JPod

I recently finished reading JPod by Douglas Coupland. It was a pretty strange book. The only other Coupland book I’ve read is Microserfs, but that was probably most of a decade ago so I can’t remember if that was nearly as weird. While the plot is ok, the ending is pretty weak.

The presentation is interesting (strange): there are pages containing the first million digits of Pi with one mistake to find, pages full of numbers where one zero has been substituted with an O, random words in huge fonts on pages that serve to divide it into chapters of sorts. These artsy things waste so much paper that the book is an astonishingly fast read given its heft.

The strangest part of the book is the level of narcissm on Coupland’s part. (Perhaps since this is on my blog I can’t really talk). At the beginning Coupland appears to grind an axe by having his characters declare that Melrose Place was a ripoff of his book Generation X and that the ripoff was so blatant as to be “actionable”. After that the characters refer to him occasionally, but that’s just leading up to Coupland appearing as character at least nine different times. The ending even revolves around him. I’ve seen authors give themselves cameos in books before (Cussler in particular I remember happening to be yachting around when his characters needed help), but this was pretty over the top.

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