Dude, Douglas Coupland, seriously…

What the hell is your problem? I read Generation X, I liked it. I read Microserfs. It practically formed my opinion of what living in a geek-commune tech company should be like. It was the first book that was recommended to me by a peer that wasn’t utter filth. My memories of that book are inextricably linked to the memories of my Performa 400 and late nights showing people how to zmodem down porn from AzTec and my first 17″ monitor and full height, 5.25″ one gigabyte hard drives bought from onsale.com and watching Akira four times in a row and dry humping and milkshakes and bondage, laserdiscs of 2001 and the first time I thought I was in love and normal.

And now jPod.

As an author it must feel awesome when you decide to write yourself into a book. It’s the only thing I can think of. It must be like some kind of sweet release/tantric writing experience where you just imagine how awesome it’s gonna be. It ain’t. I haven’t read a single book where the author shows up (especially after as many fucking vaguely self-aggrandizing namechecks as you pulled) and not had my HACK ALERT go off. This was no different, Doug. I was tired of you being in the book around the incredibly stilted “They failed to credit me with Melrose Place” conversation, and was ready to scream around the time they were talking about how drinking Zima was such a Coupland thing to do. When you showed up on the plane? I was fucking ready to vomit. And then you just KEPT DOING IT. Did you read the last three Dark Tower books and go “Hey, Steve managed to do that with grace and style, it’s a new era where readers are totally cool with this.”? Because no, he didn’t do it with grace and style. He did it with the same sort of ratcheting, mechanical, contractually obligated put-on-a-rubber-let’s-get-this-shit-over-with attitude that normally accompanies this sort of schlock. Fucking hell.

Did you quit cocaine? That will make it OK. Just release a book where you explain how you quit coke and I’ll forgive you just like I forgave Mr. King. Some of his new stuff is even good! It’s not quite as good as his old stuff, but hey, what are you gonna do? Or maybe it was heroin. Whatever. I’d be willing to overlook some of this if you admitted you were addicted to airplane glue or lottery scratchers. But unless you explain pretty verbosely why you realized you hit bottom when you were having dog-sex in front of a crowd for lines of aspartame, I’m not sure I can forgive you.

Love and snuggles,

Aaron

6 thoughts on “Dude, Douglas Coupland, seriously…

  1. Judging by the fact you didn’t bring up Girlfriend in a Coma, I’d guess you didn’t read that? Because I’d wager it would enrage you far further than jPod did. And he doesn’t even use himself to rescue the main character in a SUV.

    The Mom character in jPod was one of the worst characters I’ve encountered…anywhere.

    I’m really hesitant to even give a positive nod to you of any book that does this, but Money by Martin Amis does an ok job of the author appearing in the book. And the rest of the novel is an all-time debased classic. It’s kind of like Amis’ Gen-X or Microserfs…all his later novels have pissed me off in comparison.

  2. I somehow managed to avoid reading Girlfriend in a Coma. I read Postcards from the Dead at one point, but it was so utterly forgettable it has left no stain on me.

    I agree that the Mom in jPod was awful, but I think some of the characters in Crichton’s NeXT (Or, god forbid you should be forced to read it, Heinlein’s For Us The Living) rival Mom for the title of worst.

    Vonnegut did it with some elan and wit. I’m sure others have managed it, but it’s strictly bush league as far as I’m concerned. I might pick up Money and check it out.

    Meanwhile, I’ve moved on to Lonesome Dove, and Gus and I have some sourdough biscuits to make.

  3. I have to admit, I eventually read all of Crichton’s shit. I chalk it up to a nerd’s guilty pleasure. I just finished State of Fear, and it was downright cringe-inducing. I can’t wait for NeXT!

    I’m reading that dickbrained law student guy’s book ‘I Hope they Serve Beer In Hell’. He’s 100% hemorrhoid, but manages to have a pretty nice comic timing. It’s horrible and funny, and will make you want to punch someone wearing Abercrombie.

  4. Sounds like it could be fun. I went through a bunch of my “required reading” type stuff recently and I’m kind of running low on material right now. Lonesome Dove seems to be working, but that’ll be done soon enough. I have a couple of Kevin Andersen space soap opera books, but they’re kind of wearing on me.

    The last books I read and they really nailed it for me were Charlie Huston’s Caught Stealing/Six Bad Things/A Dangerous Man trilogy, and I finally got around to reading I, Legend, which was as fantastic as I had heard.

    As I spent much of my college time drunk and yelling at people, I will probably avoid IHTSBIH, reading the reviews was enough to make me kind of retch. Plus I finished Marley and Me a while ago and that fulfills my Humor-laced Memories requirement for the year, as well as my “Book Club Selection” numbers.

  5. From the Amazon ‘key phrases’ (wtf??) section for Caught Stealing:

    Key Phrases: fucking cat, New York, Sick Cop, Spalding Gray

    I’m in! I’ll report back sometime in 2014 when I finish it.

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