Player One: What Is to Become of Us

( 4 )

Overview


International bestselling author Douglas Coupland delivers a real-time, five-hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster. Five disparate people are trapped inside: Karen, a single mother waiting for her online date; Rick, the down-on-his-luck airport lounge bartender; Luke, a pastor on the run; Rachel, a cool Hitchcock blonde incapable of true human contact; and finally a mysterious voice known as Player One. Slowly, each reveals the truth about ...
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Player One: What is to Become of Us

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Overview


International bestselling author Douglas Coupland delivers a real-time, five-hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster. Five disparate people are trapped inside: Karen, a single mother waiting for her online date; Rick, the down-on-his-luck airport lounge bartender; Luke, a pastor on the run; Rachel, a cool Hitchcock blonde incapable of true human contact; and finally a mysterious voice known as Player One. Slowly, each reveals the truth about themselves while the world as they know it comes to an end.
In the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and J. G. Ballard, Coupland explores the modern crises of time, human identity, society, religion, and the afterlife. The book asks as many questions as it answers, and readers will leave the story with no doubt that we are in a new phase of existence as a species — and that there is no turning back.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Coupland's real-time near-apocalyptic novel, a recovering alcoholic, a divorcée, a church-fund embezzler, a beautiful android-like woman, and a man who is distinguished by his prickly demeanor converge in an airport cocktail lounge at the precise moment when oil prices begin to rise and society begins to unravel around them. Such an intriguing premise could have lead to explorations of the nature of chaos and human resilience, but the author relies instead on cursory philosophizing, allowing his characters to ramble. The players emerge as near-caricatures who are forced to contend with each other's weaknesses and a small cast of strangers, from a sniper to a "false prophet" selling the Leslie Freemont Power Dynamics program. In one man's brusque assessment, the others are "a depressing grab bag of pop culture influences and cancelled emotions, driven by the sputtering engine of the most banal form of capitalism," words which reveal both the book's vivid style and an apt critique of modern consciousness. Though the book at times feels more like television than a richly conceived world, painting aspects of adults in crisis perhaps too broadly, it is redeemed an ending that allows some of them to survive.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

“Douglas Coupland has surely reserved his place at the top table of North American fiction.” — Independent on Sunday

“Somewhere deep in Coupland’s consciousness is a little door marked ‘greatness.’” — Guardian

“Douglas Coupland may be one of the smartest, wittiest writers around.” — Esquire

“Eighteen years on from Generation X, Coupland still satirizes pop culture better than anyone.” — GQ

Library Journal
In Generation X author Coupland's latest, Karen, a thirtysomething divorced housewife, arrives at a hotel bar near the Toronto airport to rendezvous with a man she met on the Internet. Also at the bar are Rick, the bartender; Luke, a pastor who has just stolen $20,000 from his church; and Rachel, a striking but weirdly clueless young blonde. These four characters eventually pair off, but not until a global crisis has erupted around the oil market and unexplained chemical explosions seem to herald an apocalypse. Along with other players who enter and leave, the main characters engage in involved discussions on the meaning of life, as might be expected under such circumstances. These discussions range from the confessional and personal to larger issues both sacred and profane. VERDICT Eminently readable, humorous, and philosophical if at times slightly lightweight, this is a worthwhile novel that may also appeal to younger readers. It grew out of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Massey Lecture series, which Coupland headlines this October in Canada.—Jim Coan, SUNY Coll. at Oneonta Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887849688
  • Publisher: House of Anansi Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Series: CBC Massey Lecture Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 398,638
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Just couldn't get into it

    I've enjoyed Douglas Coupland books in the past, but this one didn't really keep my attention. I don't think any of the themes here were new for Coupland and I've enjoyed them more in earlier works... it actually felt a little recycled.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    Okay, but definitely not one of his better books.


    C

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Coupland in top form

    We are all losing control of life. Get it back on track.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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