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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 25 May 2015
I first read Generation X in the early 90's shortly after leaving University(well Poly but like all at the time, mine changed to a Uni in my final year). I have re-visited in many times since then, with a different perspective as I moved through life.

It resonated most when I was in the first stages of a career, struggling, working for 'the man', getting engaged and buying my first house, moving up the corporate ladder all be it slowly. Each year it was a book I took on holiday with me, leaving it behind in the hotel lending library for others to pick up on a good number of occasions. Then I went back to it after my divorce and was evaluating my life choices, and I took something different from it. Now, 46 delighted it is now available as a Kindle version. So it will be joining me on holiday again, this time with my wife and two young children and I am sure my take on the book will be one of nostalgia for how I felt when I first read it in my early 20s but maybe I will get something new from it.
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on 5 January 2006
Generation X has become something of an 'our song' between myself and my friends. Deeply moving and subtly bitter, without ever being in any way 'normal', it is the lives of three highly intelligent people who have effectively dropped out from society.
Their backgrounds aren't always clear, and there are moments of very modern identification - Dag declares himself 'a lesbian in a man's body', while Andy is pained by his younger brother's apparently infallible capitalist happiness. It's a strange and broken novel, and there is no clear ending, but it's also a beautiful novel.
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on 11 June 2000
This was my first coupland experience & the only drawback to that is that it has spoilt me. the only book that comes close is Microserfs. I read 3/4 of this book sitting in a coffee bar for 2 houirs waiting to see a client in newcastle! read this book just read the book. it's enlightning, refreshing, reassuring & VERY tempting. BUY THIS BOOK!
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on 29 April 2013
This is an essential read for anyone writing contemporary fiction or non-fiction. It is worth it just for the the footnotes, that are in the margins, 'McJob' 'fattening pen' etc. I have stolen a few of the expressions for my own writing, as have many others. I bought this for my son, buy it and you will not be disappointed.
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2007
I was mildly disappointed when I read this for the first time recently as I was expecting something a little more fast-paced, a little edgier. Perhaps this was because I - erroneously, as it turns out - associated the title with grunge music, a hybrid of punk, indie-rock and heavy metal that reached its peak in the early nineties - right about the time Generation X was first published. In fact, the title refers to a generation slightly older than me and the majority of grunge fans, and there is no mention of Nirvana et al in this, Douglas Coupland's debut novel.

The story itself is a gentle, somewhat uneventful tale of three friends who, having become increasingly disillusioned with the soulless pursuits of the yuppie/baby boom generation, relocate to the Mojave desert, in California. Here, they tell each other stories ("memories of Earth") not merely as a way of passing the time but in an attempt to re-discover their humanity. If the topics of these stories seem lofty and language employed to tell them pretentious, then it's entirely deliberate, Coupland capturing the "overeducated, intensely private and unpredictable" nature of his characters in a touching and wonderfully ironic style.

What intrigued me most about this book, however, was the impressive glossary of terms and slogans found at the foot of the pages. Wryly observed, and for the most part, searingly funny, they reveal as much (if not more) about the generation Coupland is concerned with. And if you recognise yourself in any these descriptions, fear not! You are surely not alone. I for one have been guilty of "Ultra Short Term Nostalgia" and "Musical Hairsplitting" in my time, and have come pretty close to a "Mid-twenties Breakdown" once or twice...

In conclusion, Generation X isn't an overly thrilling read, but it is a lyrical, insightful and romantic book that remains an iconic and culturally significant work of fiction.

Matt Pucci
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on 5 November 2004
Coupland writes with so much poetry in one sentence, that you could fill a gorge just with the thoughts it creates.
Generation x is about three friends, Andy, Clare and Dag, who have moved out to the Arizona desert to escape modern city life. They tell beautiful stories to pass the time and to make each other think and they make the reader think too.
The book combines the wonderful tales the characters makes and the situations that they are going through at the same time. The apathy of the three characters really links with the reader and the stories, metaphors and similies give a real "woah" moment as you look away and think. In all, it's got to be Coupland's best works despite the smallness of the book. It's just simply beautiful. You must read it.
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on 5 April 1999
Someone once described this book to me as quite good but Copeland was too much up his own a...... I subsequently read it and on completetion felt that they had pretty much missed the point of the book alltogether. Copeland has managed to combine some extremely witty and sometimes melancholy observations of late 20th century life and focussed it upon a group of twenty somethings who are perhaps not typical, but who certainly share many fears worries,and desires with the rest of us who have resented the consumer orientated and career restricted world we seem to now live in. The footnotes and illustrations provide us with a glimpse of Copelands inner psyche which I am sure are meant to amuse us. Believe the hype and read it.!
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on 15 August 2013
I would agree with the reviewer that says this book is hideously dated (at least style wise, anyway). I found the characters to be annoying and the stories to be a bit hit and miss. I did not like the way the book was formatted, which made it difficult to read. Also, the footnotes distracted from the narrative flow. Some of the terms were quite clever, but they didn't all work. I can see how some of them caught on back in the day. The ending was quite good but I found the description 'mentally retarded' jarring. This is probably my least favourite of all of Doug's books.
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on 8 January 2013
Whilst this is not my favorite of his book (I would probs rank it about 4th or 5th) I would still recommend it.
The title itself has become such an important phrase in modern culture and i think that alone means it is worth a read. It introduces lots of new words and phrases which are explained at the bottom of each page which I thought was really cool. The narrative isn't exactly ground breaking but perhaps the style in which it is written is.
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on 4 January 2005
When I started reading this book I thought I was going to hate it, with it's footnotes of generation X buzz terms and random billboard-esque slogans like 'the love of meat prevents any real change' and 'use jets while you still can', I hated the fact that there were characters named 'Dag' and 'Tobias' too, all these things made me reluctant to persevere with the reading. But persevere I did and as the book progressed I grew to love Dag, Claire and Andy and their zany catchphrases and cynical stories. I actually became engrossed in their lives and the book became a real page turner, I even laughed at some of the foot notes. By the end of the book though I had a melancholy feeling, this book is witty, modern and unusual and it's colourful language actually inspired me but being of the 'generation X' myself it made me so sad too, I related a lot to the empty feeling Coupland often refers to and I felt it really spoke to me about my mid-twenties generation and made a lot of, quite depressing, sense.
A really good thing about this book from a readers point of view is that it has very short chapters of about 4 pages on average. I'm quite a fidgety reader and tend to pick up and put down a book several times during a day rather than sitting and reading for several hours at a time, the short chapter length helped me to do this without losing the thread of the story. I would actually now like to read more of Coupland's work, he has quite a unique style and it took me a while to get into his rhythm but now I have I'd like to experience more of it! All in all a very enjoyable yarn!
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