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Guest cda

Microserfs by Douglas Coupland.

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Guest cda

Microserfs by Douglas Coupland.

 

 

 

Microserfs concerns itself with the lives of a group of Microsoft computer programmers at the beginning of the 1990

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This sounds like a very interesting idea - i like the sound of the style - very unusual.

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Sorry CDA, I find Coupland highly variable in quality and didn't like Microserfs (so I'm not feeling keen on Jpod, which is supposedly 'Microserfs for the age of Google'). Here are my thoughts which I posted elsewhere.

 

It's his longest book, pushing 400 pages, and could have done with a good deal of pruning - maybe 50%. To begin with I thought it was tremendous - it was tremendous - with lots of wit, cleverness rather than wisdom (which is fine with me) and intelligent analysis of a very specific two inches of ivory,or silicon: the work lives (they don't have any other lives) of coders who work for Microsoft in mid-1990s Seattle. The book takes the form of a diary by Dan who, like all Microserfs, dreams of one day meeting Bill Gates (or even getting personally flamed by him in email), religiously watches the WinQuote on his screen which keeps him advised of the value of his stock options, and worries about shipping the product on time. I found pretty much everything about it charming - to begin with. But with no real progression, despite a few plot movements (they leave Microsoft to set up business alone; Dan's father gets sacked; er, that's about it), I felt it did quickly become those things I feared in the days BC (oh come on, don't make me come over there) - glib, modish ... and unfortunately, boring. I reckon I was no more than about halfway through when momentum took over from enthusiasm and I kept reading just to finish the thing - as opposed to Hey Nostradamus!, where I read for the pleasure of completion and completeness. None of that detracts from the fact that Coupland is a whizz with a one-liner: but there's only so many one-liners you can take.

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Guest cda

No need to apologise for disagreeing - it makes things fun. I am terribly excited by jPod.

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How would you rank his other books, cda? I haven't read the first three (Gen X, Shampoo Planet, Life After God) or All Families are Psychotic. For me Hey Nostradamus! stands head and shoulders above all the others. Utterly wondrous.

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