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JPod

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  13,075 ratings  ·  810 reviews
A lethal joyride into today’s new breed of technogeeks, Coupland’s forthcoming novel updates Microserfs for the age of Google.

Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers whose names start with J are bureaucratically marooned in jPod. jPod is a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver game design company.

The six workers daily confront the forces that defi
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Paperback, 528 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Vintage Canada (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Marina Keenan
I am a fan of Coupland and I have read everything he has ever published, but it is clear after reading Jpod that he's been in Vancouver too long and needs to get out for a weekend, if only to try another city's dope and take-out. Jpod is supposed to be the sequel to Microserfs, but Coupland wastes this one hunting-and-pecking for Gen Y/Echo Boom culture like a noob coder; he doesn't see that the map is not the terrain. So what if the main character's Mom is growing and selling weed, Dad is datin ...more
Marcus
One star was generous, trust me.

It's hard to believe that this is the man who authored the book that made me want to become a writer. He wrote three brilliant books, at the beginning of his career, his last being Microserfs...Then I watched him fall shorter and shorter with each subsequent release.

He became a watered down version of his former self with each new book published, not unlike the de-evolution of sitcom characters who become caricatures of their original concept, left with only the
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Nicola
I'm a little conflicted over my reaction to this novel. Because it was an undeniably enjoyable read and there was literally not a chapter which didn't make me laugh out loud. And yet, I feel... underwhelmed.

I feel I should preface this review by saying, Coupland is my favourite author. Like, by a really long way. I love all his books insanely much. (Well, except Shampoo Planet. No one loves Shampoo Planet. Except Ryan Ross, apparently.) I want to write like him. I would happily only ever read Co
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Nate
Here's what I've noticed. People that have read extensive Coupland novels view this book more negatively. People who have never/barely read Coupland love this book.

It is my opinion that this is a very good book. It's sarcastic, witty, satirical, and outlandish. This didn't come from the same Coupland that wrote Generation X, Microserfs, Shampoo Planet and all those 90's classics that Couplanders want to hang on to so badly. This is a funny book that can be taken lightly with great humor. In tho
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Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

As I've detailed here before, I have for most of my adult life been an obsessive fan of "Generation X" phrase-coiner Douglas Coupland; but while I read literally everything from his first book up to Miss Wyoming when younger, mostly for personal reasons, and have read literally everything from The Gum Thie
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Dan 1.0
This was middle of the road as far as Coupland books go. People call it Microserfs 2.0. Since I loved Microserfs, I have to disagree.

On one hand, as a computer programmer, I loved that part of the story. The other things I loved? Douglas Coupland portraying himself as a complete douchebag. Ethan's pot-growing, lover-shooting Mom. The quirkiness of the jPod cast.

Now you're asking yourselves "But what did you hate?" The hatred is directed at the post modern bend the novel takes toward the end. The
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Matt
I wanted to like this book, but as with most of Coupland's work these days, it just seemed needlessly convoluted and gimmicky, and was populated with a host of thoroughly unlikable characters. Most everything he writes is the sort of thing that you'd find to be brilliant if you were in your early twenties and looking forward to a life of exciting employment in the gaming/software industry--but anyone who's been around the block in that world a few times would find it to be sophomoric at best, I ...more
Robert
This book started off pretty strong, but became disappointing after maybe 100 pages, and never picked up from there. I kept hoping it would pull itself out of the death spiral, but no.

448 pages. I would estimate that this breaks down into:

* 24 pages of fun cultural references
* 12 pages of things that will entertain programmers
* 15 pages of things that will offend programmers
* 164 pages of things that will offend Chinese people, lesbians, ballroom dancers, people who work in offices, vegetarians,
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Matthew Snope
Aug 26, 2008 Matthew Snope rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: nobody
I enjoyed this book as I usually enjoy most of Coupland's stuff. But what I really liked are the nonlinear parts of this book that are almost visual art in disguise, especially three rant-ish blocks of Kerouacian flow, in which Coupland nails some dark truths about being alive today and how much the online world influences our individual and collective psyches. I like how he is not just critical of the world surrounding Gen X and Millennial people (like he was in Generation X), but of these gene ...more
Michael
Jun 03, 2007 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Coupland and of moral relativism
There's a lot to love about this book, and some things that are not so great. Coupland's use of himself as deus ex machina is a little trite, and the ending is unsatisfying to say the least. There are at least 5 plot points raised over the course of the book that are left completely unresolved. It literally just stops.

Still, if you loved Microserfs, all the world weary pop culture references and geek office camaraderie are there for you.

