The Weird Pod

by adamhjoe91

The novel JPod, by Douglas Coupland, is a ‘one of a kind’ type of novel. It is a novel which not only defines the contemporary scene the year it was written in (2006), but it also takes you through a twisted adventure through Vancouver, with events varying from murder through electrocution, all the way to the immigration of a group of Chinese people smuggled, and found in Ethan Jarlewski’s home.

The protagonist, Ethan Jarlewski, works on a game for a software developer, working in a cubicle pod with five others all whose names end with J, which the novel revolves around.  There is Cowboy, Evil Mark, Bree, Kaitlin, and finally John Doe who all work together and of course those are their nicknames.  Through their time together, their characters are revealed through their inputs on the game itself.  The irony of how such different people are put together, working on one project, makes the JPod unique and exciting.  In the midst of his work and his friends, he also spends much of his time dealing with his parents.  His mother, who is not a typical mother, being someone who owns a grow-op in the basement, and his father who may seem to be trying too hard to become an actor, constantly seems to consume Ethan and his time.

The overall story of this novel is twisted. When one bad thing happens, then another bad thing follows. For example, near the beginning of the novel, the mother of Ethan electrocutes a biker and disposes the body with the help of Ethan, her own son.  These random events that take place, makes this book so different then any other.  Later, there are Chinese immigrants found inside of Ethan’s house due to his brother’s business, and then to top that off, later there is a heroin addict named Steve, who is also in love with Ethan’s mother.  Constant yet thrilling events pop up with twists and turns, connecting the story and making it what it is.  Douglas Coupland does a fine job of really keeping the reader on their tippy toes.  He also fills the novel with references of real people and places.  He includes even Ronald Macdonald, and of course places all around Vancouver such as North Vancouver, and Burnaby.

Much of the events in this novel can seem unreal, but the display Douglas Coupland gives through this novel is definitely like no other novel. A book containing such a wild story with forty pages of pi, is definitely a new one. This is the book containing companionship

 

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