by Douglas Coupland – $19.95
Douglas Coupland brought his extraordinary writing skills to the creative task of fashioning a novel ‘in five hours’ to fit the format of the 2010 CBC Massey Lecture series. No one has ever given fictional writing a voice through the Massey Lectures before!
Player One consists of 5 chapters (think five hours) and entirely takes place in the bar of an airport hotel. The main characters include the bartender who is a recovering alcoholic; a minister who has just stolen funds from his church and is planning to leave the country; a middle-age woman who is there to meet an internet date; and a young woman in a designer black dress who has an avatar and who doesn’t really understand humans but wants to get pregnant to prove to her father that she is human! The fifth character is called ‘Player One’ who serves as a narrator and, at the end of the book, turns out to be one of the characters.
While the characters and their personal situations are interesting by themselves, Coupland adds to the mix a world-wide crisis with the price of oil rising to $900 a barrel which has the effect of ending all supplies of electricity, along with gas for cars and planes. Enter a sniper on the roof and the tension mounts.
Characters discuss the meaning of life, personal values and revelations, and, over the course of the day, the reader witness’s significant changes in their lives. The story gallops along and makes one think about one’s own values and sense of the purpose of life.
The book also includes an Appendix called ‘Future Legend’ which has over 150 new words made up by Coupland along with their intriguing definitions. Coupland is a Canadian creative genius who has not only written over twenty books, but who is also a visual artist, sculptor, furniture and clothing designer, and a screenwriter.
Tags: P'lovers Book Club