Highly Inappropriate Tales For Young People

Paperback | November 6, 2012

byDouglas CouplandIllustratorGraham Roumieu

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Ever wonder what would happen if Douglas Coupland's unhinged imagination met Graham Roumieu's insane knack for illustrating the ridiculously weird?
     The answer is seven deliciously wicked tales featuring seven highly improbable, not only inappropriate, characters, including Donald the Incredibly Hostile Juice Box, Hans the Weird Exchange Student, Brandon the Action Figure with Issues and Kevin the Hobo Minivan with Extremely Low Morals. If you are over the age of consent, seriously weird or just like to laugh, you'll love the unlovable miscreants who unleash their dark and unruly desires on every page of these unsuitable, completely hilarious tales.

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From the Publisher

Ever wonder what would happen if Douglas Coupland's unhinged imagination met Graham Roumieu's insane knack for illustrating the ridiculously weird?      The answer is seven deliciously wicked tales featuring seven highly improbable, not only inappropriate, characters, including Donald the Incredibly Hostile Juice Box, Hans the Weird Ex...

DOUGLAS COUPLAND was born on a NATO base in Germany. He is the author of the international bestseller JPod, and ten earlier novels, along with non-fiction works including a recent biography of Marshall McLuhan. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages and published in most countries around the world. He is also a visua...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 7.98 × 5.08 × 0.41 inPublished:November 6, 2012Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307360679

ISBN - 13:9780307360670

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Customer Reviews of Highly Inappropriate Tales For Young People

