Format: Trade Paperback, 528 pages
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 978-0-679-31425-7 (0-679-31425-3)
Pub Date: January 2, 2007
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A lethal joyride into today’s new breed of technogeeks, Coupland’s forthcoming novel updates Microserfs for the age of Google.
Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers whose names start with J are bureaucratically marooned in jPod. jPod is a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver game design company.
The six workers daily confront the forces that define our era: global piracy, boneheaded marketing staff, people smuggling, the rise of China, marijuana grow ops, Jeff Probst, and the ashes of the 1990s financial tech dream. jPod’s universe is amoral and shameless. 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, as readers will see.
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.
Excerpt from jPod:
I slunk into the BoardX meeting where Steve, Gord-O, and staff from the loftiest perches of the food chain were still trying to nail the essence of Jeff the Charismatic Turtle. Prototype turtle sketches were pinned onto a massive cork wall, all of them goofy and teensploitational: sunglasses, baggy pants and (dear God) a terry-cloth sweatband.
“Does Jeff the Turtle follow players around the entire time they manipulate their third person?”
“Almost. Like Watson is to Sherlock Holmes.”
“Can you imagine how annoying that would be?”
“Maybe the buddy isn’t such a good idea.”
Steve squashed that hope. “It’s going to be a buddy. Players will love it.”
“It’s really Poochie-Joins-Itchy-and-Scratchy.”
“How am I ever going to look somebody who plays Tony Hawk games in the face again?”
“Isn’t our turtle supposed to be a bit more studly?”
“Turtles aren’t studly by nature.”
“What about the turtle they used in the 1950s to pimp the atomic weapons program? He was kind of studly.”
“No he wasn’t and, besides, he’s dead.”
“Dead. Hanged himself from the side of his posh midtown Manhattan terrarium. Left a note saying he couldn’t handle the shame of what he’d done. Wrote it on a piece of Bibb lettuce.”
From the Hardcover edition.
A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
“Coupland is possibly the most gifted exegete of North American mass culture writing today…. JPod is without a doubt his strongest, best-observed novel since Microserfs.”
–The Guardian (UK)
“Coupland explores the landscape of our rapidly globalizing culture like a tourist armed with a digital camera and a limitless memory card, taking snapshots of everything that catches his eye.”
–The Vancouver Sun
“A first-rate novelist and observer of the contemporary scene.”
“[Coupland has] given us a rollicking good, larger-than-life read.”
“[Coupland] once again nails the zeitgeist of the age…. The best thing about JPod is its characteristic good writing … and its dark, unflagging wit.”
“Coupland is an accomplished and talented writer whose books are perennial bestsellers.”
–Quill & Quire
“[JPod] is a work in which his familiar misgivings about life on the technological cusp are again invoked, but also one in which the skills he’s been developing as a novelist pay off, where his satirical streak and his social consciousness finally stop fooling around with each other and settle down together…. JPod is a sleek and necessary device: the finely tuned output of an author whose obsolescence is thankfully years away.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“JPod is a seriously funny book,…a rolling thunder of sustained comedy, first page to last, as it ends up, and skewers the shamelessness and amorality that define our era…. Coupland’s timing is impeccable: JPod is the right book at the right time.”
–The Globe and Mail
Praise for Eleanor Rigby:
“Coupland’s. . .most accomplished work to date. . .could be one of the first great novels of the new century.”
––Kirkus (starred review)
“Eleanor Rigby. . .might prove to be among the best fiction of this new year.”
–Los Angeles Times
“What makes him hit us again and again, as though he were pelting meteorites from on high, is his ability to connect with ordinary human emotions and to make them profound.”
Praise for Hey Nostradamus!:
“A leap sideways from the acid irony which has shaded some of Coupland’s earlier novels. Instead, from the pen of one of the coolest authors on the planet has come a work of suffusing humanity.”
–Sunday Herald (UK)
“The leading literary voice of the most cynical generation lets it all out in a blaze of spirituality, terror, high comedy and soul-searching, and does it all in a way that is caring and clever, heartbreaking and hilarious, tough and tender. . .not only Coupland’s best novel, but also one of the best of the year.”
–The Hamilton Spectator
About this Author
Douglas Coupland was born on a NATO base in Germany in 1961. He is the author of Eleanor Rigby, Hey Nostradamus!, All Families Are Psychotic, Microserfs and Generation X, among others. He is also a visual artist and sculptor, furniture designer and screenwriter, as well as the author of Souvenir of Canada and its sequel, Souvenir of Canada 2. His most recent book is Terry, the story of Terry Fox. He lives and works in Vancouver.
From the Hardcover edition.
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