Quirky Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland

It’s been a while since I’d read a novel by Douglas Coupland and I had a craving to dive into his quirky way of seeing the world.

I like this thought about being able to fall in love over and over again in life.

“You know, my own theory on love comes from a TV game show.” They both gave me their Liz-is-a-freak stare. “It’s not as if I spend my life watching game shows, but when I do, I remember everything,” I said.

“Really, now?”

“Oh yes. One show I caught asked the contestants how many times the average person thinks people are able to fall in love during their lifetime. The answer was six.”

Christy said, “Six?”

Mr. Burden—Dan—said, “That sounds a bit … excessive. How did they measure that?”

“I have no idea, but no wonder people have affairs. They have all of these unused love credits inside them, and they want to use them up before they die.”

And here is a great take on loneliness. . .

“Homesickness blotted out everything else. Unlike loneliness, it has a simple cure: going home. If only loneliness could be so easily fixed. Merely being around other humans doesn’t help me—loneliness in a crowd is the most pathetic variant. On the other hand, at least in a crowd you have a chance, however slim, of meeting that cosmic person whose presence will still your fevered lonely brain. Alone in your condo, your chances are zip.”

I know that I’ve felt lonely in crowds before. It’s amazing that we still don’t have an easy cure for this feeling.

I know a few people who can truly sing but they never do. This puzzles me. I can’t sing but I still belt out tunes. It never really scares me like it does the main character in this novel.

“Singing scares me. I only ever do it in the car, otherwise someone might hear me. Someone might know how I’m feeling inside. I’ll somehow bungle it. I’d spent a lifetime concealing my ability, even to the point of standing mute during ‘Happy Birthdays’ over the years.”

That’s sad.


Just sing.

And read great books. This wasn’t my favourite Coupland book, but it was still a fun read.

My Reading Log of 2022 – with dozens of book reviews