Douglas Coupland

[Book] Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture / Douglas Coupland #TBR20

Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture is my sixth book read for #TBR20 Challenge!

In the Fall of 1994, Douglas Coupland came to my Alma Mater, Western University, to speak and read excerpts from his book, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. It was a PACKED house. I went with a couple of friends who were very into him. I knew nothing about him, except he wrote a book where its stories were supposed to describe the angst of my generation; Generation X. I’d be lying if I said I was a willing listener. Mostly I was lost, while everyone around me sat engaged, almost like they were sitting at Jesus’ feet. People went on about Coupland for weeks afterward.

Following that lecture, a friend lent me their copy of the book. I tried reading it, but couldn’t get past the first hundred pages. The stories told by main characters, Dag, Claire and Andy about working McJobs, and telling their corporate bosses to get lost never spoke to me, nor held my interest. I was looking for some deep meaning, and I just didn’t get it. I wanted to like it like my friends liked it…but, alas, I wound up dropping the book.

I don’t “get” Douglas Coupland. I have tried and tried to pretend to be into him, I swear! But his tales of disenfranchised angst never spoke to me. It’s over my head or…something.

Twenty years later, and I thought I would give Generation X another shot. Again, I didn’t get very far in the book. It just didn’t sink its teeth in. What is the deal with this book? Why don’t I like it?

Is this book supposed to be funny? Am I being too literal? Sometimes I miss the joke…

Maybe it’s because I have always had a propensity to be rule-bound and respectful of authority? Perhaps I have a strong sense of responsibility and more ambition than was expressed in Generation X? Maybe I just couldn’t relate to the characters? Maybe I am happier than the weight of the tales told within its pages? I don’t know, but lets just end it here by saying this book really missed the mark.

On to my next book…

#TBR20 Project Participant!! (but it’s taking me a lifetime!)

The “To Be Read 20” Project, is created and hosted by Eva Stalker at The goal of the project is to read through 20 books I own before buying any more books.