Microserfs – Douglas Coupland

Read on the recommendation of Phil, selected due to running out of library books and the media coverage surrounding the publication of JPod, and very good it was too.

Although of more immediate appeal to those of us with an interest in technology, Microserfs is actually also worth reading if you’ve ever wondered what people whose work involves “programming” or “the internet” actually *do*. Or, more accurately given that this was written in the late 1990s, “did”. It’s also an excellent snapshot of the coming together of a generation of geekoids, the technical developments / opportunities they could both envision and create with the venture capitalist investment and proliferation of IT in both workplaces and homes which resulted in the dotcom boom.

But it’s not an altogether alien world of techno-speak and nerds. Yes, the book is set on America’s west caost, in the high tech towns of Seattle and San Francisco, but Dan, Karla and the rest are characters that recognisable in their foibles and their fears – even if some of their fads and fetishes aren’t quite so familiar. There are lots of funny moments, and poignant ones too, and I really liked the way the main characters are given a wider family setting, so that you get a sense of how they have ended up who and where they are.

Buy it: Amazon link