Generation X Canada Reads: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

Paperback | November 15, 2009

byDouglas Coupland

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Generation X is Douglas Coupland`s acclaimed salute to the generation born in the late 1950s and 1960s - a generation known vaguely up to then as “twentysomething.”

Generation X has been Nominated for Canada Reads 2010!  Click here for more information regarding Canada Reads.

Andy, Claire, and Dag, each in their twenties, have quit “pointless jobs done grudgingly to little applause” in their respective hometowns and cut themselves adrift on the California desert. In search of the drastic changes that will lend meaning to their lives, they`ve mired themselves in the detritus of American cultural memory. Refugees from history, the three develop an ascetic regime of story-telling, boozing, and working McJobs - “low-pay, low-prestige, low-benefit, no-future jobs in the service industry.” They create modern fables of love and death among the cosmetic surgery parlors and cocktail bars of Palm Springs, disturbingly funny tales of nuclear waste, historical overdosing, and mall culture.

A dark snapshot of the trio`s highly fortressed inner world quickly emerges - landscapes peopled with dead TV shows, “Elvis moments,“ and semi-disposable Swedish furniture. And from these landscapes, deeper portraits emerge, those of fanatically independent individuals, pathologically ambivalent about the future and brimming with unsatisfied longings for permanence, for love, and for their own home. Andy, Dag, and Claire are underemployed, overeducated, intensely private, and unpredictable. Like the group they mirror, they have nowhere to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie.

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Generation X is Douglas Coupland`s acclaimed salute to the generation born in the late 1950s and 1960s - a generation known vaguely up to then as “twentysomething.”Generation X has been Nominated for Canada Reads 2010!  Click here for more information regarding Canada Reads., Claire, and Dag, each in t...

Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian Armed Forces Base in Baden-Söllingen, Germany in 1961. He is the author of Miss Wyoming, Generation X, All Families are Psychotic, and Girlfriend in a Coma, among others. He attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Hokkaido College of Art and Design, Instituto Europeo di Design, a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9 × 7.9 × 0.6 inPublished:November 15, 2009Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:031264678X

ISBN - 13:9780312646783

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointment I’m sure people may accuse me of not getting into this book because it’s not about ‘my generation’ as if I could never understand the sentiment of feeling like our planet is going to hell in a hand basket. But that’s not it. The reason I dislike this book isn’t from a lack of being able to relate. I related to the characters sense that the world is not a better place than what our parents had, that essentially we’ve been left a hand-me-down beat up planet, I get that, I feel it too. My problem with this book is that the characters are so bloody apathetic. They would get all worked up about plutonium and bureaucracy and then they would do absolutely nothing about it. If something’s going to get you all fired up likely the best thing to do is act and try to effect change, these characters choose to fall out of society and wait for the apocalypse. LAME. Probably my most hated paragraph in the whole book follows: “You see, when you’re middle class, you have to live with the fact that history will ignore you. You have to live with the fact that history can never champion your causes and that history will never feel sorry for you. It is the price that is paid for day-to-day comfort and silence. And because of this price, all happinesses are sterile; all sadnesses go unpitied” So defeatist. The essential overview of this novel is as follows. One of three characters relates what I think is a week or two in their lives. Their lives involve telling weak stories that have a 1950’s vibe (I actually really liked the one told by Claire’s friend). They complain about how bad they have it versus their parents, and then they all pack up and move away, add about 120 pages of filler in between and you’ve got this novel. I apologize in advance to Douglas Coupland, I read some of your other books and enjoyed them thoroughly. But I just hated the characters so much in this book that I have to give it one leaf. If you’re looking to read Coupland try the Gum Thief, I enjoyed it immensely.
Date published: 2010-01-07