Book Review: Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland

Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland

Worst. Person. Ever.: What it is about

From the publishers: “Meet Raymond Gunt. A decent chap who tries to do the right thing. Or, to put it another way, the worst person ever: a foul-mouthed, misanthropic cameraman, trailing creditors, ex-wives and unhappy homeless people in his wake. Men dislike him, women flee from him.

Worst. Person. Ever. is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value. Gunt, in the words of the author, ‘is a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id.’ He’s a B-unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor-style reality show. Along the way, Gunt suffers multiple comas and unjust imprisonment, is forced to re-enact the ‘Angry Dance’ from the movie Billy Elliot and finds himself at the centre of a nuclear war. We also meet Raymond’s upwardly failing sidekick, Neal, as well as Raymond’s ex-wife, Fiona, herself ‘an atomic bomb of pain’.

Even though he really puts the ‘anti’ in anti-hero, you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable character.”

Worst. Person. Ever.: What I thought

Well, the description above says it all: a book about an unpleasant person who gets himself in unpleasant situations. Still, it was great fun! Coupland likes to set his novels against a good apocalypse (see e.g., Player One and Generation A). In this case, there was a nuclear war going on, the beginning of which Raymond was involved in, but it plays out mainly in the background as a vehicle to keep people stranded where they are.

I thought the book was very funny and an easy read, almost like (dare I say it?) lad-lit. Raymond gets himself into all kinds of situations without trying very hard. Getting towards his goals, i.e., the island and the job, is turning out to be quite difficult. He does get there in the end… a bit.

If you’ve read novels by Coupland before, you will like this one. It’s lighter than some of his others, though. If you enjoy crazy scenarios (that are not completely over the top), you’ll enjoy this too!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (Good)

Number of pages: 322

First published: 2013

I got this book: from the library

Genre: contemporary fiction

Others books by this authorPlayer One and Generation A.


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

9 Responses to Book Review: Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland

  1. I loved ‘Microserfs’ but I don’t think I’m so drawn to more overt ‘lad lit.’ – but I will keep an eye out anyway.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Vicki, this book has some of the ‘trademarks’ that you find in many of Coupland’s books, such as an impending apocalypse and an explanation of difficult/unknown words in the footnotes. I thought it was good fun.

  2. lad-lit? new to me… now I have to figure that out 🙂

  3. diane says:

    I featured this book on my blog a while back but haven’t read it, so I was happy to see that u enjoyed it:)

  4. Laura says:

    I jus saw a museum show of Copland’s visual art. It was awesome! Seeing the show renewed my interest in reading his books.

  5. Wow. You liked this one a whole lot more than I did. I thought it was inane and borderline offensive. That being said I did laugh a lot, but i didn’t think it was up to his normal standard.

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