We gave it a C
Liz Dunn, the self-described ”drab, crabby, and friendless” narrator of Douglas Coupland’s ninth novel, loves depressing movies and medical clinics (”suddenly all the burden of having to remain alive just floats away”) and believes life to be ”nasty, brutish and dull.” That is, until a handsome young stranger turns up in the local hospital with Liz’s name on his medical-alert bracelet — and shortly thereafter moves in with her. Coupland (Generation X) can still write a sparkling sentence and a mean epigram, but he still can’t come up with a halfway decent plot. The vigorous first third of Eleanor Rigby introduces some sharp, witty characters and an intriguingly bizarre premise. But Coupland fritters it all away in a series of silly, nihilistic narrative stunts — including Liz’s preposterous encounter with a radioactive chunk of a Soviet-era satellite.