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XYZ: One Man, Two Kids, Ten Devices and an Internet-Sized Generation Gap

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  24 reviews
From a former Guardian and BBC writer, and author of The Donated, comes a hilarious story of mid-life crisis, family, technology, and coping with the modern workplace.

Jack Cooper is a depressed, analogue throwback; a cynical, alcoholic Gen-Xer whose glory days are behind him. He’s unemployed, his marriage has broken down, he’s addicted to internet hook-ups, and is deeply
...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published July 13th 2019 by William Knight
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  24 reviews


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Dash fan
4☆ A Quirky, Fun, Entertaining Read.

XYZ certainly is a quirky, humorous read that will get you thinking. I definitely haven't read anything quiet like it before!

Jack's life is on a downward spiral, you could say he is on the path of self destruction.
So when he lands himself a job at a new IT company, he is overwhelmed by how much the younger generation rely on technology and media for literally everything.

He is out of his depth and had enough of the lack of structure and work ethic. No one comm
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Samantha Gonsalves
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Gen Y approved! Hillarious, witty and good-natured sarcasm! I am not an avid reader of books in this genre but I'm glad I picked this one up. It gave me a healthy dose of laughter and also got me thinking.

Jack Cooper's life is a mess. His marriage to his soulmate Caroline has broken down, he's addicted to internet hook-ups and he's extremely embarrassed his smart son Oscar chose to ditch the career he thought he was destined for and live life as a bear - Geronimo. Following a lot of friction at
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Nursebookie
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a funny story about Jack Cooper, who is a 50 something, alcoholic, cynical Gen-Xer, with a broken marriage and two challenging kids, and definitely someone who is way passed his prime. His daughter helps him get back into the workforce with a more than stellar LinkedIn profile that lands him an awesome job at a fabulous tech firm called SWEET. Coming into work with a suit certainly did not impress, amongst the Gen Z's whose attire consist of hoodies and old band shirts.

William Knight d
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Misfits farm
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack Cooper is 55 and feels as if he could be a century more. He is divorced and hence trying to keep his head above water for his two children and two households. He has just started a new job. His field is IT however this is where the extra century fits as everyone around him appears to be young and carefree with a language of their own. Gender neutral is not something he has come across before which makes him feel, well, old and odd. 'XYZ is for every Gen-Xer who ever struggled with a device, ...more
Hobart
I’m one of the original computer geeks...

I was in the first intake for Computer Science O Level at my local college, and I signed up for a computer programming degree when the rest of the world was still using slide rules and copying documents in purple ink...

I was part of a small wave of silicon-brained cool kids that was destined to become a tsunami. My generation was going to make the world a better place and in record time. We had ideas of perfect information, total transparency, evidence-ba
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Henriette
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Jack is cynical, really cynical. He has split everyone into 3 generations X,Y and Z. X is 1964-1980, Y is 1981-1996 and Z is 1996-present day. He is from generation X and is just starting a new job in IT as a 'Squad Master', which I think is what most of us in IT know as a Scrum Master. His work is full of people from generations Y and Z and he has a hard time getting used to how they function.

I think I really enjoyed this book because of the use of metaphors/similes that simply made me laugh, f
...more
Lynn Brown
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Move over Victor Meldrew there's a new guy in town called Jack Cooper. If you don't know who VM is then maybe this isn't the book for you. Probably best enjoyed by those over 40, but everyone could learn something from this book.

Jack Cooper is a Gen-Xer born 1964 and this book is his take on the modern world, particularly Milennials and Zoomers. He's in IT but really anyone of a similar age who has worked in an office can certainly relate to the world he's found himself in. A world where no one
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Sedona Hutton
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack Cooper is a complete mess. His marriage has crashed and burned and he and his ex hate each other. His son dresses and lives like a Bear and his relationship with his daughter is tanking. On top of the family dysfunction, Jack is an unemployed alcoholic.

His daughter, Em, lands him a job at a young, hip tech firm, Sweet, where Jack’s tolerance is tested to the limit. At first, he hates the lack of structure and the Millennial way of life, complete with instant messaging, emojis, updating sta
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Mukesh Gupta
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got a digital copy of this book via NetGalley. I loved the book, maybe because I can relate a lot with the lead character Jack and how he thinks about the culture around him. I enjoyed the book so much that I read the entire book (not really a Long one) over the weekend.

It was satirical, funny & insightful, all at the same time.. I know that a certain section of the audience will love this book and another might hate it.. isn’t that what books are supposed to do? Elicit strong emotions? So, I
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Billy Buttons
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Title: XYZ
Author: William Knight

Star Rating: 4 Stars
Number of Readers: 15
Stats
Editing: 7/10
Writing Style: 8/10
Content: 8/10
Cover: 7/10
Of the 15 readers:
11 would read another book by this author.
10 thought the cover was good or excellent.
14 felt it was easy to follow.
12 would recommend this story to another reader to try.
Of all the readers, 7 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘plotting a story’.
Of all the
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Awesome Indies Book Awards
Awesome Indies Book Awards is pleased to include XYZ by WILLIAM KNIGHT in the library of Awesome Indies Book Awards' Badge of Approval recipients at http://j.mp/AwesIndBk530
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Henriette
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Jack is cynical, really cynical. He has split everyone into 3 generations X,Y and Z. X is 1964-1980, Y is 1981-1996 and Z is 1996-present day. He is from generation X and is just starting a new job in IT as a 'Squad Master', which I think is what most of us in IT know as a Scrum Master. His work is full of people from generations Y and Z and he has a hard time getting used to how they function.