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from *About* not *For* Young People Reason for Reading: I have not read this popular Canadian author, but the book intrigued me as I do like quirky, snide humour. I'll start off with some caveats. This book is *not* for children, nor really *for* young people if one is thinking young means teenager. The word young here would apply to the opposite of old. I think the book would have been more appropriately named "Highly Inappropriate Tales *About* Young People". The publisher's summary contains this phrase " If you are over the age of consent," and if I was to recommend this book to a certain group of readers I would say those most likely to really enjoy these stories would be adults who don't really like children very much. The stories presented here are dark, and there is no denying they are humorous but they are likely to offend just as much as they are to make one snicker. Some stories are about personified inanimate objects such as a juice box, a mini van, a fashion doll and an action figure while the others are about children (elementary to young teens, about 13). Children are murdered, tortured, harmed and caused discomfort. All of this is in the realm of snide humour. These are not fables, they have no morals. They don't have "gotcha" endings where the bad guy gets his in the end; no the bad guy always wins. Most of them really did nothing for me. I tolerated them; they certainly didn't offend me as I've read in some of the other reviews of this book. I did smirk here and there but generally the endings just fell flat with me. The one I did enjoy was "Sandra, The Truly Dreadful Babysitter". Upon arriving at her first job, the illustration shows her arriving via Mary Poppins descending from the air via an umbrella with a satchel in her other hand. She "asked the twins what they wanted to do. They said they wanted to play video games and text their friends, and Sandra said, Those are stupid and boring ideas. Let's all go shoplifting." This is the type of humour you can expect. I did enjoy the illustration more than the text. They are quirky, creepy and add an extra element to the tales not always spelled out in the story. I think this book of stories is going to appeal to a certain audience but will offend a larger audience who buys it not realizing exactly what these stories have to offer. Certainly imaginative writing, but "caveat emptor".
Date published: 2013-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Completely Unique The Good Stuff Won't lie this book is way to cool and intelligent for me Truly unique Odd and disturbing yet snort out loud funny at times Illustrations too are one or a kind Have a feeling this will be loved by some, truly hated by others and for simple girls like me just meh and way over my head Truly in the spirit of Grimm's Fairy Tales Wonderfully imaginative- this is a man you never have to worry about being predictable Dialogue of the characters is odd yet refreshingly honest The zombie substitute teacher story was seriously funny The Not So Good Stuff Expected so much better Very small book for such a steep price - I know quality vs quantity but maybe it's just me Sorry Coupland - just could not get into this -- don't worry its me not you -- I am more a simple in your face girl Favorite Quotes/Passages "The library front desk let him use the bathroom in exchange for guarding the property from grafitti taggers." "Don't throw math in my face. I hate math. It's hard, it's stupid, and it;s nature's way of separating spinsters from women who end of breeding." "More than once, in desperation, he tried luring senior citizens inside, but when he started his shakedown, they sounded like snapping pretzels, which creeped him out. And all they left behind were coupons, dentures and half-used packets of Sanka." Who Should/Shouldn't Read only for those who enjoy the obscure and unique you want something completely different, this one is for you 3 Dewey's I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review - sorry guys just not my thing I guess
Date published: 2012-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hilariously ridiculous & disturbing! Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People is a collection of seven horribly ridiculous and hilarious short stories. From a hobo minivan to a wretched babysitter, a strange exchange student to an action figure with issues, Coupland spins some wickedly devilish tales that are sure to shock and delight. If ever there was a very aptly-named book, it would be this one. Written with such dry humour and sarcasm, Coupland – with Roumieu’s illustrations – paints such an atrocious scene in each of the 7 stories. While it was Donald, the incredibly hostile juicebox that originally caught my interest to check out this book, it’s the story about the undead substitute teacher that had me actually laughing out loud. What I loved about this book was that it felt like a writing exercise, exploring the potential thoughts and actions of unlikely characters – including inanimate objects. It’s a great unique point of view that is not often explored, and Coupland does a hilariously disturbing job of it. This, and other reviews can be found on JustALilLost.com
Date published: 2012-11-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Book Review: Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People - The Bibliotaphe Closet Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People by Douglas Coupland and illustrated by Graham Roumieu is a book filled with seven audacious, illustrated short stories that will shock you by their creativity and absurdity. As irreverent as these stories are and obviously part of the Literature of the Absurd tradition, which makes the comment that the human condition is essentially absurd, the stories are also dark, seeping with a black comedy that will either tickle your funny bone with its paradox or compel you to laugh nervously by the eerie style of its satire. If you’re still uncertain about what I mean, the titles of the stories should somewhat reveal the dark humour that only Douglas Coupland is known to readily confront and exude in his work: Donald, the Incredibly Hostile Juice Box Sandra, the Truly Dreadful Babysitter Hans, the Weird Exchange Student Brandon, the Action Figure with Issues Cindy, the Terrible Role Model Kevin, the Hobo Minivan with Extremely Low Morals Mr. Fraser, the Undead Substitute Teacher The stories like their accompanying illustrations are unafraid to unravel traditional convention, almost seemingly provoking and challenging its readers on. To read the rest of my review, you're more than welcome to visit my blog, The Bibliotaphe Closet: http://zaraalexis.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/book-review-highly-inappropriate-tales-for-young-people/ Zara Alexis @ The Bibliotaphe Closet http://zaraalexis.wordpress.com
Date published: 2012-11-22

