I finished Douglas Coupland’s Jpod a few weeks ago and it’s taken me some time to synthesize my opinion. I had picked the book up on a whim as I was looking for something to read on a long road trip and given that the book was supposed to be about the staff of people at a Canadian video game development company I thought it might be a fun read.
Folks, avoid Jpod like Jack Thompson avoids logic, reason, and common sense. I had purchased Jpod thinking that the book would be somehow similar to his excellent book Microserfs which he published almost a decade ago. Similar in the sense that it would feature interesting characters that you would like a few of the characters and that the book would have a coherent plot. I was just looking for some interesting fiction with a video game industry twist. What I got was a mess of a book that contains a lot of filler and actually insults most gamers and the video game industry.
The book actually reminded me a lot of the show “Flavor of Love” in that the book is an absolute mess of different plot lines that are more trashy than interesting. There isn’t a lot of depth to any of the characters in the book and the only really interesting character is the guy working in trafficking human beings.
To make matters worse, Douglas Coupland actually inserts himself into the book as one of the characters. I knew I was in trouble when the characters in the book name check him on the first page of the book. I’m not sure if it’s just laziness or cheek but it was a bit off putting. If you’re a big fan of his work this might work for you but if you’re a casual fan then it’s a bit lame.