JPod by Douglas Coupland
A Novel

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JPod, Douglas Coupland's most acclaimed novel to date, is a lethal joyride into today's new breed of tech worker. 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. Praise for JPod: "JPod is a sleek and necessary device: the finely tuned output of an author whose obsolescence is thankfully years away."-New York Times Book Review"It's to [Coupland's] credit that in JPod he's still nimble enough to take the post-modern man-too young for Boomer nostalgia and too old for youthful idealism-and drown his sorrows in a willful, joyful satire that revels in the same cultural conventions that it sends up."-Rocky Mountain News "It's time to admire [Coupland's] virtuoso tone and how he has refined it over 11 novels. The master ironist just might redefine E. M. Forster's famous dictate 'Only connect' for the Google age."-USA Today "Zeitgeist surfer Douglas Coupland downloads his brain into JPod."-Vanity Fair

About Douglas Coupland

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Douglas Coupland is the author of twelve novels, including Generation X and Microserfs, and several works of nonfiction, including Polaroids from the Dead. He lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
Published December 10, 2008 by Bloomsbury USA. 466 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for JPod

Kirkus Reviews

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It’s hard to believe there are enough cubicle clones and bored gamers to give Coupland an audience, but it’s even harder to imagine anyone else reading more than a hundred pages of this novel.

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The New York Times

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{last-ditch effort to say something meaningful before word count is exceeded} To Coupland's credit, the technologically sophisticated but socially alienated universe that he anticipated in 1995 is an even more tangible and complicated entity in 2006 — a time when people really do speak in regu...

May 21 2006 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel

The Guardian

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JPod 449pp by Douglas Coupland 449pp Bloomsbury, £12.99 Douglas Coupland's new novel begins thus: a quote from the FBI director general about how "Winners don't do drugs", followed by four pages of large-font slogans and computer programming fragments;

Jun 03 2006 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel

The Guardian

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JPod by Douglas Coupland Bloomsbury £12.99, pp449 Douglas Coupland is neither a master of plot, nor of characterisation.

May 21 2006 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Before Ethan can please the bosses and the marketing department (they want a turtle, based on a reality TV host, inserted into the game Ethan's been working on for months) or win the heart of co-worker Kaitlin, Ethan must help his mom bury a biker she's electrocuted in the family basement which h...

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BC Books

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Though I'm not of that generation — so I'm not the definitive judge — that seems a bit much to expect from any book, never mind every book by a single author.

Sep 10 2006 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel

Book Reporter

Neither Coupland the author nor Coupland the character --- and he is a key and evil character in JPOD --- seems very fond of Xers.

May 16 2006 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel

USA Today

They spend their days imagining how they would sell themselves on eBay, drafting memos that explain why documents are 34% more boring when written in the Courier typewriting font and playing Scrabble with no E's, S's or T's.In his similar but less-skilled novel Microserfs, all this product placem...

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JPod, Douglas Coupland’s fifth novel, is being positioned as a return to the territory of Microserfs (1995), his second.

Aug 04 2006 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel

Nights and Weekends

If Douglas Coupland’s JPod seems familiar, it’s because the author wrote about computer programmers in his 1995 novel Microserfs.

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London Review of Books

The sun emerges from its shrink wrapper, and the novel (Miss Wyoming, 2000) that began by slapping parking tickets on people’s irises ends up rescinding them: ‘Susan’s eyes were as wide and open as the cobalt sky above.’ The revelations are wordless, like the total immersion in a stream that conc...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Luciana Lopez Critical Summary Since the early 1990s Douglas Coupland has mined North America’s cultural milieu in books including Microserfs, Generation X, Shampoo Planet, and Eleanor Rigby ( 3 of 5 Stars Mar/Apr 2005), among others.

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel


Midway through the narrative he even introduces a character called Douglas Coupland into proceedings, but it feels like tired device, again underdeveloped, especially given the games Brett Easton Ellis played with his own persona in Lunar Park.

Jun 05 2006 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel


After all, in the real world, young people like those who appear in Coupland's novels are meant to decode pop culture for what's hot and what's not, then go purchase whatever is necessary to put them on the right side of the divide.

Jul 13 2006 | Read Full Review of JPod: A Novel

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