I picked up "All Families Are Psychotic" by Douglas Coupland a couple weeks ago in the Toronto airport out of shear boredom and to be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting much. But after nearly 30 minutes of nonstop book-blurb reading, I decided to buy it. After all, I don't read much fiction and my book shelf could use some flourescent pink and orange. So, why not, right?
Rather than try and tell you how funny the book is, or how absolutely ridiculous and disturbing the plot is, I'll just repeat the blurb. After all, if not for the blurb-writer, where would be?
The last time the wildly dysfunctional Drummond family of Vancouver got together, gunplay was on the menu. Only the fact that their one shining star, Sarah the astronaut, is about to be launched into space at Cape Canaveral tempts them to try togetherness again - though the state of Florida may never recover from the Drummond version of fun in the sun. Adultery, hostage-taking, a purloined letter, a heart attack at Disney World, bankruptcy, addiction, AIDS, black market baby negotiations - this is clearly destined to be the most disastrous family reunion in the history of fiction.
The book is both smart and funny and although it's not nearly as much a piece of acclaimed literature as Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections", which I also highly recommend, it's a worthwhile read. Especially if you ever need a pleasant reminder that your own strained family relations aren't that bad after all.