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Andy, Dag and Claire have been handed a society beyond their means. Twentysomethings, brought up with divorce, Watergate and Three Mile Island, and scarred by the 80s fallout of yuppies, recession, crack and Ronald Reagan, they represent the new generation- Generation X.
Fiercely suspicious of being lumped together as an advertiser's target market, they have quit dreary careers and cut themselves adrift in the California desert. Unsure of their futures, they immerse themselves in a regime of heavy drinking and working in no future McJobs in the service industry.
Underemployed, overeducated and intensely private and unpredicatable, they have nowhere to direct their anger, no one to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie. So they tell stories: disturbingly funny tales that reveal their barricaded inner world. A world populated with dead TV shows, 'Elvis moments' and semi-disposible Swedish furniture.
A razor-sharp portrait of a morally bankrupt and gleefully wicked modern man, Worst. Person. Ever. is Douglas Coupland's gloriously filthy, side-splittingly funny and unforgettable novel.
Meet Raymond Gunt. A decent chap who tries to do the right thing. Or, to put it another way, the worst person ever: a foul-mouthed, misanthropic cameraman, trailing creditors, ex-wives and unhappy homeless people in his wake. Men dislike him, women flee from him.
Worst. Person. Ever. is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value. Gunt, in the words of the author, "is a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id." He's a B-unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor-style reality show. Along the way, Gunt suffers multiple comas and unjust imprisonment, is forced to re-enact the ‘Angry Dance’ from the movie Billy Elliot and finds himself at the centre of a nuclear war. We also meet Raymond's upwardly failing sidekick, Neal, as well as Raymond's ex-wife, Fiona, herself ‘an atomic bomb of pain’.
Even though he really puts the ‘anti’ in anti-hero, you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable character.
They are Microserfs—six code-crunching computer whizzes who spend upward of sixteen hours a day "coding" and eating "flat" foods (food which, like Kraft singles, can be passed underneath closed doors) as they fearfully scan company e-mail to learn whether the great Bill is going to "flame" one of them. But now there's a chance to become innovators instead of cogs in the gargantuan Microsoft machine. The intrepid Microserfs are striking out on their own—living together in a shared digital flophouse as they desperately try to cultivate well-rounded lives and find love amid the dislocated, subhuman whir and buzz of their computer-driven world.
In Bit Rot, Douglas Coupland explores the different ways in which twentieth-century notions of the future are being shredded, and creates a gem of the digital age. Reading the stories and essays in Bit Rot is like bingeing on Netflix . . . you can't stop with just one.
‘Bit rot’ is a term used in digital archiving to describe the way digital files can spontaneously and quickly decompose. As Coupland writes, ‘bit rot also describes the way my brain has been feeling since 2000, as I shed older and weaker neurons and connections and enhance new and unexpected ones’.
Bit Rot the book explores the ways humanity tries to make sense of our shifting consciousness. Coupland, just like the Internet, mixes forms to achieve his ends. Short fiction is interspersed with essays on all aspects of modern life. The result is addictively satisfying for Coupland’s legion of fans hungry for his observations about our world. For almost three decades, his unique pattern recognition has powered his fiction, and his phrase-making. Every page of Bit Rot is full of wit, surprise and delight.
What happens if we are raised without religion or beliefs? As we grow older, the beauty and disenchantments of the world temper our souls. We all have spiritual impulses, yet where do these impulses flow in a world of commodities and consumerism?
LIFE AFTER GOD is a compellingly innovative collection of stories responding to these themes. Douglas Coupland takes us into worlds we know exist but rarely see, finding rare grace amid our pre-millennium turmoil.
Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers whose surnames begin with "J" are bureaucratically marooned in jPod, a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver game design company. The jPodders wage daily battle against the demands of a boneheaded marketing staff, who daily torture employees with idiotic changes to already idiotic games. Meanwhile, Ethan's personal life is shaped (or twisted) by phenomena as disparate as Hollywood, marijuana grow-ops, people-smuggling, ballroom dancing, and the rise of China. JPod's universe is amoral, shameless, and dizzyingly fast-paced like our own.
On a snowy Friday night in 1979, just hours after making love for the first time, Richard's girlfriend, high school senior Karen Ann McNeil, falls into a coma. Nine months later she gives birth to their daughter, Megan. As Karen sleeps through the next seventeen years, Richard and their circle of friends reside in an emotional purgatory, passing through a variety of careers—modeling, film special effects, medicine, demolition—before finally reuniting on a conspiracy-driven super-natural television series. But real life grows as surreal as their TV show as Richard and his friends await Karen's reawakening . . . and the subsequent apocalypse.
A real-time five-hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster. Five disparate people are trapped inside: Karen, a single mother waiting for her online date; Rick, the down-on-his-luck airport lounge bartender; Luke, a pastor on the run; Rachel, a cool Hitchcock blonde incapable of true human contact; and finally a mysterious voice known as Player One. Slowly, each reveals the truth about themselves while the world as they know it comes to an end.
In the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and J.G. Ballard, Coupland explores the modern crises of time, human identity, society, religion and the afterlife. The book asks as many questions as it answers and readers will leave the story with no doubt that we are in a new phase of existence as a species - and that there is no turning back.
The story of one family piecing itself back together after a tragic highschool shooting, Hey Nostradamus! is Douglas Coupland’s most soulful, piercing and searching novel yet.
Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles her last will and testament – and erie premonition – on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst and religious zeal in the ensuing massacre's wake, this sleepy Vancouver neighbourhood declares its saints, brands its demons and finally moves on.
But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains perpetually derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories in their own words: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason's father Reg, a cruelly religious man no one suspects is still worth loving. Each wrestles with God, self-defeat and a crippling inability to hold on to those they love.
Coupland's most surprising and soulful novel yet, rich with his trademark cultural acuity and dark humour, Hey Nostradamus! ties themes of alienation, violence and misguided faith into a fateful and unforgettable knot from which four people must untangle their lives.
In the near future bees are extinct - until five unconnected individuals, in different parts of the world, are stung. Immediately snatched up by ominous figures in hazmat suits, interrogated searately in neutral Ikea-like chambers, and then released as 15-minute-celebrities into a world driven almost entirely by the internet, these five unforgettable people endure a barrage of unusual and highly 21st-century circumstances. A charismatic scientist with dubious motives eventually brings the quintet together, and their shared experience unites them in a way they could never have imagined.
Generation A mirrors the structure of 1991's Generation X as it champions the act of reading and storytelling as one of the few defences we still have against the constant bombardment of the senses in a digital world. Like much of Coupland's writing, it occupies the perplexing hinterland between optimism about the future and everyday, apocalyptic paranoia, and is his most ambitious and entertaining novel to date.