The novel is presented in the form of diary entries maintained on a PowerBook by the narrator, Daniel. Because of this, as well as its formatting and usage of emoticons, wich is really interesting considering the similiarties to what emerged a decade later in the form of blogs (like this one!).
What I’ve always said about Microserfs and why I enjoy it so much is that it gives you a very good feeling for what it’s like to live in teh tech industry. The market and tech world has changed significantly since the 90s – the financial predictions that Microserfs makes were absolutely dead on – but the Tech culture remains largely the same. I look at this book and recognize my world as someone in IT, yet it’s tempered with enough human intrest to make it accessable to someone outside that arena. That makes it a good book to hand to someone outside of my world so they can better understand the industry I exist in.
I’m not sure why, but I just don’t find JPod as compelling. That dosne’t make sense as they are both so similar. Both Microserfs and Jpod are written in the form of a log by the main character. Both characters are in their mid-twenties, mainly live to work in the digital industry, which also means they are doubting their purpose in life, their friends are their -also slightly dysfunctional- colleagues, they fall in love with a female colleague and their parents have problems.
Perhaps it’s because by this point Coupland had made more of a name for himself and is a more recognizable author. He self referancs himself several times in JPod which I find supremely annoying.
Pick them both up at the Libaray. There’s audio versions as well, and having read the pap[er books and listened to the audio ones I can tell you, there’s not much of any importance left out. Microserfs is read by Matthew Perry (of “Friends” fame) and is the perfect voice for it. Spend some time in these books and see the world through IT eyes. But while you’re reading, don’t forget to put it down here and here to check out the new Violent Blue strips!