The Gum Thief

By Douglas Coupland

3.5 - ratings 10,307

The first and only story of love and looming apocalypse set in the aisles of an office supply superstore. In Douglas Coupland's ingenious new novel--sort of a Clerks meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf--we meet Roger, a divorced, middle-aged aisles associate at Staples, condemned to restocking reams of 20-lb. bond paper for the rest of his life. And Roger's co-worker Beth The first and only story of love and...

Book details

October 2nd 2007 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

(first published 2007)

Edition Language
English

Quotes From "The Gum Thief"

"I don't deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts."
"I think if human beings had genuine courage, they'd wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween. Wouldn't life be more interesting that way? And now that I think about it, why the heck don't they? Who made the rule that everybody has to dress like sheep 364 days of the year? Think of all the people you'd meet if they were in costume every day. People would be so much easier to talk to - like talking to dogs."
"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 liiked 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."
"Dreams don't come true. Dreams die. Dreams get compromised. Dreams end up dealing meth in a booth at the back of the Olive Garden. Dreams choke to death on bay leaves. Dreams get spleen cancer."
"A few years ago it dawned on me that everybody past a certain age ... pretty much constantly dreams of being able to escape from their lives. They don't want to be who they are any more. They want out. This list includes Thurston Howell the Third, Ann-Margret, the cat members of Rent, Václav Havel, space shuttle astronauts and Snuffleupagus. It's universal."
"If you don't change, then what's the point of anything happening to you? It'll still be happening to an unchanged person."
"What else? I also believe that if someone comes up behind you on the freeway and flashes their lights to get you to move into the slow lane, they deserve whatever punishment you dole out to them. I promptly slow down and drive at the same speed as the car beside me so that I can punish Speed Racer for his impertinence.

Actually, it’s not the impertinence I’m punishing him for, it’s that he let other people know what he wanted.

Speed Racer, my friend, never ever let people know what you want. Because if you do, you might as well send them engraved invitations saying, “Hi, this is what I want you to prevent me from ever having."
"A few years ago it dawned on me that everybody past a certain age - regardless of how they look on the outside - pretty much constantly dreams of being able to escape from their lives."

Community Reviews

No Reviews

Advertisement

Advertisement

Topics

Advertisement