What I really loved about this book was the almost scary
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Jeremy Bibaud
JPod was recommended to me by several friends. Coupland seems to have a very loyal and dedicated following, especially from people of particular generations. So when I first bought JPod I was excited to read an author who would be able to put the nuanced plight of my generation on the page in a fun, contemporary way.

I didn't get that. At all.

I've been told that JPod isn't the best example of his work, but it did enough damage to my perception of his style to cause me not to bother looking furthe
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Oscar
Si j'avais lu ce bouquin en autre langue et entièrement, ça aurait été la plus grosse perte de temps de ma vie. Sérieux. Encore pire qu'avoir vu le film "My Bloody Valentine" au premier rang du cinéma et en 3D le soir même où il est sorti. Encore pire que avoir joué des jours et des nuits à Pokémon Gold pour le GBC quand j'étais au secondaire. Sérieux. Mais comme je l'ai lu en français, j'ai au moins appris quelques expressions. Pis heureusement, après avoir lu la première partie (il y en a troi ...more
Paul
Jan 03, 2013 Paul marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
No rating: did not finish.

Some years ago I read Douglas Coupland's Microserfs and liked it -- it was a penetrating look into the lives of IT workers, told through fictional but clearly based-on-life characters. JPod, however, is mere farce -- absurdity piled on absurdity. The main character is the son of a mother who kills a biker and buries the body in her basement; later, with his mother, he holds up and robs another group of bikers. Through a friend of his brother's, he becomes part of an ill
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Amy Gourley
This is my first Douglas Coupland book. I was surprised to read so many bad reviews but I really loved this book. It had some laugh out loud moments for me and I enjoyed the quirkiness of the characters. And the situations Ethan got into were hilarious. I watched 2 episodes of the short lived Canadian TV show and finding it just as good if not better than the book. The casting is great and even the new stuff they added or changed. fit right in with the characters.
Christopher
Apr 18, 2007 Christopher rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who believes snark's not dead.
I don't know what anyone expects from Douglas Coupland these days, much less what I expect from the man. I've read everything he's published since Generation X...sometimes I love it, sometimes I loathe it, sometimes I'm just bored.

But this one made me laugh. A lot. And he brings back his plugged-in sense of playful narrative, though I wondered at times if he was sneaking in an imitation of Dave Eggars doing an imitation of Douglas Coupland. If that makes sense.

Or maybe jPod is an all-around shou
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Jason McIntyre
Style and substance abound here, but I only give it one star because the plot simply went nowhere. Perhaps that was the point, but I still need my fiction to have some kind of trajectory that makes me feel I journeyed *to* something by the end.
Grace Gunawan
funny as hell. i laughed my arse reading this.. hohoohho. this is so relevant to everyone working with technology today.
Paul-Jon
I used to love love love Coupland, back when I was a self-involved early-20s douchebag. Now that I am a self-involved early-30s douchebag, I don't think I do?

I've put off reading this for years due to the career-low title of 'JPod' (urgh), and I was correct to do so, though maybe if I read it at the time, I might have enjoyed it? Anyway, saw this for 20p in a charity shop, so how could I say no?

The plot: some dicks do some 'zany' things involving the 'zeitgeist' and gamer culture. The 'plot' mo
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Andrew
JPod is another Coupland book set in the software development industry, in this case a thinly disguised Electronic Arts. This is not so much a novel as a series of funny sketches, some of which are linked with each other. The main character Ethan and his colleagues appear to do no actual work and mainly serve to advance Coupland’s views about programmers’ lives and obsessions. Admittedly some of them are pretty close to the mark. :-)

This is in no way as serious a novel as Microserfs. There is mu
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Larry
Awesome! This is my first Coupland book - am anxious to read more.

JPod follows the lives of five young co-workers at a large video game design company - working in a soul-less, mindless...but funky...corporate environment where they each stuggle with the shallowness of their worklives. One writes:

