Eclectic and provocative, this book, designed to resemble a Japanese underground zine, looks at Vancouver from inside out, from the Grouse Grind to the shimmering glass towers, First Nations to feng-shui. Douglas Coupland takes on monster houses, weather, Sandra Bernhard, Love Boats, SkyTrain, fleece, that endless rivalry with Seattle, and even includes a short story about living in a low-rent Granville hotel. Over 100 archival photographs, maps, and “beauty shots” add to the fun in this witty survey by the noted chronicler of alternative culture.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Just like Souvenir of Canada, this is essentially a photo book with Coupland explaining/commenting/reflecting about the images. Whereas some of the images are truly great, for me as a Coupland fan, it's the text that makes this book marvelous - a lot of the texts are truly poetic.It is not a guide book, but I'd definitely call it recommended reading if you're going to Vancouver, as it highlights things you might otherwise miss. Of his normal books, I'd say that it mostly resembles Photographs from the dead, and should be enjoyable to those who liked that one.
Vancouver is a puzzle of a city of disparate neighbourhoods and vistas. A Canadian city Americans use to depict countless US cities in their TV dramas. Is it unique or is it generic? It jumbles European, Canadian, Asian and American influences into a strange mix. Vancouverite Douglas Coupland's style is ideally suited to capture these divergent elements in vignettes.The book is not a tour guide. To fully appreciate it, one probably has to have visited or lived in Vancouver. Then, one can compare one's recollections with Coupland's remarks and gaze at the pictures (often quirky private snapshots that would be weeded out in any professional endeavour). In alphabetic order, Coupland plunges into aspects of Vancouver, rambles, recollects, and explains with love and amusement. I am not sure if I know more about Vancouver having read his book, but it was an interesting ride and captures the flavour of the city well.