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Generation A by Douglas Coupland

Generation A (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Douglas Coupland

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6583614,612 (3.47)24
Title:Generation A
Authors:Douglas Coupland
Info:Scribner (2009), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Dystopia, Environmentalism, Did Not Do The Research, Young People Suffering From Ennui, 2000s, Twenty-First Century, Canada, Male Author, Read in 2012, Fiction

Work details

Generation A: A Novel by Douglas Coupland (2009)

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English (34)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
The book started out interesting enough for me and I was able to get through the earlier parts quickly. However, later on, the story started to drag a bit for me. I did manage to finish it, and the story was relevant to the times and not really so bad, but it wasn't as great as I expected. It's only the second book of Coupland's I've read, the first being Life After God, which I much enjoyed and made me expect more from Generation A. However, I've browsed through other reviews of this book, so I'm not really discouraged about trying his other works. ( )
  thioviolight | Oct 29, 2014 |
What a fantastic read this was. Funny, this book reminded me of Chuck Pahalniuk's "Haunted" because it had the same format (stories within the story). Comparing the two... Coupland far surpassed that of Pahalniuk. I probably feel a connection to the book because it brought up many ideas and thoughts about reading itself, it really had me thinking. The main plot line was pretty strong for a book with this format and I think the reason I gave it such a high rating was because it worked so well. The rating probably wouldn't have been so high had I not read "Haunted" before this. Since I have been accustomed to this style it didn't set me back like it has for some other reviewers. I highly recommend this to any Coupland fan or anyone who loves to read. The book focuses greatly on reading, creativity and the connection it has to our brain (although not in a very realistic, scientific way). If you live to read then I think you would enjoy this. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
Very much an idea novel. Has some interesting characters, although they stay a bit generic. Fizzles out a bit during the storytelling parts, but all in all very enjoyable. ( )
  ine1976 | Feb 6, 2014 |
I haven't read Coupland in almost a year so I forgot how delightfully weird his books are. But they are strange in way that is completely normal to the Couplandverse. Very interesting theme of the importance of storytelling and our need for stories as human beings. ( )
  newskepticx | Dec 18, 2013 |
Bees are extinct. Five people from around the world get stung by "extinct" bees and are promptly placed under sterile watch so scientists can figure out why the bees stung them. What makes them different? Once released, the five meet under "scientific" supervision and tell stories... ( )
  bookwormteri | Apr 17, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Still, the plot of Generation A, which in another writer’s hands might gallop into geopolitical-thriller territory, plays harmony to trademark Couplandian insight: As Diana is taken away from her house, now covered in an isolation bubble, she says “For the first time in my life, the future felt futuristic”; for Julien, the sting took away a life “like a video game that resets to zero every time I wake up.” It’s in these details, not the overall picture, that readers will find the generation of which Vonnegut spoke, though as with Coupland’s Generation X, it isn’t a complete portrait. An initially puzzling backdrop gives the narrative just enough momentum to nose these characters into a place where they can explore how much they have in common.
If Generation X gave us “tales for an accelerated culture,” then Generation A is its natural extension, offering tales for the information overloaded. The bite-sized chapters and witty tone will appeal to those with perpetual attention defi cits, and bits of pop culture sprinkled liberally throughout will attract readers highly attuned to the current zeitgeist. Coupland clearly understands the minds of the current generation – young people who have never known a time without the Internet – and plays on their desire to jump continually from one subject to the next.
Generation A feels like a slow-motion demonstration of the ways in which technology is destroying story, and not the enacted triumph of story over technology that Coupland so clearly wishes it to be.
added by chazzard | editThe Guardian, Toby Litt (Aug 29, 2009)
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"Terrorize, threaten and insult your own useless generation. Suddenly you've become a novel idea and you've got people wanting to join in. You've gained credibility from nothing. You're the talk of the town. Develop this as a story you can sell."

Malcolm McLaren
"Now you young twerps want a new name for your generation? Probably not, you just want jobs, right? Well, the media do us all such tremendous favors when they call you Generation X, right? Two clicks away from the very end of the alphabet. I hereby declare you Generation A, as much at the begining of a series of astonishing triumphs and failures as Adam and Eve were so long ago."

Kurt Vonnegut
Syracuse University commencement address
May 8, 1994
To Anne Collins
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How can we be alive and not wonder about the stories we use to knit together this place we call the world?
Praying is funny. When you pray, you leave the day-to-day time stream and enter a quieter place that uses different clocks and values things that can't be seen.
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"Generation A" is set in the near future in a world where bees are extinct, until five unconnected people from around the world are all stung. Their shared experience unites them in ways they never could have imagined.

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