Synopses & Reviews
Very evil....very funny. A lethal joyride into today's new breed of technogeeks, Douglas Coupland's new novel updates Microserfs
for the age of Google.
Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers are bureaucratically marooned in JPod, a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver video game design company. The six JPodders wage daily battle against the demands of a boneheaded marketing staff, who daily torture employees with idiotic changes to already idiotic games. Meanwhile, Ethan's personal life is shaped (or twisted) by phenomena as disparate as Hollywood, marijuana grow-ops, people-smuggling, ballroom dancing, and the rise of China.
JPod's universe is amoral and shameless and dizzyingly fast-paced. The characters are products of their era even as they're creating it. Everybody in Ethan's life inhabits a moral grey zone. Nobody is exempt, not even his seemingly straitlaced parents or Coupland himself. Full of word games, visual jokes, and sideways jabs, this book throws a sharp, pointed lawn dart into the heart of contemporary life. JPod is Douglas Coupland at the top of his game.
"At times it reads like the textual equivalent of a 1980's-era Nintendo game: a virtual playground where Coupland's more irritatingly mannered habits run amok. But when it works, JPod is a sleek and necessary device: the finely tuned output of an author whose obsolescence is thankfully years away." New York Times
"[T]here is brilliance at work in JPod. Not to mention more LOLs than you could shake a bong at." Los Angeles Times
"As both actual and cyber mayhem crest, Coupland, himself a character in this rampaging comedy, reminds us that no matter how seductive the virtual realm is, it is real life that requires our keenest attention." Booklist
"JPod may not age well; like the culture that it teases, it's cheap, goes down easy and may be ultimately disposable. But, like Andy Warhol's soup can, it might turn out to be more than meets the eye." Rocky Mountain News
"At this point...criticizing Coupland for too many pop-culture and trademarked-name references is as tired as dismissing the Rolling Stones simply for being old. Perhaps it's time to admire his virtuoso tone and how he has refined it over 11 novels." USA Today
About the Author
Coupland is a contributing editor to Wired and has been contributor to The New York Times and The New Republic.