Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Book Review - Douglas Coupland: Generation-X: Tales For an Accelerated Culture

Generation-X: Tales For an Accelerated Culture – Douglas Coupland
[St Martin's Press; 1991]

Yet another novel that finds itself on most bookstores recommended stands, Douglas Coupland's Generation-X: Tales For an Accelerated Culture kick started a new generation back in the early '90s where kids listening to Nirvana and Sonic Youth not only had modern musicians to look up to, but now one of their very own was tapping into a creative vein that was being lived at that particular time.

A lot of readers will see themselves through the characters Coupland shapes throughout this novel. A sense of 'getting away from it all' encapsulates everything people in “McJobs” (as Coupland describes a below-the-average wage earning job) feel and the Canadian born writer eludes to this through Andy, Dag and Claire; the three main characters who respectively find themselves in mind dulling jobs with the only way of feeling connected with the world is to retreat to the deserts of Western American, tapping into a sense of being without buildings and people hovering around them (well, in Dag's case, anyway).

Coupland's writing techniques and finger-on-pulse mentality certainly paves the way for writers like Irvine Welsh to seize the moment and expand upon the ideas that shaped this novel and for that Generation-X... will always been seen upon as a landmark novel. If anything, you should really keep this book at your side at all times just for the footnote definitions Coupland has constructed throughout the book's entirety. You'll more than likely be able to coin every single person you know with one of these definitions Coupland has constructed in extremely unique fashion.

By Simon K

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