Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

by DOUGLAS COUPLAND | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 031205436x Global Overview for this book
Registered by crazy-book-lady of Toronto, Ontario Canada on 5/29/2005
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by crazy-book-lady from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Sunday, May 29, 2005
It's hard to believe that this pivotal book was only published in 1991. (I was going to call the book "influential", but I don't think it influenced as much as it explained or illuminated what came to be known as the "X" generation.) It feels like it has been around forever. The inside cover says it is a "salute to the generation born in the late 1950s and 1960s", but I think generation X also extends into the early 1970s, putting me at the tail end of the generation. It has been a long time since I have read it (but not longer than 14 years I guess!), but I remember finding it unique and intriguing at the time.

Journal Entry 2 by crazy-book-lady from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Friday, June 03, 2005
Saw this on BookGroupMan's wishlist so sent it along with another book as a surprise. Hope he doesn't see this journal entry before the package arrives! :)

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, July 04, 2005
...no I didn't see the JE, so a lovely surprise :) As we say in England, 'you shouldn't have', when we really mean, 'gosh, thanks for being so kind, but i'm too self-effacing to say so!'

As you know, I am part of the Generation-X, as the cover blurb says, "...a camera shy, suspiciously hushed generation"

Journal Entry 4 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, August 10, 2006
(10/08) Finished...rating and review to follow when i've had a chance to fully...absorb...what Coupland says about Generation X!!

I think I could be accused of building this book up too much in advance. This is Coupland’s first book (not really a novel), and it shows; a bit too self-conscious, ideas- rather than plot- or character-driven, semi-autobiographical.

The narrator (Andy) and his twenty-something friends Dag & Claire have dropped out of mid-eighties go-getting society into a semi-transient world of McJobs and grand ideas, to tell stories, contemplate their own navels and fry in the arid Californian hinterland of Palm Springs. Some of the stories/allegories(?) are so obscure, think Vonnegut without the humour!

I’m glad I read the book, not least to put the iconographic ‘Generation X’ into some context – I am clinging on to the edge of the classification, call me post-Gen-X(!), hence my robust dislike of too much angst and self-analysis/self-pity – but also because I do like Coupland’s ‘real’ novels, so I will happily move on to Shampoo Planet as I work my way through his back catalogue :)

Coupland describes the X generation as ‘purposefully hiding itself’ (in the west), camouflaged, unlike the Japanese equivalent shin jin rui(new human beings). I suppose we’ve had our own ‘bright young things’ in the 1920’s and the baby boomers who became the new teenagers in the 50’s & 60’s. Unfortunately, the legacy for Generation X is a cynicism & world-weariness, as we attempt to be individuals (which is not always a good thing – think of the pressure and loneliness of creating ones own religion, morality and worldview!) in a globalised world.

Thanks again to c-b-l for sending this to me...any preferences on where it goes next?

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