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Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian NATO base in Baden-Sollingen, (West) Germany, on 30 December, 1961. He grew up and lives in Vancouver, Canada. His previous books are â€˜Generation Xâ€™, â€˜Shampoo Planetâ€™, â€˜Life After Godâ€™, â€˜â€˜Microserfsâ€™ and â€˜â€˜Polaroids from the Deadâ€™.
Coupland came to fame with Generation X which became a cult classic and for years afterwards he was pigeon-holed a cult author. Well he has grown up or matured, call it what you will, his subject matter is now mainstream, his writing beautifully crafted and this is a sensitive, accessible novel of loneliness, the past catching up and unexpected fulfilment. It is first-rate and anyone interested in literature today should read him.Comparison: Iain Banks, Alex Garland, Graham Swift.Similar this month: Jonathan Coe, Hitomi Kanchara.
In Bit Rot, Douglas Coupland explores the different ways in which twentieth-century notions of the future are being shredded, and creates a gem of the digital age. Reading the stories and essays in Bit Rot is like bingeing on Netflix . . . you can't stop with just one. 'Bit rot' is a term used in digital archiving to describe the way digital files can spontaneously and quickly decompose. As Coupland writes, 'bit rot also describes the way my brain has been feeling since 2000, as I shed older and weaker neurons and connections and enhance new and unexpected ones'. Bit Rot the book explores the ways humanity tries to make sense of our shifting consciousness. Coupland, just like the Internet, mixes forms to achieve his ends. Short fiction is interspersed with essays on all aspects of modern life. The result is addictively satisfying for Coupland's legion of fans hungry for his observations about our world. For almost three decades, his unique pattern recognition has powered his fiction, and his phrase-making. Every page of Bit Rot is full of wit, surprise and delight.
Andy, Dag and Claire have been handed a society beyond their means. Twentysomethings, brought up with divorce, Watergate and Three Mile Island, and scarred by the 80s fallout of yuppies, recession, crack and Ronald Reagan, they represent the new generation - Generation X. Fiercely suspicious of being lumped together as an advertiser's target market, they have quit dreary careers and cut themselves adrift in the California desert. Unsure of their futures, they immerse themselves in a regime of heavy drinking and working in no future McJobs in the service industry. Underemployed, overeducated and intensely private and unpredicatable, they have nowhere to direct their anger, no one to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie. So they tell stories: disturbingly funny tales that reveal their barricaded inner world. A world populated with dead TV shows, 'Elvis moments' and semi-disposible Swedish furniture.
A razor-sharp portrait of a morally bankrupt and gleefully wicked modern man, Worst. Person. Ever. is Douglas Coupland's gloriously filthy, side-splittingly funny and unforgettable novel. Meet Raymond Gunt. A decent chap who tries to do the right thing. Or, to put it another way, the worst person ever: a foul-mouthed, misanthropic cameraman, trailing creditors, ex-wives and unhappy homeless people in his wake. Men dislike him, women flee from him. Worst. Person. Ever. is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value. Gunt, in the words of the author, is a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id. He's a B-unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor-style reality show. Along the way, Gunt suffers multiple comas and unjust imprisonment, is forced to re-enact the 'Angry Dance' from the movie Billy Elliot and finds himself at the centre of a nuclear war. We also meet Raymond's upwardly failing sidekick, Neal, as well as Raymond's ex-wife, Fiona, herself 'an atomic bomb of pain'. Even though he really puts the 'anti' in anti-hero, you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable character.
A real-time five-hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster. Five disparate people are trapped inside: Karen, a single mother waiting for her online date; Rick, the down-on-his-luck airport lounge bartender; Luke, a pastor on the run; Rachel, a cool Hitchcock blonde incapable of true human contact; and finally a mysterious voice known as Player One. Slowly, each reveals the truth about themselves while the world as they know it comes to an end. In the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and J.G. Ballard, Coupland explores the modern crises of time, human identity, society, religion and the afterlife. The book asks as many questions as it answers and readers will leave the story with no doubt that we are in a new phase of existence as a species - and that there is no turning back.
In the near future bees are extinct - until five unconnected individuals, in different parts of the world, are stung. Immediately snatched up by ominous figures in hazmat suits, interrogated searately in neutral Ikea-like chambers, and then released as 15-minute-celebrities into a world driven almost entirely by the internet, these five unforgettable people endure a barrage of unusual and highly 21st-century circumstances. A charismatic scientist with dubious motives eventually brings the quintet together, and their shared experience unites them in a way they could never have imagined. Generation A mirrors the structure of 1991's Generation X as it champions the act of reading and storytelling as one of the few defences we still have against the constant bombardment of the senses in a digital world. Like much of Coupland's writing, it occupies the perplexing hinterland between optimism about the future and everyday, apocalyptic paranoia, and is his most ambitious and entertaining novel to date.
