New Fiction


From The Daily Mail (September 21, 2001)

by David Shukman

ALL FAMILIES ARE PSYCHOTIC by Douglas Coupland (Flamingo, 9.99) ENJOY peeking into the corners of netherworld America? Then this book is for you.

Set in the twilight zone of Florida that you aren't meant to see behind the tourist facades of Disneyworld and Cape Canaveral, hardly a page goes by without gunfire, theft, or hostagetaking - and this is during just one week in the lives of the Drummond family.

If the book's title is right - that all families are psychotic (and we all know how true that can seem at times) - the Drummonds certainly have a head start over most of us. Just one example: a son, Wade, has HIV, sleeps with a woman who turns out to be his father's new wife and gets shot by his father in revenge. Routine, you may say, except that the bullet passes through Wade's body and into his mother's, infecting her with the virus as well.

Not surprisingly, the Drummonds usually keep each other at a safe distance. But when the eldest, an astronaut (the only one who's remotely together) is on the eve of her first space flight, the others gather round - and mayhem ensues.

This will make you wince and laugh.