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Godblog [Paperback]

Laurie Channer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2008

Circumstances force Dag, a young snowboarder, to give up his sport and to find another way to live. He embarks on two paths, the first a subsistence job as a barista in a coffee mega-chain, where he works hard to be a worker extraordinaire. He also invents an online alter ego who pronounces his own brand of wisdom and rant, expressing what Dag can't in his role of coffee slave. Dag doesn't know who he is any more. Crapped out of his sport. Can do no right by his best friend. Can do no wrong by his girl roommate. Pursued by the corporate paranoia of his coffee overlords. Baiting the world with his blog. Dag's brewing a 21st century identity crisis that will scald everyone in his path.


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Product Description

Quill & Quire

The publicity bumph for Toronto author Laurie Channer’s debut novel promises an edgy narrative in the vein of Douglas Coupland. It’s fine to aim high, but Godblog does not come remotely close to dethroning Canada’s king of hip. Channer’s premise has potential. Dag, a fallen snowboarder, has taken a job as a barista with the ubiquitous coffee chain BlackArts. Like many embittered young adults, Dag opts to relieve his day-to-day stresses by writing a personal blog. His online identity, Hero of the Teeming Masses, becomes a conduit for Dag’s aggravations and an incitement to his readers to rise up against entrenched Western values. Unfortunately for Dag, the public begins taking his online suggestions to heart, resulting in mass instances of minor civil disobedience, often directed against Dag’s employer. While the Hero’s power in the blogosphere rises, Dag’s “real” life begins to unravel, as BlackArts embarks on a search for the Hero’s true identity. Godblog’s conceit of the personality split between the constrained public persona and the Internet rogue freed from the dictates of modern society is ripe for literary dissection. Unfortunately, Channer’s novel is too disjointed to wholly engage its theme, never fully deciding what it wants to be. Is it an examination of the power of the Internet? A satire of lowly flunkies held in thrall to their all-powerful employer? A story about the young and funky taking on the establishment? The novel yearns to be innovative, but any hope of memorable satire is scuttled by writing that is repetitive and stereotyped. Coupland is no master stylist, but he excels at creating sympathy for his assorted nerds and misfits by delving deeply into their characters. Channer’s technique, by contrast, is all surface. Her characters are one-dimensional and indistinguishable, and as a result, the reader feels no empathy for them. Godblog is a good idea spoiled by missed opportunities. Billed as pushing the boundaries of conventional literature, it is in fact humdrum, slapdash, and decidedly conventional.

About the Author

Laurie Channer's short stories have won a second prize and an honorable mention in the Toronto Star Short Story Contest and appeared in On Spec, with solo pieces and in collaboration. Her stories have also been published or reprinted in several anthologies in the company of such luminaries as Bram Stoker, Stephen Leacock, and Anton Chekhov. She has had a regular back-page space in Canadian Screenwriter magazine since 1998. She lives in Toronto.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What if you ruled the world? June 5 2009
Format:Paperback
What if you had control over people's actions? Would you use your power for the forces of good or the forces of evil. That is the choice Dag has to make in this look at the inner workings of the world of the coffee barrista. An engaging novel with fully fleshed out characters, and the author's trademark twist of events.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Identity Mediation in a Web 2.0 World Sept. 22 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Godblog is disturbing.

And that's a good thing.

While a fiction novel, GODBLOG is also a critical, compelling look at fame and celebrity on the internet, a place where anonymity is fetishized and mob mentality is championed. GODBLOG is the tale of Dag, a washed up snowborder, and his attempt to channel his anger into a creative and constructive journal, the novel becomes a rollercoaster ride through the horrible events that precipitate from Dag's increasingly infuriated edicts to his online followers as the Hero of the Teeming Masses. From defying airport security measures to organizing nation-wide spontaneous donations to canned food drives, Dag holds power as the Hero that he can never have in his real life as a forcibly-cheerful barista, and the split is tearing him apart.

It all comes to a head when a hostage taker demands to meet the great and glorious Hero, and what happens when the world realizes that the there is no Hero to save the day at all.

The prose is sparse and carefully chosen, a great reflection of Dag's outwardly bland reactions and roiling inner turmoil, and Channer offers up the sort of beautifully damaged characters that have made stars of her literary fiction counterparts.

This book is stunning.

It also makes you want to go and delete your Facebook account and start twirling at the security gates at the airport, and that, I think, is the mark of the best kind of book there is: the kind that makes you want to DO something about the world.
I recommend re-reading the prologue as soon as you finish the book - if the tears in your eyes allow it.

I look forward to Channer's next masterpiece.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads Like a seven-shot Espresso Dec 21 2008
By Tom Sanchez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Laurie Channer's new novel, "Godblog" is one of the most original books to come out in years. Dag was a budding snowboard legend, who suddenly "lost his tricks." After an especially disastrous half-pipe run, he stumbled into Black Arts Coffee, a soul-impaired corporate chain, and quickly became their most popular barista. Dag has a secret, though--an online alter-ego whose popularity and influence quickly explodes out of control. The story is fresh, the chain coffeehouse details rich, and the characters quirky and well-drawn. Ms Channer infuses her narrative with wry, funny observations about corporations, internet culture, and people in general. She does so in a caustically gentle way, though. The writing is sharp, the dialogue true, and the book never bogs down. A sui generis joy to read. (And no whiny damn vampires) Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and humorous romp through the relationship of cyberspace and the real world Feb. 9 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The internet is anonymous, and when that cover is removed, trouble can brew. "Godblog" follows Dag as he wage slaves his life away in a coffee shop. By night, he gains notoriety as a highly opinionated blogger, who has a problem with the corporations that Dag happens to work for in his day job. Dag's secrecy and job are in danger, making "Godblog" an entertaining and humorous romp through the relationship of cyberspace and the real world.
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