Recent offerings from Douglas Coupland have taken on such serious themes as the breakdown of the family (All Families Are Psychotic) and high-school shootings (Hey, Nostradamus!), convincingly showing that there’s more to the Canadian writer than spotting social trends and recording the speech patterns and pop-culture obsessions of Generation X. In JPod, however, he takes a break from this new-found earnestness, producing a novel that’s almost free of darkness.
Its main characters are six programmers employed by a corporation that makes computer games. Called ‘podsters’ because they work in a set of cubicles called JPod, they recall several of Coupland’s earlier trademark bands of the young and youngish, but clearly most closely resemble the eponymous Microsoft employees in Microserfs.