So yeah, I read this when I was 14 or 15. I bought it because it had a neat mirror cover with a Lego man. I didn't know Douglas Coupland was the voice of a generation, and anyway, it wasn'...more
This was was my first Coupland book and it wasn't what I was expecting. Apparently I was prepared for shallow postmodernism or something smugly impressed by its own cynicism. I don't know where I got that idea, but this is an optimistic book, full of human moments, love and friendship, and the things that drive us to succeed. I was surprised at how sweet it could be at times.
It's also got plenty of computer talk: program...more
The quick summary is: boy goes to work for Microsoft, boy leaves Microsoft for startup in Silicon Valley, and lives and learns as he and his friends -- his coworkers -- struggle to ship product....more
1. "I sandpapered the roof of my mouth with three bowls of Cap'n Crunch--had raw gobbets of mouth-beef dangling onto my tongue all day." (Who hasn't had that happen to them? And yet, nobody could have said it awesomer.)
2. I learned 1410 *C = the melting point of silicon.
3. This book is totally the original Big Bang Theory.
4. Dated references to things like Doom and Myst.
5. I enjoy reading nerdy lists of things, like which school is the nerdi...more
I can't ever seem to attempt to write an approximation of some sort of "objective" review (lulz) so I'll just leave you with my idi...more
God knows why - it's not like Coupland is attempting to write a great tragedy. I think I just really liked the characters, liked the way they interacted and how much they cared about each other. The book does a great job capturing the Silicon Valley nerd culture in the 90s, how it seemed to exist suspended in its own bubble world. It's science fictional without being science fiction - showing the way lives can come to be m...more
there's a scene that i can't resist pointing out where somehow someone sends the main characters all an email about how every multiple of six minus one is a prime number and they all had to waste work time proving or disproving it. but. yeah. it is dumb. it takes about 2 seconds to disprove because it never should have been mentioned in the first...more
Microserfs is about a recent college grad and his life experience while working at Microsoft in the programming world. It's interesting (related field for me) and well written. The writing style is like a journal with lots of interesting little observations and asides. It got a little too serious and less light-hearted as it went on, and the end was kind of blah.
'I sandpapered the roof of my mouth with three bowls of Cap'n Crunch - had raw gobbets of mouth-beef dangl...more
Dan Underwood is a microserf, that is, he's a tester/coder at Microsoft, where employees are expected to work 12, 24, or 36 hour shifts coding and subsist entirely on processed foods bought...more
Essentially Microserfs is what you get if you fuse 1990s tech industry speculation with a bunch of angsty nerds who see everything around them as sci-fi turning into reality. And it's somehow not egregious. Sure, it's so 1990s it hurts, but when putting nerd history into perspective this is probably - and only after my first read mind you - up there with Neuromancer in a more realistic form.
Microserfs is believable, not once did an...more
My freshman English class at Florida State was an odd one. The instructor thought this thing called the “Internet” was the future, and we should be spending our time learning HTML rather than reading books by dead guys who didn’t have much to say about the mod...more
With all that said, I am finding it difficult to actually think about this book as a novel. It seemed more like an immersion in commerce/industry and it's affects...more
Without having been part of the nerd-computer-programmer culture,I suspect he really nailed it in this portrayal of young Microsoft emplo...more
The book is about a group of people (men and women) that work for Microsoft in the early 1990's. The story is told through the perspective of Dan, who is one of these workers and the book is set up like his journal. As such, the writing style is a bit relaxed and random. Some themes include the meanin...more
Quasi-bildungsroman, diary-based account of a twenty-something tester at Microsoft who, upon finding himself unhappy with the lifestyle a long-term job structured like an extension of university afforded him, migrates to silicon valley with his posse of no-hoper friends, to work at a software startup. As he and his friends emotionally mature, he realises it was possible, even at Microsoft, to maintain a self-respecting lifestyle; he realises the previous issues were never due, even in part, to w...more
Presented in the form of a bunch of Powerbook diaries written by the main character Daniel, Microserfs documents the transition of him and his friends from lowly Microsoft erm... serfs... to coders and developers at an exciting multimedia start-u...more
For those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s, though, and who were of that small fraction of the population who were in on the ground floor of the digital revolution, as it transformed from lawless frontier to settled territory, Coupland's book was like a flag waving for a country which we hadn't quite known we were citizens of. These days, of course, absolutely everyone is onl...more
...it really seemed like one of those foreign movies that you rent and return half-wound because they're too contrived to be believed, and then real life happens, and you wonder if the Europeans understood everything all along.
Another note: is "fishwich" a Canadianism? Coupland (as always) is dead-on ab...more
I loved the voice of the main charactar, Daniel, who seemed like somebody I could have known in college or in grad school. I loved his description of the minutiae of the life of people who work 80 plus hours per week coding software and what their little diversions to keep sane said about them as people.
I loved the philosophical explorations of computers...more
Coupland does a great job of con...more