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JPod

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  17,050 ratings  ·  959 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
...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Vintage Canada (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  17,050 ratings  ·  959 reviews


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Nate
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Marina Keenan
Jun 16, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Marcus
Sep 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
N
May 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
...more
Angela
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently, a new friend introduced me to the concept of biji, a Chinese form of writing roughly translated as ‘brush notes’ or ‘jottings’. This literary genre is defined by a three-part division consisting of different styles and lacking definitive structure. I sought an example of the format and was directed toward Douglas Coupland’s ‘JPod’, an off-beat story of life in a modern Vancouver office.

Meet Ethan, a 28 year old games developer who spends his days toggling between virtual world
...more
Joel Bradshaw
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joel by: Anna
Shelves: owned, catalogged
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 ...more
Kelly
Jul 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Christopher
Apr 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
...more
Matthew Snope
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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 ...more
Michael
Apr 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
...more
Ingmar
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hilarious satire of modern capitalism and consumerism.
Grace Gunawan
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
funny as hell. i laughed my arse reading this.. hohoohho. this is so relevant to everyone working with technology today.
Steven
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Dan Schwent
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny
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
...more
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
...more
Matt
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Robert
Oct 31, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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,
...more
Amy Gourley
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Matt
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Larry
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael Livingston
The trouble with writing something so zeitgeisty is that within 10 years your books is going to be very, very dated. Coupland is funny and obviously (was) immersed in digital culture at the time, but the story is all over the place plot-wise and the characters are paper thin. This is all a vessel for Coupland's tricksiness - I used to love his flashy nonsense, but this time I was completely underwhelmed.
Denis
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this 2006 novel shortly after 1995's Microserfs. Not a good idea. This was a reboot with the author trying too hard to out-do the original. The many lists are long and tedious and add little to nothing to the narrative. End up skipping. Mother and father character too outrageous to believe. Not as humourous as author hoped. I'm sure it appeals to some but I should not have taken this second helping of what I don't really like.
Moshe Mikanovsky
Juvenile, disconnected, not-funny, stupid actually. Not for me.
Jeremy Bibaud
May 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
...more
Paul
Feb 06, 2011 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
...more
Jason McIntyre
Aug 18, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tundextra
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
Want to see the first 100,000 digits of pi and try to find the one error? It's here on pages 331-352. What about the 8,363 prime numbers between 10,000 and 100,000 with one error? Pages 213-228.
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A book essentially about nothing - an eclectic group of 20 somethings working for a software company (JPod), and their crazy lives/lifestyles interspersed with random pages like those above!
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The truth? I really liked Coupland when I was younger, but I think I've had my full. It has began to feel that
...more
Caleb
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the TV show they made of this book so I was excited to read my first Coupland novel. The story is slightly different than the show, but mostly the same with more story revealed and a different ending. It's good, not incredible, with a lot of weird postmodern quirks that didn't really work. I'll read another Coupland eventually, probably it'll be better.
Erin L
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, canadian
A weird, fun read that made me laugh out loud at the reality of life in an IT pod. :)
Paul-Jon
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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'
...more
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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 ...more
“TV and the Internet are good because they keep stupid people from spending too much time out in public.” 447 likes
“Here's my theory about meetings and life: the three things you can't fake are erections, competence and creativity.” 185 likes
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