What I Thought Of : All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland

all families are psychotic by douglas couplandI haven’t read books this quickly in a long time. That also means other stuff isn’t getting done. One day I will figure out how to do it all!

All Families Are Psychotic was a good book, in the end. It took me a long time to get into it but once it finally got going (for me), I finished it off very quickly.

The story is centered around the Drummond family who are all together, for the first time in a long time, because of a daughter’s/sister’s space launch. Oh! So one of the Drummond kids is an astronaut. That doesn’t sound very dysfunctional. OH. But the family is. In the book, someone at some point does say “All families are psychotic” but I get the feeling that this family thinks they are the only ones that are a little different. The “psychotic” is really only referring to characters making terrible choices which then leads to really horrible circumstances. I don’t think that’s unusual.

The week before the shuttle launch slowly becomes a twisted adventure for the Drummond family and really gets going when a couple of the siblings and the dad decide to make some quick money with some not so good people and everything goes wrong because of, once again, making bad choices which then leads to horrible circumstances. Not all of the chaos was self inflicted. Fate played her role in this story and the mother was a smart woman who can definitely take care of herself. Saying that, you don’t necessarily feel attached to any of the characters in the book but in the end I was still rooting for them all.

The book is certainly about how messed up a family can get and how they can survive it all but Mr. Coupland also included some interesting ideas on the economy and its relation to obesity and then pharmaceutical companies and their control over all illnesses. This one line about how Martha Stewart popularizes everything made me put the book down for a few minutes. I started thinking about my distaste for yoga and other things that become trendy. Even if it’s something I’m sure is good for me and healthy – there’s just something about seeing a shift in general thinking, when everyone starts to use it and brand it and claim it. I don’t know.

In summary, it’s a decent book!

And that’s my uneducated opinion.


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