Ah, what a lovely geek book. First, I've always loved Douglas' writing.
Microserfs was the first book I read by him, and judging from his other works it's one of the few that actually makes a real 'book' Generation X & Shampoo planet (two of the writers other, early works) are just a bunch of stories strung together.
Microserfs is the story of a bunch of young 20 something geeks who work at Microsoft, all with aspirations of doing something more and finding out about their lives. A perfect allegory for young people of this generation who grew up weaned on computers.
The characters quit Microsoft to form their own start up, with dreams of making it rich (almost a modern day parable for gold rush and other explorers/entrepreneurs of the past
Along the way, they each come to learn something about themselves. While this is mostly a coming-of-age story that's been done so many times before. Coupland writes it differently.
Giving each character their top 5 Jeopardy categories, making them each so individually nuanced (one's obsessed with Xerox, etc) yet instantly relatable and understandable.
They're weird and quirky, but in the same way that any geek is. And they're not ashamed of this, reading this book if you are technically inclined, geeky, weird, etc, makes you feel less alone, part of something.
Like most Coupland books the ending is brief and abrupt, suddenly everyone's problems are solved, and they've all come to realize something about themselves. It feels more like the writer just ran out of story ideas, rather than a natural conclusion.
But the conclusion isn't the important part, it's the journey. And experiencing this very readable (yet still importantly different, with it's random computer quotations pasted in at times), and identifiable novel lets any techo-nerd feel at ease as they pass along for the ride.
Also recommended: THE LOSERS' CLUB by Richard Perez