Player One: What Is to Become of Us

Player One: What Is to Become of Us

by Douglas Coupland


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780887849688
Publisher: House of Anansi Press
Publication date: 10/01/2010
Series: CBC Massey Lecture Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.02(w) x 7.88(h) x 0.65(d)

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Player One: What Is to Become of Us 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
jasonpettus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)As I've been learning over the years now, as I become a greater and greater completist of his work (this is now the tenth book of his I've read, of the fourteen major titles he's now published), Douglas Coupland at his weirdest is usually Douglas Coupland at his best; and there's not much better an example of this than with his latest, the badly titled but hugely compelling Player One: What Is to Become of Us, a Novel in Five Hours, which actually started life literally as a five-hour radio play commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the University of Toronto, part of an annual project known as "The Massey Lectures" which in the past has snagged fellow intellectuals like Margaret Atwood and Noam Chomsky. In this case, it's the story of a series of characters who have all gathered at an airport hotel bar on a random weekday for varying purposes, all of which we discover through the chapters written from various perspectives; so then about halfway through, when a sudden oil panic in the Middle East triggers a massive breakdown in law and order in the US, we then watch these characters react in differing ways to the chaos and bloodshed going on around them, with Coupland using the occasion to very slyly play with various philosophical questions regarding the fundamental nature of humanity.As you can guess by recent novels like The Gum Thief and Generation A, Coupland doesn't have rosy conclusions to come to in Player One, essentially arguing by the end that humanity brought all of this upon itself and therefore deserves to go through it all (and indeed, will likely come out changed for the better by the end, not despite the mass decimation of the human race but literally because of it); but it's the way he comes to these conclusions that is the fascinating part, delivering what for him is an unusually stripped-down and focused manuscript, the constraints of its radio-performance specs obviously having a good influence on him, forcing him to cut so many of the endless digressions that have marked so many of his recent books. It's a dark story for sure, legitimately disturbing at times in a non-ironic post-apocalyptic-thriller kind of way; but it could be argued that it's also the best thing Coupland has written in at least a decade, depending on what kind of Coupland fan you are and which of his books you gravitate to the most. (If you're a fan of more thoughtful titles like Life After God and Generation X, you'll love this, while if you primarily like his more plot-oriented titles like Microserfs and All Families Are Psychotic, maybe not so much.) In any case, it comes highly recommended today, a quick read that will leave you with all kinds of troubling questions regarding the true nature of the human condition.Out of 10: 9.7
rapago on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Picked up this one after reading a review somewhere I can't remember. It seemed like an interesting concept, but the reality of the book did not match my initial interest in it.I finished it because the reading was easy. The characters were not that interesting with the exception of Rachel who suffered from a neurological disorder that caused her to be unable to recognize faces, or personalities. This presented itself as an interesting source of conflict between the characters.I can't really recommend this book to anyone. The idea was neither particularly original or all that interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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talk19 More than 1 year ago
We are all losing control of life. Get it back on track.