Player One: What Is To Become Of Us by Douglas Coupland
House of Anansi Press, Totonto, 2012
From my library. My final book for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge.
This book had an interesting beginning. A novel written for the CBC 2010 Massey Lecture Series, each chapter was presented in a different Canadian city. I have read and enjoyed printed versions of these lectures before, including works by Margaret Atwood and Wade Davis.
I’ve never read Douglas Coupland and maybe this was not the book to start with, or maybe I’m over the “coolness factor” displayed by some authors. The story starts and ends in a typical airport lounge where we meet five characters, one disembodied, all from different backgrounds, all going through some kind of life change. Enter the apocalypse, in the form of drastically rising oil prices. There is a self-help guru and a sniper involved, some people get shot, and at the end there is an interest glossary.
I get this. How our reliance of a way of life could be disastrous in the face of sudden change. How people lead driven and empty lives, and that we really ought to stop and think about this and make different choices. I guess that’s Coupland’s point, but for someone who enjoys apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, I found this brief novel too cold and empty. I could not connect with the story or the characters.
If anyone has read Coupland can you suggest another novel that I might enjoy?