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Saturday, December 27, 2003
All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland 
In All Families Are Psychotic, Coupland took his 'trademarked' dark humor and jaded sense of truth into a new depth, leaving most of his loyal followers somewhat disappointed by the lack of Coupland's (usually haunting) dark humor in this book. But despite the alarming number of discouraging reviews and thumb-downs associated to this book, All Families Are Psychotic is still a gem of its own kind.

The Worst Family Reunion in History...

The story centers on the Drummond family - the poster family for dysfunctional American families; and the chain of disastrous events surrounding their family reunion. All of the family members are screwed up to some degree. The father, Ted, has liver cancer. The mother, Janet Drummond, and her oldest son, Wade both have AIDS. Janet, 65, was infected with HIV when her ex-husband, Ted, shot Wade through the side of his stomach and the bullet lodged into Janet's lung. Ted shot Wade because his son had accidentally slept with Ted's second wife, Nickie. In consequence, Nickie is also HIV positive. The Drummond's shining star is the daughter, Sarah the astronaut, a Thalidomide baby and was born with an arm missing. The youngest brother, Bryan, suffers from depression of the suicidal variety and his new-age girlfriend Shw (yep, Shw!) is pregnant and secretly planning to sell the baby to the black market……

Like all of Coupland's previous works, All Families Are Psychotic is a lightning-fast read. Its cynical voice rang true to most Gen-Xers especially those with strong sense of disenchantment with our deadbeat society. Compared to his previous works, All Families Are Psychotic is a little bit too fast paced (action movie kind of pace, I say) and it lacks the powerful world-weary prose that Coupland's readers love so much. Nevertheless, the book is still an entertaining read without having to worry about the almost non-existing plot;

In short, All Families Are Psychotic is a dark comedy with a blistering dose of Sarcasm; Think, BEAN: The Ultimate Disaster Movie with a brain. But like any other comedies, it is just another pointless joyride to nowhere in particular. In the end, it leaves us more confused than enlightened and that is a very sad conclusion for such a promising book!

Bee  # 8:52 AM
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