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Donald was a juice box with a terrible attitude. Out of nowhere, he’d whale on the other juice boxes, slamming them with plastic lunchroom trays and puncturing their sacred tinfoil puncture holes with bobby pins he swiped from the girls who sat at the popular girls’ table. After lunch hour, when the cafeteria staff held respectful farewell ceremonies for all the juice boxes that had donated their nectar to the student body that day, Donald would run around the kitchen looking for things to throw into the deep fryer. This was annoying, but also kind of amusing—like when he dropped an entire lost and found drawer full of cellphones and dental retainers into the melted lard left over from Catfish Friday. That actually made him a bit of a hero to the lunch ladies and the teachers, but Janitor Schwinn had to cancel his line dancing class that evening to stay late to drain the deep fryer and scrape melted iPods from its bottom. As far as Janitor Schwinn was concerned, Donald should have been buried in the recycling bins months back. But in the end, it took a truly fiendish deed to get Donald expelled from the school. You see, Donald was obsessed with getting other juice boxes squished beneath the wheels of cars coming out of the teachers’ parking lot. It’s obviously amusing to see things get squished, but Donald carried it too far. There was something about watching hundreds of pounds of pressure from a moving vehicle blow out the bottoms of his fellow juice boxes that made Donald crazy—crazy for destruction. He’d lure his juice box targets out to the teachers’ parking lot by telling them lies. For example, he told one box that he’d heard of a new type of drinking straw that allows a person to drink without puncturing the foil hole on the top. It was a silly lie, but juice boxes are pretty stupid, and luring them to the scene of their deaths was never difficult. Once Donald had snagged a box, he’d position his victim on the south side of the big speed bump where the teachers’ lot exits onto the main road. He told each victim that if he waited there, he’d be right back with an example of the Magic Straw, or whatever it was he’d promised that time. So, while the juice box was waiting for a non-existent straw, Donald would hop up onto a traffic cone and do something to distract the teachers driving out of the lot. Sometimes he’d throw pebbles at the cars; sometimes he’d throw little metal stars made by the guys in shop class who smoked out behind the asbestos storage bins. If there weren’t an innocent juice box about to meet a fiendish and horrible death by squishing, Donald’s behaviour would be funny. But their imminent murder gave the scenario a bad taste: a taste of evil. One day after math class, Donald was walking around removing chewing gum from beneath chairs and putting it up on the seats when he overheard the math teacher, Miss Burnside, on her cellphone screaming at someone from an online dating website. Something had to be wrong with their service, she said, because she hadn’t had a nibble in months, and she wanted her money back. From there, she went on a rant about her life in general. Talked about the scary dates she’d had over the years, with one train wreck after another. Then she lashed into her students, saying how cow-like and stupid they were, and that there was no point teaching them math because they could barely speak, let alone do long division. She wanted out of her life, but didn’t know how to do it. That was when Miss Burnside saw Donald, hiding behind a trash can. She went running after him, but it was too late: Donald had seen her true self, and she knew that soon he would begin to torment her. Later that same afternoon, when Miss Burnside was driving her car out of the teachers’ parking lot, Donald placed a victim juice box by the speed bump of doom. When Miss Burnside’s car approached, he hopped up onto a traffic pylon and did something more extreme than usual. Miss Burnside shrieked. The menthol cigarette she was smoking dropped onto her lap and then rolled beneath the seat. Startled, she hit the gas, and the car lurched forward. She collected her wits, braked to a stop then got out of the car, only to see that the doomed juice box had shot out its guts in a massive, fruit-flavoured explosion. Donald danced with happiness atop his pylon. The next day when Donald showed up at school, he was met at the door by Principal Reeve, Janitor Schwinn and Miss Burnside. They told him he was a horrible little juice box, that his attitude stank, and that he was no longer welcome at the school. Both Janitor Schwinn and Miss Burnside wore gloating smiles that made Donald angry. He turned and walked away, but when classes began, he went to the parking lot, jimmied open Miss Burnside’s and Janitor Schwinn’s gas caps and stuffed their gas lines with dirt and litter before putting the caps back on. He thought, That’ll teach them not to mess with my life! And, sure enough, their cars never worked, ever again. Donald then went off in search of a new school at which to inflict mayhem. Walking down the roads and highways of the city, he resembled litter, so nobody paid him any attention except for the fast-food trash he passed along the way, who taunted him: “You’re only a lowly juice box. You’ll never be a carton. You’ll never be a can. You’re just a dumb little juice box that nobody cares about.” That did it. Donald used a piece of broken pop bottle as a magnifying lens and set fire to the fast-food trash that had been sassing him. With a demented cackle, he walked away as the trash burned. Then he burst into a military marching song: I’m a juice box, I’ve been told.Doom and mayhem good as gold.Don’t you ever mess with me.I will steep your bones for tea.1. 2. 3. 4.Juice box guts are on the floor.5. 6. 7. 8.Death and I are on a date.From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"No matter if you are old or young...this collection of cruel fables will undoubtedly charm. If you've been waiting for the gleeful pleasure of seeing cartoon characters getting to beat up the unsuspecting, or mock the foreign, or make small children puke, then this book is for you." Sonnet L'Abbé, The Globe and Mail"Disturbing and hilarious." Edmonton Journal"Seven short tales of intense irony and weirdness...accompanied by marvellous and moody sketches and drawings.... A lovely, quirky book." Toronto Star