A New Technological Era

by tonyvu24

JPod, a phenomenal book written by Douglas Coupland. The story primarily revolves around video game technology. The gaming company is producing a game being created by the main character, Ethan Jarlewski and his fellow co-workers. Working with his workers to produce the video game, BoardX, overlooked by Steve, the “head of marketing” (17). This reading will captivate all readers, regardless of their interest in video games or technology. One will be whisked away from familiar local landmarks of Vancouver to the harsh, humid weather of China, without having to buy plane tickets.

The story looks in depth of the Jarlewski family, which are a dysfunctional bunch. The father, Jim Jarlewski, is an on and off actor, playing small roles in films, primarily as an extra and as a voice actor. Greg, the elder son of the family, works as a real estate agent overseas and locally in the lower mainland. Then there is Ethan, who works at a video game company, with his co-workers forming JPod, where the J is the last names of all his workers. Lastly, is the mother, Carol, who runs a Marijuana grow operation underneath the basement. With the types of influences, such as Marijuana grow-ops, criminal activity, it reveals the shady side of the lower mainland.

In the story, there are many famous, popular culture influences that are mentioned widely throughout. How can there be a story, without some type of love/romance being included. We have the typical young love of Kaitlyn and Ethan, and the odd love triangle involving Steve’s infatuation of Carol, and Freedom. Then there’s the criminal activity of Kam Fong, the Chinese businessman, where tries to fix problems that numerous characters have on their hands.

As a whole, JPod was enjoyable and a refreshing read. This is one of the books where it is difficult to put down. An annoying area of the story is Douglas Coupland appearing during numerous scenes of the book. By giving the author the power to make himself a character, anything can happen, and believe me, interesting things did happen. The way Coupland incorporates all the characters into the story is creative, where the reader gets a sense of each character’s role and their certain quirks they possess. It’s very intelligent how an author incorporates himself into a book, but by making his character an arrogant and obnoxious, takes away some parts of enjoyment when reading.


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