July 25, 2006

JPod

Closing on the house has been pushed back another day. Grrr.

Douglas Coupland has a real place in my heart thanks to a really cool story he told about online romance that I described when I talked about his book "Microserfs" long ago. I've been hoping since then that he would write something similar, something about geek culture with lots of different weird plotlines and funny observations about society. The closest thing I've read, in some respects, was Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon", something he hasn't matched in later works, sadly.

Anyway, now this book "JPod" is out, and it's a lot of what I was hoping for. Coupland follows a group of six employees in a little cubicle pod whose job is to do the game design gruntwork for a company. Mid-level managers assign them silly projects, and they have to make the games work, putting in the long crazy hours, getting all their work trashed and having to start over, the whole corporate thing.

The main character is Ethan, who has some pretty funny parents, but the other members of JPod all have some pretty cool scenes to themselves. The dialogue here is very sharp and funny, and the plot (such that it is) is interspersed among what looks like a stream of consciousness or a compilation of a bunch of files on Ethan's laptop, some of which describe what is going on.

Coupland himself is referenced and appears as a character in the book, which explains the writing style as part of the plot. I picked this book up in the library on the new books shelf and tore through it in a couple of days. Very fun read.

Posted by Observer at July 25, 2006 10:24 PM
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