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Saturday, October 29, 2011
Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People by Douglas Coupland and Graham Roumieu
The macabre weirdness in Douglas Coupland's new book, Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People, is perfectly suited to Halloween. I found it a good antidote to the overly-sweet holiday decorations that I've seen in some people's front yards - Winnie the Pooh wearing a purple witch hat, that sort of thing. At first glance, Graham Roumieu's full-colour illustrations and the sparse text on each page make this look like a kid's book. It is not. One child is barfing copious amounts and another has pooped his pants right there on the front cover. The stories are nasty and gory and bad behaviour goes unpunished. Hee hee hee! I especially liked "Kevin, the Hobo Minivan with Extremely Low Morals."
If you like Edward Gorey's irony, or the wickedest tales in Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk(David Sedaris), Coupland's demented collection of short stories is for you. Read one of them, "Mr. Fraser, the Undead Substitute Teacher," online in the Globe and Mailhere.