Hey Nostradamus! A Novel

Bloomsbury USA



244 Pages


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Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles what becomes her last will and testament on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst, and religious zeal in the massacre's wake, this sleepy suburban neighborhood declares its saints, brands its demons, and moves on.

But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains permanently derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason's father, Reg, whose rigid religiosity has separated him from nearly everyone he loves.

Surprising, soulful, and rich with Coupland's trademark black humor, Hey Nostradamus! is an unforgettable portrait of people wrestling with spirituality and with sorrow and its acceptance. With this timely, original novel, Douglas Coupland establishes himself once again as a major writer for our times.


Praise for Hey Nostradamus!

"A remarkable examination of violence and spirituality . . . Heartbreaking and horrifying real."—The Village Voice

"Coupland . . . achieves some spectacular results using a stripped-bare narrative technique . . . This book feels like a genuine artifact of the tragedy that swirls at its center."—The Baltimore Sun

"Skillfully explores alienation, family dysfunction, and loneliness."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Yet another in a series of thoughtful and exhaustive examinations of the human touch."—The San Diego Union-Tribune

"A thoughtfully crafted and thoroughly captivating story."—Mark Flanagan, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Succeeds on all counts . . . The author's trademark black humor propels this amazing story, but it is the beauty of love that transforms the characters."—Tampa Tribune

"Coupland has an extraordinary way with words and the powerful ability to put the reader inside a character's mind. His crisp descriptions and keen eye for both the beautiful and the absurd are as strong as ever. The result is perhaps his most intensely personal book since Life After God."—Alan Burchardt, The Kansas City Star

"Lyrical haunting, poetic, and unflinching. Hey Nostradamus! is at heart an optimistic book about tragedy and the butterfly effect of its consequences."—Baltimore City Paper

"Coupland masterfully explores the longer-term impact of the [tragedy] on four distinctly different characters . . . Bring along a seatbelt, because Coupland delivers a fast, furious read."—The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Somber [yet] humorous and easy to read . . . The novel deals with complex moral issues such as the human potential for evil, loss, and grief, and the search for patterns in the apparent randomness of life."—San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Coupland's heartfelt characters demonstrate humanity in the face of tragedy. The result is a deeply affecting novel of love, loss and things people do when f*@#ed-up things happen in their lives."—Black Book

"Coupland handles the diverse narrative voices impressively."—Booklist

"Coupland has long been a genre unto himself, and his latest novel fits the familiar template: earnest sentiment tempered by sardonic humor and sharp cultural observation . . . [His] insight into the claustrophobic world of devout faith is impressive."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



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Douglas Coupland is the author of the novels Generation X, Miss Wyoming, and most recently All Families Are Psychotic, among others, as well as the nonfiction works Life After God and Polaroids from the Dead. He grew up and lives in Vancouver.
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  • Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian Armed Forces Base in Baden-Söllingen, Germany, in 1961. He is the author of the novels All Families Are Psychotic, Miss Wyoming, Generation X, and Girfriend in a Coma, among others, as well as the nonfiction works City of Glass and Polaroids from the Dead. He attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Hokkaido College of Art and Design, Instituto Europeo di Design, and the Japan/America Institute of Management Science. He grew up and lives in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Douglas Coupland