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Generation A

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3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  6,138 Ratings  ·  561 Reviews
Generation A is set in the near future in a world where bees are extinct, until five unconnected people all around the world— in the United States, Canada, France, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka—are all stung. Their shared experience unites them in ways they never could have imagined.

Generation A mirrors Coupland’s debut novel, 1991’s Generation X. It explores new ways of sto

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Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Scribner (first published September 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kemper
Nov 24, 2009 Kemper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Sara Zovko
Jan 07, 2017 Sara Zovko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ova knjiga je za mene pun pogodak. Radnja je smještena u budućnost (ne tako daleku) u kojoj su sve pčele na planetu izumrle i nitko ne zna zašto se to dogodilo, a onda, na različitim krajevima svijeta, petero mladih ljudi ubodu pčele i tu sve počinje. Kombinacija Dekamerona, Charli-a i tvornice čokolade, Simpsona i moderne kulture, ovo je opomena društvu u kojem živimo. Društvu koje je ovisno o lijekovima za smirenje, ne mari za okoliš , sve manje čita i sve više govori kao što piše sms poruke, ...more
Jason Pettus
Sep 21, 2009 Jason Pettus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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 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
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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
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Sam Quixote
Jul 31, 2011 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
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antónio alves
Sep 17, 2016 antónio alves rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oitavo livro que leio de D. Coupland (o escritor de quem mais obras li). Os dois primeiros romances, “Geração X” e “Inforscravos”, fazem parte, ainda hoje, da lista “os livros que mais gozo me deram a ler”.
As suas estórias são rocambolescas e muito, muito atuais. Nelas, abundam figuras que se arrastam num mundo hi-tech de ”fast-food" e Internet e Ikea e Lego e celebridades vácuas; e consumo, consumo e mais consumo (com algum existencialismo); e marcas e mais marcas; e coisas, e objetos, e mais
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Darrell Reimer
Oct 12, 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
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Lindsey
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
Giacomo
Dec 07, 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
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Trin
Nov 09, 2009 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
Paola
Aug 10, 2011 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.
Elizabeth
Feb 11, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
Shane
Apr 02, 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
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Nate
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
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Paul Eckert
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
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Felicity
Dec 27, 2009 Felicity rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Idleprimate
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
Angela
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
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lucy by the sea
Sep 15, 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.
Melissa McShane
There are some Douglas Coupland books I read just for the prose. This is one of them. Coupland's metaphors and descriptive passages are lovely, but in the end I wasn't sure what the point was. I think he was saying something about interconnectedness, but as I write this, I no longer remember the ending. (It's only been ten days.) Clever, interestingly characterized, and ultimately forgettable.
Nick
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
Amy
I read this months ago, but I just couldn't bring myself to write the review because it was the last book my friend and former roommate added to his Amazon.com Wishlist (on my recommendation) before he took his own life. The themes of this book are themes we'd discussed and were just too raw to talk about. I'm just glad that I took notes as I read.

Douglas Coupland has long been one of my favorite authors because he has a gift of looking at the problems of the generation and capturing their essen
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Larry
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
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Lisi
Sep 12, 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
Thurston Hunger
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Meredith
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Cori
May 25, 2011 Cori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Douglas Coupland. He is a true Canadian gem and I leap at any opportunity to read something new from him. Usually it means I have to wait a while, because I don't like reading hardcovers and it usually takes a year for the trade paperbacks of his work to be released (I wouldn't have this problem if his works were available on ebook...). Generation A was a painful wait for me. I ALMOST bought the hardcover about 20 times while I was waiting. Then, I finally bought it in trade and it sat on ...more
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
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KWLS 2012 Authors: Generation A by Doug Coupland 1 4 Aug 09, 2011 01:16PM  
  • Twenty-Six
  • Nikolski
  • The Cripple and His Talismans
  • Martin Sloane
  • Shuck
  • Be Good
  • This All Happened
  • The Fart Party, Vol. 2
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  • The Second Life of Samuel Tyne
  • The Frozen Thames
  • Apples
  • The Withdrawal Method
  • The Carpathians
  • Shelf Monkey
  • Finnie Walsh
  • You Went Away: A Novella
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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
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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 SMcQ23667bot@hotmail.com.” 26 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.” 21 likes
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