Some modernist observations on Douglas Coupland's new novel

  1. Is the title JPod or jPod? In the text it's consistently jPod, but the cover design has a capital J. This kind of thing really bothers me.
  2. The Japanese on page 102, with accompanying pseudo-Engrish, is machine-translated near-gibberish. So the question is: is this page supposed to represent actual Japanese with actual bad English translation, but Coupland messed it up, or is it supposed to represent the results of Coupland's zany characters writing pseudo-Engrish and then machine-translating it into Japanese, just for kicks?
  3. It is inconceivable that characters as steeped in The Simpsons as the ones in this book would, immediately after making one clown-related Simpsons reference, discuss enrolling in Clown College against your family's wishes without even mentioning the classic line, "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!" -- yet this occurs on page 45.
  4. Enjoyable reading, though.

Popularity factor: 5


You're reading that now? I flipped through it at Barnes & Nobles a few days ago, and I can tell you that the Chinese in that book isn't so hot either.

I really liked Microserf, but I'm not so sure if I want to read this book (esp. with the bad Chinese/Japanese) enough to buy it in hardback.


Maybe #3 was meant to make you think about the classic line without actually mentioning it? Subtlety, man!


Matt! I'm in Japan. In Tokyo. In a Manboo. Patrick suggests we hang out. I don't know how much fun you'd have with a minor. Why the hell is the apostrophe shift+7? Good reading, good reading.


Duncan: I was a bit shocked to see that some of the Chinese is a low-res bitmap image obviously pasted over something else. (And this is not in one of the fancy-typography interludes -- this is just in the regular text. It was like a flashback to the days when publishers would put handwritten Chinese characters in English books because they couldn't typeset them.)

The book was OK, I guess. I liked Microserfs a lot more.

Justin: No way, man! This was a quoted conversation between characters. Neither of them saying that line made it completely unbelievable.

Eric: e-mail me!


I don't know how much fun you'd have with a minor.

(Looks and walks away, whistling)

I have discovered, from using a colleague's Mac at school, that I can no longer type using a "normal" keyboard.


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