Douglas Coupland & Graham Roumieu - Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People (3 stars)

Douglas Coupland & Graham Roumieu - Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People

Pacy but insubstantial short story collection

(Heinemann)

For anyone who has a glance at the cover of this book and believes that all they have spied is a cute illustration aimed at kids might want to take a closer look. It suggests that reading this collaboration between Generation X writer Douglas Coupland and Graham Roumieu, the creator of faux Bigfoot memoirs, will render you paranoid and upset, possibly even leading to bouts of vomiting, trouser-wetting and defecation.

These Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People consist of seven stories filled with anti-heroes who lie, cheat, steal and hustle their way in life with, intriguingly, little in the way of natural justice coming towards them. Among the central cretins are a terrible babysitter who abandons her charges, a weird internet-obsessed exchange student called Hans and a mean-spirited juice carton who only wants to smash up all other juice cartons. It’s a breezily entertaining enough read, but fans of Coupland will race through it in anticipation of his next proper book sometime next year.

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