The verdict is in–I loved Jpod. I was also the very first person to check out a copy from the entire SJ library system. For those of you who don’t live here, that type of geekiness is encouraged, not shunned here.
Jpod reminded me a lot of Microserfs, but in a good way. It has a similar cast of characters–a group of friends working at a high-tech place, with the back-scab guy replaced by a people-smuggler named Kam Fong. It has a similarly surreal plot that isn’t believable, but very intriguing. And, of course, there are the weird Douglas Coupland-required pages of strange things. In this book there are 20 pages dedicated to the search for a rogue digit in the first hundred thousand numbers of pi. I think it would be an entirely different reading experience if I could actually find those things.
Douglas Coupland also pokes fun at himself, which I think reads as really funny. Here are a few of my favorite lines:
“Pass me another Zima.”
“Why are we drinking Zima? It’s beyond irony. It’s not funny or anything. It’s just gross. Why not just serve us jugs of Hitler’s piss instead?”
“Drinking Zima is something Douglas Coupland would make a character do.”
“To what end?”
“It’d be a device that would allow him to locate the characters in time and a specific sort of culture.”
“Is that all we are–Zima drinkers? Zima is so nineties.”
And there’s a very interesting subplot where Kaitlin, the girlfriend in the novel, becomes convinced that most people who work in high-tech fall into the autistic spectrum somewhere closer to the autism end than other people. To counteract this, she makes a hug machine. I was discussing this with Jen and Brian last night, and it seems to be true. At least Jen and I think so.
Anyway, it’s a keeper. Jpod is the new Microserfs.