JPod – Douglas Coupland

Recently I read Douglas Coupland’s JPod and thought that it would be more appropriately titled “I FUCKIN’ HATE DOUGLAS COUPLAND!!!”.

The reason for this is he writes himself in as one of the book’s most annoying characters. He makes references to himself at the beginning and then appears at very odd moments during the book. The plot in the 3rd part of the book revolves around the main character’s (Ethan) friends and family talking about this secret project with Coupland that is completely confidential. Ethan is left out of this investment until the very end. When you find out what it is (an electronic globe of some sort), it is an underwhelming end to the book. What does a globe have to do with a group of people who code and create video games?

This book left me a bit conflicted. While it was a very and fun read, the plot left me underwhelmed and disliking the author. I’m not sure if that was Coupland’s intention, but if it was than he was successful. It was really fun to follow jPod’s office antics. The characters themselves were all damaged and unique in their own special way. The things that happened were extreme and took really unexpected turns. Some things were blown out of proportion though and in some ways I wish the story was more believable. Maybe he was aiming for that “WTF” factor but it resulted in the book having very little substance.

Ethan’s mother runs a marijuana grow-op and gets herself into trouble with men (and women) who fall in love with her. His father is a wannabe actor who has an affair with Ethan’s schoolmates. His brother sells sketchy real estate. They all become friends with an Asian mobster kingpin in charge of human trafficking. Entertaining, but bizarre. I just wish the end had more meaning or point to it. In the end I was left unsatisfied.

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