The Gum Thief lives up to Coupland’s usual excellent standard. While the formula may be quite familiar – outcast/losers from different backgrounds band together – Coupland once again manages to make the sad and mundane beautiful. Set in a Staples store, Coupland tells the story of the middle-aged, pathetically washed-up Roger, a fellow employee, chubby goth Bethany and her mother, with whom she lives. Like many of Coupland’s books, the characters are mired in dull and meaningless lives. Through their interaction and friendship with the other characters they manage to find a modicum of happiness, forward moment and hope in life. In addition, the snippets of Roger’s masterpiece Glove Pond add an extra, lovely, surreal note.