The Gum Thief

a novel

Hardcover, 275 pages

English language

Published Sept. 7, 2007 by Bloomsbury, Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers.

ISBN:
978-1-59691-106-2
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OCLC Number:
173149696

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4 stars (12 reviews)

Over the course of several months, two retail workers at an office supply superstore--Roger, a divorced, middle aged "aisles associate" at Staples, and his young co-worker, Bethany, an early twenty-something, former Goth--strike up a unique epistolary friendship.

6 editions

Review of 'The gum thief' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

"Maybe memories are like karaoke - where you realize up on the stage, with all those lyrics scrawling across the screen's bottom, and with everybody clapping at you, that you didn't know even half the lyrics to your all-time favourite song. Only afterwards, when someone else is up on stage humiliating themselves amid the clapping and laughing, do you realize that what you liked most about your favourite song was precisely your ignorance of its full meaning - and you read more into it than maybe existed in the first place. I think it's better to not know the lyrics to your life."

Review of 'The gum thief' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

At last, [author: Douglas Coupland] shows that [book:Girlfriend in a Coma] was not an aberration. His new book is imaginative, different from all the rest and gripping.

Gum Thief tells the story of three people connected through a Staples office supply store in British Columbia. But it's not written like a normal novel. Instead, Coupland tells the story through the writings of the various characters. He starts with journal entries by Roger, moves on to faux-journal entries roger writes in the voice of Bethany who then finds his journal and writes back to him. Soon, letters from her mother, his ex-wife, their co-workers and more become intertwined with a novel that is very similar to [book:Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf], which Roger is writing. All of it tells their stories.

Like Coupland's other books, I had a hard time putting this one down just because I wanted to find out …

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Subjects

  • Employees
  • Staples (Firm)
  • Fiction
  • Divorced men
  • Humorous fiction
  • Authorship