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Generation A

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,646 Ratings  ·  531 Reviews
“Now you young twerps want a new name for your generation? Probably not, you just want jobs, right? Well, the media do us all such tremendous favors when they call you Generation X, right? Two clicks from the very end of the alphabet. I hereby declare you Generation A, as much at the beginning of a series of astonishing triumphs and failures as Adam and Eve were so long ag ...more
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published November 10th 2009 by Scribner Book Company (first published September 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 27, 2009 Kemper rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, humor
I feel like I owe a debt to Douglas Coupland for tagging my age group as Generation X. Yes, it got wildly over hyped in the ‘90s and led to countless marketing slogans like ‘New X-Treme Corn Flakes’, but that wasn’t Coupland’s fault. And Gen X sounds a helluva lot cooler than ‘Baby Boomers’ or what we would have gotten labeled without it. Probably something like ‘The Pre-Millennial Generation’ or some other equally crappy phrase.

At first, Generation A seems like it’s going to be even grimmer th
Daniel Roy
May 03, 2011 Daniel Roy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
I haven't read Coupland since Microserfs and Generation X, and was intrigued by the title's promise that this was somehow a followup to 1991's Generation X. Let me tell you up front: it's not.

The book starts intriguingly enough by building five characters from the US, Canada, New Zealand, France and Sri Lanka. These characters were quirky and interesting, and although shallow, they kept me reading thanks to Coupland's prose.

But midway through the novel, the plot comes to an abrupt halt when thes
George Dickerson
Okay, so I should mention that ever since I grabbed Microserfs off the shelves of my junior high library about 12 years ago, completely wanting to look through it just because of the cover, and ever since that book enthralled me and regenerated my love of reading, I've carried a deep respect and gratitude toward Douglas Coupland.

Of course, years and experience change the writer and the reader, but I've continued buying each book as soon as I hear about it. Eleanor Rigby was the one that sparked
Jason Pettus
Jun 09, 2010 Jason Pettus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

As I've mentioned here before, about the closest I come to being a literal "completist" of a contemporary author's work is probably Douglas Coupland (I've now read ten of his thirteen novels, and was a pretty obsessive fan at that when I was younger); for those who need a refresher, he's the fifty-somethi
Sam Quixote
Aug 31, 2014 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Coupland's Generation A sees a not-too-distant world of ours devoid of bees and therefore things like fruit and flowers. A strange drug called Solon is sweeping the planet, it's effects rendering the user carefree and unafraid of the future with a deep inner peace that stops them interacting with other humans and makes them seek solitude. Highly addictive, the drug is wiping out human creativity as well as the bees.

Five people, seemingly random, across the planet are stung by bees. They
Darrell Reimer
Oct 13, 2009 Darrell Reimer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Generation A mirrors 1991's Generation X.” It says so, right there on the back jacket. I read that and figured if Douglas Coupland was returning, in some manner, to the book that inflated him into what he is now, I was keen to read the by-product.

I don't usually mark up my books, but three pages into Generation A I felt compelled to take the lid off my Roller-Ball and write, neatly, in the margin: “How can a guy who is almost 50 years old write a book populated by characters so fastidiously stu
Apr 04, 2011 Lindsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Though it had been a while since I read Coupland I recognized all the familiar touches within the first few pages. The narrators are young and savvy but jaded characters, seemingly remote from one another but clearly sharing a destiny within the framework of the novel. The setting is classic dystopia with the most modern flourishes; it's definitely the first novel I've read that mentions YouTube, for better or worse. There's that distrust of science, of corporate greed, of governmental authority ...more
Apr 27, 2012 Paola rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa
DC: ma va a prendere per i fondelli qualcun d'altro va.
Questo é un libro scemo, e scema sono io che lo comprai e, giuro, sono arrivata alla fine solo spinta dalla curiosità di vedere fin dove arrivava l'idiozia.
DC: ma va un po' sulle ortiche va, possibilmente con le braghe calate e in quel mentre uno sciame di api incazzate faccia quello che deve fare.
Dec 11, 2009 Giacomo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coupland fans
Shelves: fiction, novels, american
Coupland is far from his best here, patching together a cast of forgettable characters that mostly feel as simple narrative devices in an otherwise unplausible plot. Yes, yes, the social critique, the observation and bla bla bla, but a novel is supposed to deliver characters and plot as well as background, and "Generation A" fails at the former.
The story follows five twentysomethings from all over the world, living in a not-so-distant future where bees are extinct, fruits have all but disappeare
Feb 17, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I wouldn't consider this Coupland's best, but I was drawn in immediately and stayed up past my bedtime several nights in a row in order to finish. It's been several years since I last read Generation X, which this book is supposed to parallel, so forgive me if I make (or miss) overly obvious comparisons between the two.

