Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland
What's in a Name? challenge: first name
Annie, hostess of the What's in a Name? challenge, was having a contest this month: describe a book you have read with your name as a character in a book. I mentioned Elizabeth, from Pride and Prejudice, and Anne of Green Gables, my middle name. Interestingly, the main character in this book, my book for the first name category, is Liz, also my first name. It seems appropriate that so many circles are happening with a Coupland book, because his books are beautifully synchronous like that.
Coupland writes books full of messages and symbols, and interesting and real characters. Liz Dunn is a lonely woman. She has always been lonely, more lonely than sad. Coupland describes lonely so well and Liz is very articulate. As Liz prepares to have her wisdom teeth out, (like I did three months ago!) the Hale-Bopp comet flies over Earth, and her life changes, when the hospital calls with a message - a mysterious young man has her name inscribed on his Medic Alert Bracelet: In Case of Emergency, call Liz Dunn.
I'm not sure how Coupland does it. This little book about a lonely woman and how her life was changed contains such fantastic elements that if I tried to explain all the events, would make the book sound unusual and strange. But he presents them in a way that seem ordinary. I cheered for Liz and enjoyed the week I spent reading about her life. (I was in the Frankfurt airport two years ago, where a pivotal event occurs.) The usual Coupland popular references are here, the wry comments, the commentary on ordinary life and the fantastic things that people can do in ordinary life are here. Coupland writes solid and never disappoints.
Ooh, I get the cover now!