THE LIFE, WORK AND CHRONICLES OF JEFF KOYEN: REFORMED ITINERANT, OCCASIONAL WRITER AND FRIEND TO ALMOST ALL DOGS

JPod
By Douglas Coupland
The 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.
The 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.
The 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.
What's 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?