Oh fiction, how do I even talk about you anymore? I feel like Coupland's earlier work often focused on how our increasingly mediated and culture-saturated lives made us both isola
Jan 16, 2010 Trin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, canadian-lit
This book starts out really strongly and made me think I was fortunate enough to be reading an example of Coupland at the top of his game. He introduces five different narrators, each of whom has been stung by a thought-to-be-extinct honeybee, and the story of how they all come together is quirky and fun. However, once all five do land together in the same tiny town, the novel completely disintegrates. The “twists” become so bizarre and nonsensical that I kept expecting there to be some other, r ...more
ouch. I'm not sure what to say about this book, and so am going to say very little. coupland has long been devolving into a caricature of his caricatures. there were many elements within this book that might have been developed into different books, but instead they were mashed into each other, cancelling each other out and leaving nothing but the endless drone(no pun intended) of Coupland's smarmy too-hip-too-breathe voice. if the characters had mattered, it would have been dreadful that five d ...more
Paul Eckert
Feb 26, 2010 Paul Eckert rated it liked it
By now it’s a running cliché to say that Douglas Coupland’s books tend to capture the mood of contemporary culture, and sometimes, are even a bit prophetic. Cliché or not, I still believe it’s true.

I think Generation A did a pretty good job of both capturing the irony of the culture of isolation as well as showing us where this isolation can lead us. Unfortunately, I felt that he did a better job of it in his last novel, The Gum Thief.

Generation A follows five people that are stung by bees in
I must admit I have a soft spot for Coupland. He's one of those author's I discovered in Sixth Form and so far has never disappointed (well, not much). His prose and characterisation’s are excellent, alternating between ludicrous scenarios to some deeper philosophical and sociological discussions.

Generation A tells the tale of a near future society where it is believed bees are extinct until five unconnected people get stung. The premise is interesting and Coupland starts the novel well. I've re
I'm coming back to this book somewhere around 2 years and 10 months after I finished it. I made special note of it because, by Goodreads standards, it has the lowest average score of all books on my "favorites" shelf, which is, to be fair, considerably light. Score coming in at time of review as 3.53 and only three hundredths "worse" rated than Less Than Zero.

The story: Five people get stung by bees. Bees are thought to be extinct in this roughly 2020 version of the world. There's a drug that m
Penny Ribbons
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 27, 2009 Felicity rated it did not like it
In the past I have really enjoyed Douglas Coupland's novels (though I've still never read Generation X). He has such a wonderfully dark, bleak sense of humor. This novel, however, was just plain boring--so tedious it put my teeth on edge. Firstly, I'm not sure if Coupland was trying to make a larger social statement through his narrative about humans and their relationship to earth. I don't think so, because that is not what Coupland does....but, it was difficult to tell. If he was, it was a spe ...more
Ben Babcock
I've had Generation A sitting on my shelf since Christmas and feel vaguely guilty that I did not read it sooner. On the other hand, now I've gone and read it in a single day, so I kind of wish I had prolonged the experience. Douglas Coupland is one of those authors whose books are a pleasure to read and experience. He is very aware of the nature of his medium (which, some might say, is also the message), and he likes to play with the structure of his novel and his text. In earlier books, this of ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Clelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first began this book about a year ago, on lunch breaks at a busy Barnes & Noble I was working at. I was enchanted with it but it ended up being bought by a customer before I could finish reading it (or decide to give in and buy it.) So at long, long last, I just started it over again a few days ago.

I'm in love with "Generation A". It's far-fetched yet completely realistic, full of Coupland's characteristic wonderful social and pop-cultural observations, and full of stories within stories
lucy by the sea
Oct 28, 2009 lucy by the sea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I realise that he is just writing the same stuff in the same way and yeah some of it is getting old (he gets some of the slang so wrong: New Zealanders DO NOT say crikey dick that is Australians). But, parts of this book are still really brilliant. The stories the characters tell are genius. I think it is easy to want to pull Douglas Coupland off his throne but maybe at least one bum cheek deservers to stay on there.
William Johnson
One thing I like about Douglas Coupland is his ability to repeat the same themes and even the same plots (though 'plot' is relative as his books are virtually plotless) without it feeling redundant or repetitive. I've read six Coupland books in two months and though many things certainly feel 'repeated', they aren't actually cloned, simply told differently.

Generation A is a science-fiction (lite) version of Generation X. JPod was a fantasy (lite) version of Microserfs. Etc. The main issue with G
May 09, 2015 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-15
Since I've read a few other books by Coupland over the years and I found them pleasant enough -diverting- but I never really felt like a fan, I was surprised and thrilled to really love the first half of this book in a serious way. The characters are fresh and vivid and mostly adorable (Sam was not my favorite) and interesting ideas abound. Although I think there are quite a few inconsistencies and odd digressions (WTF was that bit with Harj's arrest?), I was more than willing to overlook them b ...more
Ubik 2.0
Oct 25, 2015 Ubik 2.0 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Un Decameron post-apocalittico de noantri

Penso proprio che da parte mia questa sia stata l’ultima chance concessa all’autore di “Generazione X” (brillante esordio nel 1991), che fino al 2000 circa ha prodotto ancora alcune opere degne di nota (“Eleanor Rigby”) ma poi mi pare abbia smarrito l’ispirazione involvendo il suo stile e soprattutto i suoi temi ai limiti della ripetitività e della noia!

Anche questa volta Coupland si presenta con un inizio interessante, originale e coraggioso e riesce a
Sep 20, 2010 Lisi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Welt in Dougland Couplands „Generation A“ ist in einem schlimmen Zustand, durch die Umweltverschmutzung sind bereits Bienen und viele andere Insekten und auch Pflanzen ausgestorben, die Menschen sind durch ihre ungesunde Ernährung viel dicker als früher und es herrscht ein akuter Nahrungsmittelmangel, durch das Fehlen der Bestäubung. Wer sich vor der Zukunft fürchtet oder Panikattacken in der Gegenwart erleidet, nimmt Solon ein, dass die Zeit beschleunigt oder verlangsamt und welches vor all ...more
Apr 09, 2010 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting premise that left me somewhat hanging in the end. Set sometime in the future, five people in different parts of the world get stung by bees, during a period in which bees have gone extinct due to the proliferation of a drug called Solon that cures human anxiety.

So begins their odyssey, when the five characters are immediately quarantined and subjected to a barrage of tests to find out what made them attractive to the bees. Following their release a month later, with no conclusions
Aug 24, 2010 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oof. I don't understand how a guy who wrote such brilliant books at the beginning of his career has deteriorated so badly. I can't remember the last time I actually enjoyed a Coupland novel, but Shampoo Planet and Microserfs are two of my absolute favorite books, and I've read each of those probably 200 times. (I also like Generation X and to a certain extent Life After God, but I'm not a huge fan of anything he wrote after that.)

As usual, Coupland's narrative voice is way too hip, with way too
Apr 20, 2011 Inês rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
given to me by joão as a belated birthday gift

Douglas Coupland is one of my favourite authors. His books are witty, nerdy, smart, funny and all-around awesome. I love them. This is his latest release, which mirrors the writing style of Generation X, which I have yet to read.
Set in a near-future where bees are extinct, 5 individuals from across the country are stung. They are immediately picked up by people in hazmath suits and taken to individual neutral chambers for interrogation. They become c
Feb 15, 2010 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kudos to Douglas Coupland for a powerful opening on one of my favourite themes:

“How can we be alive and not wonder about the stories we use to knit together this place we call the world? Without stories, our universe is merely rocks and clouds and lava and blackness…. What is prayer but a wish for the events in your life to string together to form a story – something that makes some sense of events you know have meaning.”

As usual, Coupland creates a cast of characters with extremely quirky lives
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2010 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve never hidden my admiration for the work of Douglas Coupland. I admire the creative flare and originality that permeates his catalogue of work, and the precise nature to which he can articulate satirical observations of contemporary society that in my eyes escapes the majority of commentators. There hasn’t been a single book I’ve read that hasn’t lead me to genuinely ponder the questions posed to the reader, and this was no different. When reflecting on his latest work Generation A I choose ...more
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KWLS 2012 Authors: Generation A by Doug Coupland 1 3 Aug 09, 2011 01:16PM  
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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...

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“Books turn people into isolated individuals, and once that's happened, the road only grows rockier. Books wire you to want to be Steve McQueen, but the world wants you to be” 22 likes
“You've seen what you've seen; you've felt what you've felt. Ideology is for people who don't trust their own experiences and perceptions of the world.” 18 likes
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