August 23, 2017

JPod by Douglas Coupland

Can’tjpod believe how long it’s been since I’ve read a Douglas Coupland, so it’s a great pleasure to pick up JPod.

What a book – another brilliant glimpse of the lives of the coders. JPod is set in a computer games design company and focuses on the 6 people randomly allocated to sit together in the “jpod” – the group of desks which only people whose surnames begin with J end up sitting in.

Lots of crazy stuff happens, including a couple of appearances by Coupland himself, dead drug dealers, and viral karoke videos.

The layout is pretty cool too. Within the story are a number of random lists of things and numbers – breaks up the story and the pace in a very interesting way.

I really enjoyed reading this one, not a hunger-games-espe page turner, but still pretty un-put-down-able.

Another Coupland classic

All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland

In All Families are PsychoticAll Families are Psychotic Coupland explores NASA, the horrors of Florida, and a normally-dysfunctional family.

In the book the Drummond family are all in Florida to watch the launch of one of the daughters in a space rocket (Sarah – the normal and clever one).

Mother Janet tries to keep everyone together, but the most bizarre events conspire to make sure that’s pretty much impossible.

I found it quite amazing how many ridiculous situations the Drummonds could get themselves into whilst simply needing to entertain themselves in Florida waiting for the shuttle launch. A fantastic read – very hard to put down.

Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland

Girlfriend in a ComaGirlfriend in a Coma is a hell of a book.

We start in the 1970s at a teenage party where one of a group of friends falls into a coma. We then explore the lives of the other friends over several years as they build their lives, and get disillusioned with them. (oh, and there’s a chapter narrated with a friend who died several years earlier too).

Then Karen (in the coma) wakes up, and it all gets rather apocalyptic.

As per usual Coupland has packed a whole raft of stuff into just one slim and easy to read book.


Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland

Shampoo PlanetShampoo Planet is kind of a follow-on from Generation X. In that it’s the generation after.

Our hero Tyler longs to work for the big corporations that his parents hippy-protested about. He has a collection of expensive shampoos, he gap-years in Europe. He works in a fast food outlet.

Tyler explores hopes, dreams, how your past errors can come back to haunt you (even if you did them in Europe), and finally realising that his parents might have understood something.

It’s not my favourite, but it’s a great exploration of teenage life.

Top 10 Books I most want for Christmas 2010

As Christmas bears down on us, and now Super Thursday is out of the way I thought I’d put together a little list of the 10 books I’d most like to find under the tree this Xmas.

This list is comprised of the books I haven’t yet read by my favourite authors, and also a few curve balls!

Generation A by Douglas Coupland
JPod by Douglas Coupland
I’ve read most of his works, and as yet I’ve not come across one I didn’t enjoy on multiple levels – easy to read, and un-put-downable, yet also pretty deep and intelligent.

The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
I love Martin Amis’ books. In fact London Fields is my no 1 favourite book (must give it a re-read in 2011), so his latest offering is definitely on the current wish list.

Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk
Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
He writes such wonderful stories, and always an awesome take on modern society. These are his latest two, and I feel rather embarrassed I haven’t read either of them yet.

Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis
I’ve read pathetically little of B.E.E. Just American Psycho (which is even better than the film), and Less Than Zero. Glamorama seems like the obvious next step.

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
I forget who recommended this one to me – but I keep forgetting to buy it!

Morvern Callar by Alan Warner
Another author I’ve read scarily little of. This one has been on the list for YEARS! Definitely time to get it done.

The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald
I’ve read most of his books – yet this one evades me!

Psychogeography by Will Self
I’ve read several of his novels but not enough of his other writing.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
SO much written about this one I feel I should find out what all the fuss is about.

Penguin Cover Art

Today I came across this fantastic site put together by one of my favourite authors – Douglas Coupland.

He’s put together a project celebrating the Pengiun book cover as part of the 75th birthday celebrations.

You can see all the details on the Speaking to the Past site.

My favourite part is that you can download blank covers to create your own – loads of people have uploaded their’s to the flickr site. A great way to lose an hour (or 2).