I loved Generation A so was excited about trying Douglas Coupland’s new book. Unfortunately it wasn’t in the same league, but it still had a lot to recommend itself.
Player One is set in an airport and tells the story of five people who become trapped in the cocktail lounge when high oil prices ground all planes and threaten to cause a global catastrophe.
The book started well. We were introduced to each of the characters and they were all entertaining individuals with unique personalities. I was especially pleased to see that one of the characters happened to have Aspergers and that her realistic presence helped the group on several occasions.
The plot was fast paced and readable and the writing was littered with thought-provoking remarks which added to my enjoyment of the book.
“The thing about being poor is that it takes up all your time.”
Coincidences are, in fact, so rare that it’s almost as if the universe is engineered solely to keep them at bay.
Take my word for it, a day in which nothing bad happens is a miracle – it’s a day in which all the things that could have gone wrong failed to go wrong.
Unfortunately the frequency of this wisdom increased in the second half of the book until all plot became absorbed in an endless barrage of deep thoughts. I felt as though I was being ranted at and that the characters had been developed soley to deliver Coupland’s philosophical messages.
The story ended quite abruptly and I was frustrated by the lack of any real conclusions.
Newspapers have become quite excited by the dictionary-like appendix in which Coupland invents words to describe modern day situations. There was a lot of truth in these pages, but I thought the back of a novel was a strange place to put them – they deserve to be in a book of their own.
Androsolophila: The state of affairs in which a lonely man is romantically desirable while a lonely woman is not.
Overall, I recommend the first half of this book to anyone and the second half to those who love excesses of philosophy.