Top positive review
I would rank it the best of the few other Coupland books I have read
on November 29, 2015
Player One: What Is to Become of Us by Douglas Coupland exceeded my expectations. Based on the cover, which is someone sticking up their hand on an airplane, I expected this book to be about people losing their sense of identity on an airplane and at an airport. Rather, this book was a story about what it means to be human with an apocalypse in the background.
The characters in this novel were drawn upon from the usual set of literary characters: the drunk, the lonely, and the confused. Because this book is part of the CBC Massey Lecture series, the 2010 lecture in this case, Coupland took the opportunity to have the characters muse on the meaning of life in conversation rather than to show his ideas through the characters’ actions. This probably worked well when it was delivered as a lecture and, to be honest it works well when reading this novel in book form.
The novel is relatively short, just over 200 pages, but comes with another 30-ish pages of made-up words that loosely apply to concepts discussed in the novel. This glossary is somewhat humorous, and I don’t regret reading it. Although this novel brings up concepts about humanity that might stick for a little while, I wouldn’t say this book is a modern-day classic, but if you happen upon it you wouldn’t regret reading it.
Compared to Coupland’s other works, I would say this book is more focused, probably due to the length-constraints of this being part of a lecture series. I would rank it the best of the few other Coupland books I have read, these being Jpod, The Gum Thief and Generation A. That said, I am encouraged to read more Coupland. You could do a lot worse when it comes to picking out a stimulating read that comments on our present age.