Position:Book review

*** Jpod By Douglas Coupland Generation J.

In an extension of the world of Microserfs (1995), 20-somethings Ethan Jarlewski and five other precocious engineers whose last names begin with J (hence their "JPod" cubicle) develop video games for a bureaucratic Vancouver corporation. But Ethan's life is far from dull. As he struggles to please the marketing department by inserting an idiotic turtle based on a reality TV host into his fantasy game, he simultaneously courts a coworker, visits porn sites, addresses a Chinese immigrant-smuggling ring, and helps his marijuana-growing mom conceal a murder. Amid all this action, the JPod denizens compose love letters to Ronald McDonald.

Bloomsbury. 448 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 1596911042

Rocky Mountain News ****

"The whole book is a very funny but an almost bitterly derisive indictment of Internet culture, with which Coupland obviously has a love-hate relationship. ... It's not for everyone; technophobes and readers detached from Coupland's barrage of cultural references may not appreciate its nuances." CLAYTON MOORE

Los Angeles Times ***1/2

"The postmodern intrusion of a character-manipulating Coupland character is disturbing in the wrong way, and the ending feels, well, manipulated. But there is brilliance at work in JPod. Not to mention more LOLs than you could shake a bong at." KAI MARISTED

NY Times Book Review ***1/2

"It 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. At times it reads like the textual equivalent of a 1980's-era Nintendo game: a virtual playground where Coupland's more irritatingly mannered habits run amok." DAVE ITZKOFF

USA Today ***

"Yes, subtlety still eludes Coupland, and his relentless riffing can be exhausting. ... Perhaps it's time to admire his virtuoso tone and how he...

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