Very evilvery funny.A lethal joyride into today's new breed of technogeeks, Douglas Coupland's new novel updates Microserfs for the age of Google.Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers are bureaucratically marooned in JPod, a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver video game design company.The six jPodders wage daily battle against the demands of a bone-headed marketing staff, who daily torture employees with idiotic changes to already idiotic games. Meanwhile, Ethan's personal life is shaped (or twisted) by phenomena as disparate as Hollywood, marijuana grow-ops, people-smuggling, ballroom dancing, and the rise of China. JPod's universe is amoral and shamelessand dizzyingly fast-paced. The characters are products of their era even as they're creating it. Everybody in Ethan's life inhabits a moral gray zone. Nobody is exempt, not even his seemingly straitlaced parents or Coupland himself. Full of word games, visual jokes, and sideways jabs, this book throws a sharp, pointed lawn dart into the heart of contemporary life. JPOD is Douglas Coupland at the top of his game.
Ethan and his five co-workers are marooned in JPod, a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive game-design company. There they wage battle against the demands of boneheaded marketing staff who torture them with idiotic changes to already idiotic games. Meanwhile, Ethan's personal life is being invaded by marijuana grow-ops, people-smuggling, ballroom dancing, global piracy and the rise of China. Everybody in both worlds seems to inhabit a moral grey zone, and nobody is exempt, not even his seemingly strait-laced parents or Coupland himself.
Ethan and his five co-workers are marooned in JPod, a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive game-design company. There, they wage battle against the demands of boneheaded marketing staff who torture them with idiotic changes to already idiotic games. Meanwhile, Ethan's personal life is being invaded by marijuana grow-ops, people-smuggling, ballroom dancing, global piracy and the rise of China. Everybody in both worlds seems to inhabit a moral grey zone, and nobody is exempt, not even his seemingly strait-laced parents or Coupland himself.
The brilliant new novel from the bestselling cult author of them all. Susan and John need to disappear - Susan and John need to find each other. Meet Susan Colgate - Miss Wyoming. Winner of a hundred teen pageants, child TV soap star, owner of a hideously pushy mother... and now reduced to small, brainless parts in small, brainless movies. Oh, and sole survivor of Flight 802. If she were to walk away from the wreckage now, before the emergency crews get here, she could disappear and nobody would ever know... Meet John Johnson - action film producer (Bel Air P.I... um, Bel Air P.I. 2), occasional sado-masochist, junkie. He just died - but only for 5 minutes. But while he was gone, he saw a vision of a woman's face and realized that it was time to escape, to ditch the baggage of being horny, rich, lonely John Johnson and to lose himself. To disappear. Wouldn't it be nice if they were to find themselves and get together? In many ways a reprise of Girlfriend in a Coma, Miss Wyoming represents a further leap forwards into the World According to Coupland - a witty, genuinely funny look at who we are, how we can change, and how we can make a difference.
From the acclaimed author of Hey Nostradamus! comes a wonderful comic novel with 'more one-liners than a decade of Woody Allen films' (Guardian), about the scramble for love and success in a brave new world... Bill is wise. Bill is kind. Bill is benevolent. Bill, Be My Friend... Please! At computer giant Microsoft, Dan, Susan, Abe, Todd and Bug are struggling to get a life. The job may be super cool, the pay may be astronomical, but they're heading nowhere, and however hard they work, however many shares they earn, they're never going to be as rich as Bill. And besides, with all the hours they're putting in, their best relationships are on e-mail. Something's got to give...
The story of one family piecing itself back together after a tragic highschool shooting, Hey Nostradamus! is Douglas Coupland's most soulful, piercing and searching novel yet. Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles her last will and testament - and erie premonition - on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst and religious zeal in the ensuing massacre's wake, this sleepy Vancouver neighbourhood declares its saints, brands its demons and finally moves on. But for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains perpetually derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories in their own words: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason's father Reg, a cruelly religious man no one suspects is still worth loving. Each wrestles with God, self-defeat and a crippling inability to hold on to those they love. Coupland's most surprising and soulful novel yet, rich with his trademark cultural acuity and dark humour, Hey Nostradamus! ties themes of alienation, violence and misguided faith into a fateful and unforgettable knot from which four people must untangle their lives.
On the eve of the next Space Shuttle mission, a divided family comes together...Warm, witty and wise, `All Families Are Psychotic' is Coupland at the very top of his form. In a cheap motel an hour from Cape Canaveral, Janet Drummond takes her medication, and does a rapid tally of the whereabouts of her children. Wade has spent the night in jail; suicidal Bryan is due to arrive at any moment with his vowel-free girlfriend, Shw; and then there is Sarah, `a bolt of lightning frozen in midflash' - here in Orlando to be the star of Friday's shuttle mission. With Janet's ex-husband and his trophy wife also in town, Janet spends a moment contemplating her family, and where it all went wrong. Or did it?
Girls, memory, parenting, millennial fear - all served Coupland-style. Karen, an attractive, popular student, goes into a coma one night in 1979. Whilst in it, she gives birth to a healthy baby daughter; once out of it, a mere eighteen years later, she finds herself, Rip van Winkle-like, a middle-aged mother whose friends have all gone through all the normal marital, social and political traumas and back again... This tragicomedy shows Coupland in his most mature form yet, writing with all his customary powers of acute observation, but turning his attention away from the surface of modern life to the dynamics of modern relationships, but doing so with all the sly wit and weird accuracy we expect of the soothsaying author of Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Life After God, Microserfs and Polaroids from the Dead.