Meet Roger, a divorced, middle-aged 'aisles associate' at a Staples outlet, condemned to restocking reams of paper for the rest of his life, and his co-worker, Bethany, who's at the end of her Goth phase and realising she's facing fifty more years of shelving Post-it notes and replenshing the Crayola boutique in Aisle Six. One day, Bethany discovers Roger's notebook in the staff room. When she opens it up, she discovers that this old guy who she's never considered to be quite human is writing mock diary entries pretending to be her - and weirdly, he's getting it right. She learns he has a tragedy in his past, and suddenly he no longer seems like a paper-stocking robot in a red shirt and a name tag. These two retail workers then strike up an unlikely yet touching secret correspondence. As their lives unfold, so too do the characters of Roger's work-in-progress, the oddly titled Glove Pond, a Cheever-era novella gone horribly, horribly wrong.
On every page of this wise, witty and unforgettable novel, Coupland reminds us that love, death and eternal friendship can all occur where and when we least expect them and that, even after tragedy has hit, one can still find solace in the comedy and strange comforts of modern life.
Douglas Coupland is a novelist who also works in visual arts and theatre. His novels include Eleanor Rigby, Generation X, All Families Are Psychotic, Hey Nostradamus! and JPod. He lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.