jPod (Douglas Coupland)

Friday, January 19, 2007

My LibraryThing icon in the sidebar has been pretty busy lately; I arrived home on the 10th after being away for a month and found that three of the books that I had put on reserve at the library had already come and gone, and four more were ready to be picked up. I love the reserve system, and owe it all to Ingrid for telling me about it: just get your TPL library card and sign up online, then search away. When you find something that you like, you can put a reserve on it and it magically shows up at your local library branch when it’s available. The system sends you an automated phone message (which I wish was email) when there’s something for pickup, or you can login and check online. The unfortunate part is that after months of waiting for some of these, they all seem to be coming in at the same time: I have four things out on loan now, and another five waiting at the library for me (although two of these are DVDs).

The first one that I attacked was Douglas Coupland‘s jPod, and I have to admit that I was disappointed; although this is called “Microserfs for the age of Google”, I found it inferior to Microserfs. I actually liked most of the story and the characters: a group of Vancouver-based game software developers who were building an entire evil subplot into what was supposed to be a children’s video game, and some of their strange companions. However, there were some really stupid page-wasters, such as when one of the characters created a challenge related to the first 10,000 digits of pi, it was accompanied by the entire 10,000 digits. Yawn, interrupted only by the fast flipping of pages past this nonsense. The largest of these went on for several pages, and became more than a little annoying. The most annoying thing, however, was the way that Coupland wrote himself into the book as some sort of evil genius. Not funny, not even interesting.

There’s very few books that I haven’t finished, once I pick them up, and I did finish this, although I don’t recommend it. Also, I wanted to include it the arts challenge (although I figure it’s cheating a bit, since that I can pop off 50 books pretty quickly and wouldn’t consider that to be fulfilling the arts challenge obligation).

3 Comments

  1. Mike Dover says:

    I’ve read all of Coupland’s books (except JPod)…I think Hey Nostradamus was the best…although the least uplifting.

    Brother Mike

  2. sandy says:

    Mike, I haven’t read Hey Nostradamus, but it sounds interesting. I’ve added it to my “near future” reading list (which is getting long, these days).

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