Friday, June 09, 2006

What I'm Reading -- JPod by Douglas Coupland

JPod by Douglas Coupland hearkens back to his earlier novels like Generation X and Microserfs. Coupland’s last couple of efforts have been the serious, but still incredible books Eleanor Rigby and Hey Nostradamus!. In JPod, Coupland takes the subversive and societal elements of Microserfs and combines it with some wacky characters and plot elements like he did in All Families are Psychotic.

JPod follows the lives of six employees of a video game company who all work together in a pod of cubicles. The main character is Ethan, a typical Coupland character stuck somewhere between ambivalence and brilliance. When the JPoders are forced to add a crazy wise-cracking turtle character to their serious skateboarding game, there lives are thrown for a loop and they even meet an author named Douglas Coupland. Much of the book actually deviates from the plot and the author details his characters' odd discussions and games they use to pass the time at work, like each writing Ronald McDonald a love letter and challenging each other to find patterns in lists of prime numbers. It was great fun to read an old-school Coupland book and the few flaws do not really matter, because it is such a cool read.

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