Gen-X wunderkid is back, this time with a terribly modern
novel about a crew of videogame programmers stranded in
a cubicle-ghetto known affectionately as JPod.
action follows Ethan Jarlewski and his coworkers as they
fight an affliction common to overpaid corporate cogs:
ennui. There's a rudimentary plot, of course. The
narrator's life has gone nuts, stirred by the dysfunctions
of his pot-dealer mother, aspiring-actor father, too-smart
girlfriend, sell-out boss... Etc.
problem with writing any terribly modern novel is that,
like a Popsicle melting in the sun, it must be consumed
immediately. Had this book been released three years ago,
its subcultural insights may have been brilliant. As it
stands, JPod delivers a few precious moments
of charm that drown beneath waves of post-modern smugness.
worse, in a move that's mind-boggling in its hubristic
stupidity, Coupland himself makes an appearance. Wasn't
such dopey self-awareness outlawed back in the 90s?