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Generation Aby Douglas Coupland
Synopses & Reviews
In the near future bees are extinct — until one autumn when five unconnected individuals, in Iowa, New Zealand, Paris, Ontario, and Sri Lanka, are stung. Immediately snatched up by ominous figures in hazmat suits, interrogated separately in neutral Ikea-like chambers, and then released as 15-minute-celebrities into a world driven almost entirely by the internet, these five unforgettable people endure a barrage of unusual and highly 21st-century circumstances. A charismatic scientist with dubious motives eventually brings the quintet together on a remote Canadian island. But their shared experience unites them in a way they could never have imagined.
Generation A mirrors the structure of 1991's Generation X as it champions the act of reading and storytelling as one of the few defenses we still have against the constant bombardment of the senses in a digital world.
"Coupland's thematic sequel to Generation X strives once more to explore and define the edges of group identity through a Decameron-style storytelling marathon. Taking place in a near-future in which bees have become inexplicably extinct, five young men and women become the subjects of fame and scientific curiosity when they're the first people in five years to suffer a sting. Zack, an Iowa farmer, is the first and is soon followed by Harj in Sri Lanka, Samantha in New Zealand, Diana in Canada and Julien, who resides in Paris but lives primarily in World of Warcraft. Captured by a clandestine organization headed by a man named Serge, the unlikely group is eventually moved to a remote island, where Serge compels them to recite stories. Always in the background are rumblings of the hyperaddictive drug Solon, which holds its users in a perpetual present. Coupland juggles some fascinating ideas, and the story circle holds equal parts humor and revelation, though the revolving crew of narrators — particularly the women — can be difficult to distinguish from one another. Despite its flaws, this book will interest readers in search of an intelligent look at pop and digital culture." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"I know I'm not alone in thinking that Douglas Coupland is one of our finest chroniclers of modern life.... He's funny, though...maybe that's his 'problem. Memo to the Custodians of CanLit: Big Ideas can be delivered with humour and wit.'" National Post
"Eighteen years on from Generation X, Coupland still satirises pop culture better than anyone. This globe-spanning tale, set in the near future, is masterfully told and often hilarious." GQ UK
"With strands of humor, sf, and social commentary, Coupland melds Chuck Palahniuk's wild imagination with Nick Hornby's character ensembles.... [A] satisfying ode to the power of story." Library Journal
"Generation X with less snark, less plot and much less interesting characters." Kirkus Reviews
Generation A is set in the near future in a world where bees are extinct, until five unconnected people from around the world are all stung. Their shared experience unites them in ways they never could have imagined.
About the Author
Douglas Coupland is Canadian, born on a Canadian Air Force base near Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1961. In 1965 his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he continues to live and work. Coupland has studied art and design in Vancouver, Canada, Milan, Italy and Sapporo, Japan. His first novel, Generation X, was published in March of 1991. Since then he has published eleven novels and several non-fiction books in 35 languages and most countries on earth. He has written and performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, England, and in 2001 resumed his practice as a visual artist, with exhibitions in spaces in North America, Europe, and Asia. 2006 marks the premiere of the feature film Everything's Gone Green, his first story written specifically for the screen and not adapted from any previous work. A TV series (13 one-hour episodes) based on his novel, jPod premiered on the CBC in January, 2008.
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