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 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.

Comments are closed.