Tag: Player One

Player One by Douglas Coupland

Posted October 6, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Speculative Fiction / 0 Comments

Player One by Douglas CouplandTitle: Player One (Goodreads)
Author: Douglas Coupland
Published: Windmill Books, 2011
Pages: 246
Genres: Speculative Fiction
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Player One tells the story of five people trapped in an international airport during a global disaster. Over the next five hours, these lives are changed forever;  a single mother waiting for an online date, an airport cocktail lounge bartender, a pastor on the run, a cool blonde bombshell incapable of love and a mysterious person known as Player One. The novel follows the interactions of these five people as they react to the chaos as we slowly find out just what happened.

Douglas Coupland masterfully explores human interactions in the midst of a disaster as well as looking at things like human identity, religion and sociology in this sharp and to-the-point novel. Coupland is a bestselling author that writes some very easy to read post modernism and is often dealing with topics such as religion, Web 2.0 technology, human sexuality, and pop culture. This is my first Douglas Coupland novel but it isn’t the last of them. He reminds me a little of a modern Kurt Vonnegut with his philosophical approach to science fiction. Think a modern Cat’s Cradle where the disaster dealing with modern issues rather than those of the atomic age.

I’m finding this novel really hard to review because honestly, I don’t want to give anything away. This is the kind of novel you enjoy more if you don’t know too much about it. I don’t want to give the impression that this is a heavily philosophical novel, Coupland writes in a way that is accessible for readers of all ages. Almost like a YA novel but for a more serious reader you have all these ideas worth exploring; this is the stuff I have the most fun with. I just love a complex novel that seems basic on the surface but if you are willing, you can spend hours trying to analyse.

I don’t think this reads like a post-apocalyptic fiction, but it does feel like this is the right genre. The entire novel takes place in a bar over five hours and feels more like a postmodernist novel rather than anything else. I’m not going to spend time trying to work out what genres to fit this into but rather just wrap up this review.

I know this is a little short but I really don’t want to give too much away. Just tell people to try it, maybe not the type of novel for females but if you like Vonnegut or like the sound of this novel then maybe this is for you. I’ll be interested in hearing people’s thoughts on this book. I’m sorry this is a weird review but better to say too little than too much. It’s only 200 pages long so won’t take too much effort to try.