine what happens when things take a turn for the worse.

As the family spins dangerously out of control, the story unfolds at a lightning-fast pace. With one plot twist after the other, the Drummonds fall apart and come together in the most unexpected ways.

Heartwarming and maddeningly human, the family Coupland creates is like one you've never seen before-with the possible exception of your own.

Review: Canadian author Douglas Coupland's seventh novel could be subtitled When Bad Things Happen to Bad People. As the estranged members of the Drummond family straggle into Florida for youngest sister Sarah's impending space shuttle launch, we only begin to glimpse the true meaning of the word dysfunctional. The family, plagued by terminal disease, financial disaster, felonious activity, infidelity, and violence, is forced--by a series of ever more fantastic occurrences--to attempt to deal with each other. That would be an easier task if they didn't loathe one another with a ferocity usually reserved for war criminals. It's not quite Jerry Springer-style tabloid TV set in Disney's Haunted Mansion, but the family members do muster the strength to insult, assault, and infect one another with abandon. With the exception of the family matriarch, Janet, they are unappealing and selfish, but without Machiavellian brilliance. Instead, they're inclined toward out-and-out stupidity, blinded by self-interest rather than enlightened by it. As they bumble through misadventure after misadventure, there seems to be no reason to cheer for them. Even Sarah, the family's shining star, has her dark side.

True to Coupland's style, the book reads lightning fast. The author punctuates his narrative with clipped dialogue and punchy exchanges that advance the palpable sense of unease and tension running throughout. And amidst the acrimony, Coupland throws a genuine caper into the plot, involving Prince William's farewell letter to his mother, Princess Diana. Add to that the oppressive heat and the postmodern, pop culture junkyard of Coupland's Florida setting, and the entire book brews and builds like a roiling tropical storm. --S. Duda

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Bibliographic Details

Title: All Families Are Psychotic: A Novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: H Hard Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Edition: F First Edition.

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