January 25, 2011

Player One, by Douglas Coupland

I tried to read a Douglas Coupland novel once. It was about ten years ago. I became irritated a few pages in, decided I must not like him, and never tried again. Until my boss offered to loan me this book he got for Christmas. It was apocalyptic, which I like, so I gave it a go.

This book was first broadcast on CBC Radio as part of the Massey Lectures. It's about people stuck in an airport hotel cocktail bar when oil suddenly rises to $250 a barrel (and rising quickly.) This is the end of the world. They barricade themselves in from the sniper that has suddenly appeared outside and the chemical cloud resulting from various mystery explosions. They're cut off- no tv, no phone, no power.

The main thing that bothered me is when they caught the sniper, who clearly had a God complex and oh, had KILLED several people, they conversed with him after they tied him up. Why didn't they cover his mouth with the duct tape they'd secured him with? I wouldn't have blamed them for just shooting him. Martial law. Instead they all initiated conversations with him and had debates. I would have been like, "Man, you're nuts. Shut the fuck up." That seemed really unrealistic to me that they would be so bored or something after a few hours (this story takes place in five hours) that they would be eager to talk to a lunatic with a scalp in his bag.

I guess I still don't like Douglas Coupland.

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