Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers whose names start with J are bureaucratically marooned in jPod. jPod is a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver game design company.
The six workers daily confront the forces that define our era: global piracy, boneheaded marketing staff, people smuggling, the rise of China, marijuana grow-ops, Jeff Probst, and the ashes of the 1990s financial tech dream. jPod's universe is amoral and shameless. The characters are products of their era even as they're creating it.
Everybody in Ethan's life inhabits a moral grey zone. Nobody is exempt, not even his seemingly straitlaced parents or Coupland himself, as readers will see.
Full of word games, visual jokes, and sideways jabs, this audiobook throws a sharp, pointed lawn dart into the heart of contemporary life. jPod is Douglas Coupland at the top of his game.
©2006 Douglas Coupland; (P)Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Coupland revisits the digital kingdom he so shrewdly depicted in Microserfs (1995) in a zeitgeist-trawling satire about 21st-century cyber obsession." (Booklist)
JPod is my favorite book (and I've downloaded over 400 audiobooks). I first purchased this book in 2007 and have listened to it several dozen times since. On the surface, the book chronicles the hilarious and hapless adventures of Ethan, his family and pod mates, but I think there's so much more to it than the basic narrative. Let me put it this way: if you are a geek, into computers and the internet, and the kind of person who watches YouTube videos and Google's random questions, you will *LOVE* this audiobook. The negative reviews here are absolutely false.
This is also one of the most excellently read audiobooks on Audible. Marc Cashman has the pitch-perfect voice for the light-hearted comedy in this book. He also manages to give each character their own vocal idiosyncrasies so you are always aware of who is speaking, regardless of whether Coupland tells you.
There are a few books out there where you feel like the protagonist is "you". This is one of them. I hope you come to enjoy the book as much as I did.
As one reviewer has pointed out, this is a somewhat difficult book to render (and listen to) as an audio edition. One example, page 212 of the print edition: "FUN FACT: any even number can be made by adding together two primes." This is followed by 16 1/2 pages filled with 11 columns of five-digit numbers (from 10007 to 99991) to prove the point. Keep in mind that the book is about a group of excentric computer game programmers. Now, I doubt that Coupland expected anyone to read those pages, so what to do if you're reading for the audio edition? It doesn't make sense to read such lists in their entirety. I would have to say that, overall, this book is far more accessible for those fortunate enough to have seen the far-too-short-lived "JPod" television series. Basically, the story itself is pretty far out and surreal. I love this book (as I do most of Coupland's books) for the odd humor and his observations on post-postmodern humanity. I'd like to see more of his books available at Audible.
While I enjoyed reading this book when it first came out I didn't find it translated well into an audio book and really couldn't wait for it to end.
I enjoy Doug Coupland books a lot, but would hesitate to get another one in audio format.
This is a great audiobook. Couplands wry humor is best played at a rate of speed that you catch yourself laughing and then groaning in self recognition and then move on before any harm comes of it. I loved Microserfs, Life After God, Generation X and Nostradamous. This doesn''t have the timely breakthrough insights of Microserfs and Generation X, but it has plenty of humor and cultural digs. Enjoy.
Avid audiobook addict!
I'm a geek, so I kind of tolerated it, but most normal people would just skip it in disgust. The author is incredibly self-indulgent. His long lists of unrelated words that he thinks are "clever", which could be just skipped over easily in printed format, are incredibly annoying when trying to fast-forward past them in audio format. The dialogue and characters are utterly unbelievable. Unless you're a huge geek and Douglas Coupland fanboy don't bother.
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