Tuesday, July 03, 2007

jPod by Douglas Coupland

jPod by Douglas Coupland

What looks to be like an updated version of Microserfs, Coupland puts a bunch of wacky characters into a video game company in Vancouver as gaming programmers. All characters have last names that end with the letter J, hence the name of their little pod at work "jPod". The main character, Ethan, begins the book by helping his mom get rid of the body of her ex-lover/grow-op helper. More crazy events ensue that could never happen to anyone in their entire life, let alone in the couple of months that this book takes place in. This includes fighting bad marketing in your company from adding a character named "Jeff Probst", going over to China to bring back a heroine-addicted co-worker, being forced to watch your father ball room dance with a male friend, helping your mother get through her phase of ultra feminism, and dealing with one author named Douglas Coupland.
Yes, you heard me right, Coupland puts himself in this novel many times. At first, it just seems tacky. The characters talk about how they feel like Coupland novel characters. But in the end, it sort of works out because Coupland writes himself in as a full character - one that interacts with the jPodders.
This book definitely had it's funny moments, but overall was just bizarre. Much more so than Microserfs. If you haven't read either, I suggest reading Microserfs and skipping this one unless you're a hardcore Coupland fan, or work in the IT industry.



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