I think I really enjoyed this book because of the use of metaphors/similes that simply made me laugh, f
...more
Jasmine
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
XYZ is probably the most ridiculous thing I've read all year. And I mean that in the best possible way. It's full of humor and satire and absolutely over-the-top crazy characters. I'm not a Gen-Xer. I'm not a Zoomer. I'm considered a Millennial (turning 35 next month), but I don't really think of myself as relating to any one specific label. However, I have never related harder to a main character than I have with Jack. Even though he's older and a bit rough around the edges, I felt like he was ...more
Jessica
All my reviews can be found at: http://jessicasreadingroom.com
~~~~
This review appeared on my site on November 6, 2019
~~~~
I was a part of the blog tour with Rachel's Random Resources
~~~~
XYZ covers three generations of people and the author determines the generations as these:
Generation X: ‘Gen X’ Born 1964-1980
Generation Y: ‘Millennials’ Born 1981-1996
Generation Z: ‘Zoomers” Born 1996- Present day

These years of generations vary based on who you talk to. I was born in 1980, so I am fortunately NOT
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L.S.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From only a few pages in, I couldn't help but laugh at Jack's view of life. Being Gen X with a background in IT, I totally understood his frustration with modern times. His new role at Sweet as a squad master who was not required to 'manage' his team was hilarious, aided and abetted by glorious chunks of sarcasm. Jack came across as believable, and pretty decent, if somewhat set in his ways. But why not? When his ways were tried and tested, and generally worked (there was an element of "touché" ...more
Jessica Bronder
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jack Cooper’s life has gone to hell. He is divorced, his ex and him despise each other. He is still paying the mortgage on the house along with his apartment. He doesn’t understand his son’s choice of living like a bear and so much more about his life. So he spends his day drunk at a bar near his place. His daughter manages to find him a job at the company Sweet but it’s clear that Jack is in over his head.

Jack is now in the new world of technology being everywhere and people obsessing over emo
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Mike Ferguson
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A tale all too recognisable for those of us living the Dystopia that William Knight expertly exposes in XYZ. There is much hilarity at the expense of our hero but it is sadness that drives this tale.
Somewhere between innocent aspirations for the future and the ridiculous reality of a device driven youth, common sense is drowned. It is a tale of heroism seen through the eyes of a desperate man, his self abuse giving us many reasons to laugh and squirm and ultimately cheer him on.
The author pokes
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Rob
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got a copy of this via NetGalley

I loved this book, being Gen X I can sympathise with the protagonist about just wanting things to work, and not having to update, agree, opt-in or opt-out of something before you use it, technology is good, but it's a lot better when you just turn it on and it works.

The main character was believable, and more importantly likeable, you are right there every step of the way experiencing his highs and lows along side him, empathising as he despairs of the modern wo
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Rebecca L.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious. I read the preview of this book on Kindle and I was so amused that I had to download the entire book. As an “elder millennial,” I can relate to many of the protagonist’s struggles at work. In a world where social media and technology have come to dominate the landscape, how do we relate to one another? When are innovations helpful and when do they cross the line to absurdity? If you’re a fan of dry humor or wry satire, you’ll find something to laugh about in XYZ. Geronimo the Bear was ...more
Steph Warren
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

XYZ follows miserable Gen X-er Jack as he sulks, moans and drinks himself out of family, work and friendships because he feels that the tide of technology which he surfed in his younger days has now swept over him and left him all washed up.

And if that was all there was to it then I wouldn’t be recommending it!

I loathed poor Jack at the beginning and was both amused and annoyed as
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Jamie Jack
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Is It Really Satire If It’s True?

As a Gen-Xer myself who is contemplating re-entering the workforce (even though I might be an irrelevant “old fart” as stated in the book), I found much that resonated in this novel. I had downloaded it from a book review site some time ago, and I had forgotten whether or not it was a novel or nonfiction. When I started reading the prologue, I thought it actually might be nonfiction or at least perhaps a personal memoir. The author did that good of a job making t
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Louise Pledge
Aug 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a disgusting book! Had I not been grateful to NetGalley for the opportunity of a free read, I probably wouldn't have gone past the first page.. especially not the first chapter! The profanity started in the second sentence and just proceeded to get worse & worse & worse! I found myself speed reading to get through it and don't feel like I missed anything. At 70%, my Kindle refused to open it again, so I'm thinking it was protecting me! I hope none of those vile expressions stay imprinted on ...more
Tomas
Aug 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry but it's a no for me. This book was all over the place and I felt like the writer was just trying so hard to be funny and he really wasn't. In better terms? It was a stupid book, and waste of time.

This is my honest opinion.

Rating 0
Edna
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess XYZ was trying hard to be hilarious, but it was a bit over the top for me. That was my opinion.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy for my honest review.
Henriette
rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2019
Sandra
rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2020
John Waite
rated it it was amazing
Dec 24, 2019
Sue
rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2020
Dash fan
rated it really liked it
Nov 17, 2019
Deborah Mack
rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2020
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I'm a British born journalist and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. I've chased a varying career. I began in acting, progressed to music, enjoyed a brief flirtation with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology in 1989.

I had my first feature published in 2003 in Computing magazine and have since written about the many successes and failings
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