"We accept that a corporation determines our life's routines. It's the trade-off so that we don't have to be chronically unemployed creative types, and we know it. When we were younger, we'd at least
...more
Matt
Jan 15, 2008 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: coupland fans
...although a lot of the criticism is warranted. that being said, however, i think what i liked about 'jpod' is coupland's healthy dose of cynacism (a lot of it directed at himself and his celebrity) within the novel's 440 some-odd pages. it's also easy to pass this off as 'microserfs 2.0,' but to do so is a mistake because i think coupland's actually stretched himself like he never has before, not so much in form (because it's almost identical to 'mircoserfs') but rather in tone and theme. most ...more
Steven
"The three-hour meeting had taken place in a two-hundred-seat room nicknamed the air-conditioned rectum. I tried to make the event go faster by pretending to have superpower vision: I could see the carbon dioxide pumping in and out of everyone's nose and mouth - it was purple. It made me think of that urban legend about the chemical they put in swimming pools that reveals when somebody pees. Then I wondered if Leonardo da Vinci had every inhaled any of the oxygen molecules I was breathing, or if ...more
Joel Bradshaw
Sep 12, 2011 Joel Bradshaw rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joel by: Anna
Shelves: catalogged, owned
It's been a while since I've read this book, so we'll see how well this goes. But this book...is Douglas Coupland. I don't even know the guy, and haven't read any of his other books, but you can just tell that this is the book that he decided to have fun with. And it's a great read. It's hilarious, thoughtful and introspective from time to time, more often absurd. It's a really fun, ridiculous read. As the book progresses, you can't help but shake your head at Coupland's boldness and unashamedne ...more
Kelly
When I bought this book, I was with Katie and she was buying a copy of Less Than Zero and I said, "In my head, Douglas Coupland and Bret Easton Ellis are the same writer" and she said, "That makes no sense." I think the original random firing of neurons in my brain that connects the two is because they're both vaguely self-hating about being gay, but I've given this more thought and I actually think I'm totally on to something. Both authors wrote allegedly generation defining novels, both love t ...more
Rosa
Despus de leer Microserfs y del gran impacto que ese libro caus en m, inclu sin pensarlo este ttulo en mi carta a los reyes de este ao. Lo he terminado hoy, en el avin que me traa de vuelta a Linz. Es sin duda un libro que no pasa desapercibido si lo lees en pblico, debido a las pginas llenas de cifras de pi que contien, pginas con tipografas de distinto tipo y tamao, pginas con grandes kanjis

Adems de la extraa esttica, creo que propia de Douglas Coupland, el libro en s me ha gustado bastante. M

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Trin
" Microserfs for the age of Google" is how this is oft-described. That's pretty accurate, really. Stylistically, it's much the same—which was nice, because Microserfs is pretty much my favorite Douglas Coupland book. (I have now read ALL of them! *sob* Well, except for the one written in Japanese and released only in Japan.) What surprised me is how much more cynical this book is. I mean, not that Microserfs is without cynicism, but there's an innocence to it, a wonder. I don't think anyone wou ...more
Emily
This book contains two kinds of material:

1. The parts that are just like Microserfs
2. The parts that are not as good as Microserfs

The similarities are so pervasive and unlikely that it’s hard to know what to make of it. There are some fun moments here; Coupland is still good at chronicling the garbagey undertow of our culture. At one point, for example, a character presents a revolting list of nonspecific flavors like “ranch” and “arctic,” and you realize how many products use these. But you c
...more
Blake Reary
The only reason I give this book 2 stars is because I found myself strangely thinking about it at random times of day, wondering what would happen next and if the book would ever redeem itself.

Being an office worker at a software company for a greater part of my career thus far, I immediately thought I would identify with the narrative. Sadly, Coupland's attempts to pinpoint the twenty-something tech culture are lost in misguided buzzwords and off-target tech speak. Sorry Doug, Chrono Trigger wa
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FlibBityFLooB
Apr 28, 2010 FlibBityFLooB rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: programmers and geeks who like humor
This is a very bizarre book. Douglas Coupland has a knack for writing pop-culture ridden novels that are niche-market driven. In this case, I fit the target demographic -- a gen x geek programmer in corporate america. With that in mind, I am probably biased in my enjoyment of this novel.

However, I imagine that people who are fans of the weird and random could find enjoyment with this book. It really is zany. I can't even begin to desribe it. I chose this one because I read Microserfs back in the
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Jason
I would normally find it difficult to write a review of a book I read a couple of years ago, but in this instance in regards to JPod, I find it easy. I say that because it is a book about me. I'm certain Douglas Copeland has never met me, nor I him, but he has captured me so completely in this book (down to my preferred room temperature) that I felt more so uncomfortable than anything else.

I laughed to tears at the absurdness of the characters and I suppose myself. A hugging machine? The friend
...more
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1886
Douglas Coupland is Canadian, born on a Canadian Air Force base near Baden-Baden, Germany, on December 30, 1961. In 1965 his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he continues to live and work. Coupland has studied art and design in Vancouver, Canada, Milan, Italy and Sapporo, Japan. His first novel, Generation X, was published in March of 1991. Since then he has published nine novels and sever ...more
More about Douglas Coupland...
Microserfs Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture Girlfriend in a Coma Hey Nostradamus! All Families are Psychotic

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