Thursday, March 18, 2004

Review of Douglas Copeland's Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

Generation X is a classic. It actually is responsible for naming a generation, and thus it has earned a place in literary history.

Personally I thought the book was OK. It did speak to me on some level, and I do see a lot of myself there. I do have more ambition than the characters in the story, but I can really identify with them.

The book revolves around the lives of a few characters who have really tried to drop out of society in so many ways. There is a complete lethargy about the characters. Not in the sense that they are lazy, but that they feel like there is nothing out there really worth doing. They do not have real relationships or real jobs. They have no deep interests, nor do they even scorn those who do too much. There is a lot of apathy. I feel like that a lot. There is not too much that I think is really important to me. The characters tell each other stories, and act all non-judgmental. I do find that appealing.

The book reminded me, and this is a cliche, but really accurate, as an updated Catcher in the Rye. This has been said before, but it does seem to resemble it, in the way it classifies the generation. I am also reminded of Kafka's "Hunger Artist" where the main character starts out doing something interesting by not eating. At the end the character confesses that he simply found nothing that he really liked to eat.

The book is important. Read it. It is OK. It goes nicely with the his Microserfs in taking a look at another segment of Generation X.

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