Player One: What Is To Become Of Us, A Novel In Five Parts by Douglas Coupland

Player One: What Is to Become of Us: A Novel…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?


Filed under Canadian, CBC Massey Lectures, SpeculativeFiction

6 responses to “Player One: What Is To Become Of Us, A Novel In Five Parts by Douglas Coupland

  1. Gosh … I read one of his books (Gen X?) ages ago but don’t remember anything much about it. Perhaps that tells you that you shouldn’t read another…

    • I think you may be right, Jenners, I just think I shouldn’t give up on Coupland after just one book. I did manage to finish it:)

  2. Eleanor Rigby and Life After God are my favourites of his. Both are novels that had a HUGE impact on me. Coupland was one of my favourite authors in my late teens and early twenties, but the last time I read him I didn’t get along with the book (Girlfriend in a Coma). I don’t know if that was just a back pick or if the way I feel about the rest of his work would change if I were to revisit it.

  3. I wasn’t a big fan of this book either. I’ve not read many of his books, but my favourite was Generation A. I think his earlier ones are probably his best. I’m looking forward to reading Hey Nostradamus! as I’ve heard great things about it.

  4. oh I read his first five or so been ages since I read him ,gen x is his most famous book Gav but I loved girlfriend in coma ,wonderful take on modern life and of course named after a smiths song ,all the best stu

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