Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

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Macmillan, Mar 15, 1991 - Fiction - 183 pages
30 Reviews

Generation X is Douglas Coupland's acclaimed salute to the generation born in the late 1950s and 1960s--a generation known vaguely up to then as "twentysomething."

Andy, Claire, and Dag, each in their twenties, have quit "pointless jobs done grudgingly to little applause" in their respective hometowns and cut themselves adrift on the California desert. In search of the drastic changes that will lend meaning to their lives, they've mired themselves in the detritus of American cultural memory. Refugees from history, the three develop an ascetic regime of story-telling, boozing, and working McJobs--"low-pay, low-prestige, low-benefit, no-future jobs in the service industry." They create modern fables of love and death among the cosmetic surgery parlors and cocktail bars of Palm Springs, disturbingly funny tales of nuclear waste, historical overdosing, and mall culture.

A dark snapshot of the trio's highly fortressed inner world quickly emerges--landscapes peopled with dead TV shows, "Elvis moments," and semi-disposable Swedish furniture. And from these landscapes, deeper portraits emerge, those of fanatically independent individuals, pathologically ambivalent about the future and brimming with unsatisfied longings for permanence, for love, and for their own home. Andy, Dag, and Claire are underemployed, overeducated, intensely private, and unpredictable. Like the group they mirror, they have nowhere to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rimbo90 - LibraryThing

This is definitely a quirky little number but I would not say it is the masterpiece it is made out to be in some quarters. It certainly has had it's influence though. Definitely worth a read. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - viviennestrauss - LibraryThing

Not sure I understand all the reviews posted online whining about how pretentious this book is. The 90s WERE pretentious. But then I think every generation has their own version of it. Sadly, we didn ... Read full review

Contents

The Sun is Your Enemy
9
Quit Recycling the Past
23
Shopping is Not Creating
39
Enter Hyperspace
53
December 31 1999
67
Eat Your Parents
83
Change Color
97
Why Am I Poor? 705
119
Define Normal 733
133
Welcome Home From Vietnam Son 749
149
Await Lightning 769
169
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About the author (1991)

Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian Armed Forces Base in Baden-Söllingen, Germany in 1961. He is the author of Miss Wyoming, Generation X, All Families are Psychotic, and Girlfriend in a Coma, among others. He attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Hokkaido College of Art and Design, Instituto Europeo di Design, and the Japan/America Institute of Management Science.

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