Grooving to jPod

I have hardly been reading at all in ages, other than instruction manuals. One book I borrowed and, while it has a really cool concept (detection of lies, personality, etc through kinetics) I just have had trouble getting into it. I’m about a third of the way in and have to force myself to pick it up, which I do every week or two. I borrowed jPod by Douglas Coupland from PeeJay at work after I couldn’t find it in the stores around here. I’m halfway through.

I figured I’d get in tonight, watch a bit of TV, read a bit, then watch some more tv or hack around on the computer or something and go to bed at a decent hour was trashed when I got the initial “get home from work, make dinner, watch a bit of TV” part done, then started reading and all of a sudden it was 10pm. Then I threw on the Across the Universe soundtrack and suddenly it’s quarter to midnight.

Fantastic book. I admit that part of the attraction is the fact it’s Vancouver based. I’m sure I’m doing the same thing that some drooling fan at a concert does when the band inserts local landmarks into the songs and people go nuts, and I’m OK with that. It’s also geek based, and I’m OK with that. It’s also Dilbert-corporate-culture-big-tech based so I have (as I’m sure many others have) a vaguely disturbing thought that Mr. Coupland has been monitoring my life, relationships, coworkers and friends from the other side of the surveillance cameras that are hidden around my house and embedded into my brain.

There’s also something vaguely self-referencal when a book involving characters doing bit-parts for Vancouver based studios ends up being turned into a TV series filmed in Vancouver.

I figure I’ll be done tomorrow night and will have finished my first fiction book since I re-read Snow Crash last January on a cruise.

Peace out.

2 Comments on “Grooving to jPod”

  1. Funny – I just finished jPod the other night. I wasn’t quite sure what to think about it. The story itself was interesting and fun, but I started to get really annoyed by the little stylistic things Coupland was doing, like the list of 3-letter Scrabble words, the insertion of the first 10,000 numbers of Pi, the random product labels, etc. He did this in Microserfs, but it was entirely in line with the story itself (I actually think Coupland saw the era of the blog coming). But in jPod, many of these insertions don’t make narrative sense. I really got the sense that Coupland was up his own ass when putting those bits in.
    All in all, I’d give the book a C+ in relation to his other books. I could really see he was trying, but it was a little too clever.

  2. Yea, it was a bit odd, kinda in line with the randomness of the characters themselves, but yea, definitely more towards the stylishness than helping the narrative. I didn’t find it detracted at all though, just skip over the odd bits as if they were fancy chapter marks ๐Ÿ™‚ Also made the last half of the book go really fast when you have 30 pages of random numbers ๐Ÿ™‚