Monday, November 05, 2007

A book for November 5

Continuing my NaBloPoMo trek through a few faves, or ones I want to read, here is today's offering:

Prolific as he is, Coupland seems to sum up current 20/30 something mentality perfectly. I started reading his stuff as part of my 'Postmodernity' module on my MA and have picked up a number of his novels which I have enjoyed and which give some insight into contemporary culture. Generation X is a good one to start with in terms of getting to grips with cultural shift whilst still being entertained, but JPod is one of his latest - slightly more surreal than other ones I've read, and more self-referential (perhaps this is a postmodern thing) he even appears frequently as one of the protagonists, weaving himself into the story by meeting the main character in some unlikely settings and variously stealing information from the main character by taking his laptop and personal files as the story progresses.

It's all based around a group of games programmers who work together, by strange chance, in a department in a large software firm and all have various character quirks which make for entertaining reading. It might be a bit bizarre for some, and pages and pages of random text, code and stream of consciousness stuff might not appeal to all, but I thought it was a great story, with an amoral protagonist which shows a lot of how many people view the world and some of the strange connections that this mixed up, cyber-savvy culture of ours can make. If you've not read Coupland before this is as good as any other way to start.

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