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JPod: Special Edition Hardcover – 5 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (5 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747586772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747586777
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 24.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,435,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Humming with life and very, very funny. -- Scottish Sunday Herald

Jpod is a sleek and necessary device: the finley tuned output of an author whose is thankfully years away. -- New York Times Review of Books --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

This is a special Limited edition of 3000 copies.
Each hardback copy is signed by the author and comes in a presentation case together with one of six cube figures based on the characters from J-pod, and manufactured by the cubepeople, Characters include;
Ethan,Bree,John Doe,Cowboy,Kaitlin and Evil Mark.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
Sometimes you get a bad feeling from the first page of a book, such as when the author namedrops himself. In this case, clever Douglas Coupland.

Fortunately that bad feeling doesn't continue throughout the geek purgatory of "JPod," which can be seen as a sort of sequel to "Microserfs" -- bored, brilliant people in unfulfilling corporate jobs. It staggers at the midway point, but the corporate bizarrities are definitely worth the read.

When he's not dealing with a doomed video game, Ethan is trying to help his parents -- his pot-growing mum killed a hostile biker, and his wannabe-actor dad is having a hot affair with a sexy girl Ethan's age. To make matters worse, his brother has smugglesd illegal Chinese immigrants into his home without permission. And you thought YOUR day was bad.

Things deteriorate even more when the JPod boss develops an obsessive crush on Ethan's mother, and he ends up getting shipped to China. Now it's Ethan's job to go retrieve him, since the turtle-themed video game is being destroyed by their new manager. But getting the boss back won't be the end of his problems.

Let's get this out of the way: Coupland casts himself as a character in "JPod." Essentially it's his evil, sociopathic clone. Coupland does get credit for not making himself come across as appealing at all, but the whole sequence seems very gimmicky and artificial.

"JPod" itself is a smirky black comedy, with lots of dysfunctional characters and a a lot of all-out comic situations. In fact, he really never lets up with the comedy, with idiot bosses, lesbian mothers with lowercase names, and even a gangster born without a sense of humor. Not to mention love letters to Ronald MacDonald. Yes, the fast-food clown.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Venice Merchant on 23 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after watching the complete series of jPod on Virgin Media's on-demand service. Whilst I had not read any of Coupland's material before, but heard opinions from others who had, I had some idea of what to expect. Some pages had me laughing out loud (letters to Ronald, for example), whilst the numerous pages of seemingly unnecessary cruft (e.g. number sequences) infuriated me.

I don't know if Coupland includes himself in the narrative of his other books, but I found his appearance in jPod rather cheesy and, again, unnecessary. I believe the story would have been at least unaffected, at most enhanced, by replacing Coupland (or his evil twin persona, whatever) with another character playing the exact same role. I found his self-inclusion an indulgence, but maybe I missed some nuance or finer point he was trying to make here.

Having read jPod after seeing the excellent TV series, I was disappointed. If I'd read the book first, I probably wouldn't have bothered with the TV show - and that would have been a damn shame.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Williams on 12 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
I've heard die-hard Coupland fans give up without finishing J-Pod, and I've heard others say it's genius. I say it's a short story that's been padded out to make a novel. It doesn't have the soul of Microserfs, the Coupland novel most people will compare it to, and its certainly not a sequel. Neither of those things are criticisms. I think it's a misunderstood novel.

One of the things that seems to be putting people off is the self-referencing. I think Coupland's actually playing with his own public perceptions. It can come across as a little smug, but he is deliberately experimenting with his audience a little. (If you've read Kurt Vonnegut's Timequake, or Breakfast with Champions, you'll be familiar with the trick of writing yourself in at the critical moment.) Coupland is exploring, almost satirising, his own public persona, like Eminem seems to do quite regularly on his comeback singles.

J-Pod is not your normal Coupland fayre. There doesn't seem to be any redemption for the characters, nobody sees the light and becomes a better person. The end is almost an anticlimax, an undoing. And yet, it's not a bad book. It's just an anti-Coupland, a negative of Microserfs, an alternative worldview that makes his readers re-appraise his other books.

But if you're a fan and you're still not convinced, I'm confident Coupland's next novel will be nothing like it.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By E V Morgan on 16 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
I became obsessed with Douglas Coupland's books when I first read Gen X, Shampoo Planet and Life After God in the space of a few weeks and have, ever since Microserfs, awaited each new one with expectations that were rarely disappointed. The overall success of his output since has varied a little, many people suggesting that he does one good then one so-so book, but the last couple - Hey Nostradamus and Eleanor Rigby - were as good as if not better than his best to date (Microserfs, in my opinion) and all of his books, however contrived the subplots and kitschy the references, had a soulfulness and poetry to them that transcended the gimmicks.

JPod is like someone lacking that humanity tried - and failed - to mimic Microserfs. It's devoid of ideas. The technology that, again, felt like a gimmick in Microserfs is now so commonplace that it's got no cachet, the family subplot is painfully unreal and not remotely touching (recall "hellojed" for a reminder of how tear-jerking he could be), the way 'Coupland' inserts himself into the story about halfway through is a poor imitation of Bret Easton Ellis and pages and pages are filled with numbers that no-one will ever read, like he ran out of oopmh and just needed to hit that word count, no questions asked.

If anyone read his recent Morrissey 'interview' for the Observer Music Monthly they should know what to expect - as that was an interview without any quotes or input from the subject, so this is a novel without any creative input or heart from the author.

I would go so far as to recommend that Coupland fans who have not yet read this book should avoid it - this is his 'Phantom Menace' and it stinks.
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