Addicted to novelty since 2001

Microserfs, 12 Years Later

I really enjoyed Douglas Coupland’s early books, probably up to (but no necessarily including) Girlfriend in a Coma. One of my favourites was Microserfs, a book about Microsoft programmers trying to get a life.

Via Waxy, a Microsoft employee revisits the book 12 years later:

The descriptions of Microsoft campus life — right down to the soccer fields and hidden paths — are still quite accurate. The detail that seems to have changed the most is the relationship of employees to Bill. He was apparently a Geek God in 1994, whereas now he’s more of a beleaguered Yoda. It’s good we skipped over the anti-trust days though.

More recently, I think Coupland has gotten away from what appealed to me about his books–the search for the spiritual in a post-modern world.

5 Responses to “Microserfs, 12 Years Later”

  1. Derek K. Miller

    I think Hello Nostradamus!, of his recent books, managed to achieve that, although it was very sad. Quite often he does seem to start with a great idea and invigorating prose, then run out of steam before he gets 2/3 of the way through. Girlfriend in a Coma was a particularly egregious example.

  2. miss604

    I’m looking forward to J-Pod (release is may 16/06). On amazon they refer to it as Microserfs 2.0 … hmm we’ll see.

  3. Adam

    I just finished Microserfs about 2 weeks ago. It was my first Coupland novel. I enjoyed it a lot. Being a geek I could relate quite a bit to that world. I’m definitely going to read some more Coupland once my reading list gets smaller.

  4. James

    Microserfs came after Life After God (see http://www.coupland.com/books/index.html for the chronology) and was the last readable book from Coupland. I tried to read Polaroids From the Dead and couldn’t.

    This is not my original criticism, but I agree with it and can’t remember where I heard it: each Coupland book strikes me as an extended short story or magazine article. He doesn’t really write novels, he writes little one and two-act set pieces about an interesting idea that runs out of narrative energy because it goes nowhere.

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