Breaching Borders Into The Bizarre

by alexguerrero92

The dysfunctional family has long been the goat of choice for comedic writers. The formula has always been the same, though, and the repetition has gone from boring to nauseating. Yeah, the family is weird, so what? Enter Douglas Coupland’s novel JPod, a deliciously satirical novel that oversteps, nay, demolishes the boundaries in order to make a point about the amorality that plagues today’s society.
Take a look at your own family. Now look at main character, Ethan’s family. Now look at your own family again. See a resemblance? You better not. Unless your mother happens to be a proud owner of a well maintained grow-op, and your father a failed actor with social problems and extra-marital relationships, this JPod nuclear family is in a class of its own. What separates this family from all others is their lack of moral sense, hilariously brought into form by shrugs and a “Whatever!” attitude on otherwise eyebrow-raising activities (such as Mom’s grow-op).
Meet JPod, Ethan’s coworkers who, coincidentally, have names starting with the letter “J”. They are probably the quirkiest bunch in the history of comedic literature, each insanely funny in their own way and are bursting in colour. Coupland’s fantastic use of background stories and characterization bring the characters to life, making them realistic and believable, even though believable is a stretch for this kind of novel.
If you ever get the chance to pick up a copy of JPod, resist the temptation to flip through it. This isn’t your average novel. In fact, there are many pages filled with a random assortment of ideas reminiscent of the kind of bombardment we face from the media on a daily basis. Of course, the bigger picture is always beyond what is told in the story, and what Coupland did is no different. By throwing in seemingly pointless sentences together he gets into your head, twisting your mind and making you wonder what it could all mean.
JPod is the kind of novel that opens one’s eyes to the real world we live in. Imaginative and intelligent, this is the perfect novel for anybody looking for a good laugh and psychological stirring.


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