Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

I bought Douglas Coupland's Generation X after I read Shampoo Planet more than ten years ago. It sat on my shelf, I contemplated it, but I never picked it up. Upon finally finishing it, I oddly found myself neither more nor less compelled by it. It was a very ordinary story, though it did have some cultural impact.

Coupland's first novel, the book popularized the term "Generation X" in the early 1990s. It's about three twenty-somethings who each left a budding career to eschew mainstream society and live in the desert. It's a premise that could easily set the stage for a fantastic book by a greater author, Irvine Welsh or David Foster Wallace, perhaps. But in the hands of Coupland, these three apocalypse-fixated friends never developed into anything more. The characters didn't draw me in, their situations seemed flat and unconvincing, and the book was surprisingly tedious.

No comments: