Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Irascible Reads!

Part Deux in the ongoing Icicle Fief Reads series. To nominate a Canadian work of fiction, e-mail me at screamforicequeenATgmailDOTcom.

Microserfs
About what: A group of Microsoft employees in 1993 that leave the relative security of Bill’s company to take a chance with a start-up. The book is largely a search for identity and meaning in the “accelerated culture” that we now live in. Microserfs further expounds on the themes of Coupland’s previous novels notably that, “we live in an era with no precedents – this is to say, history is no longer useful as a tool in helping us understand current changes.”

This "time" is like no other and meaning is hard to find.

Top Eight Reasons why to Read it:

1) It’s written like a journal. It could’ve been a blog.

2) The book examines the disconnect that modern life creates with nature, our primal selves and hence that which makes us happy. “he mistakes the reward for the goal… He is lost. He does not connect privilege with responsibility; wealth with morality. I feel it is up to me to help him become found. It is my work, it is my task; it is my burden.

“Q: What animal would you be if you could be an animal? A: You already are an animal”

3) The pop-culture references are not only hilarious but well suited for the novel e.g. “Using the Bloom County-cartoon-taped-on-the-door index Michael is certainly the most sensitive coder..”

4) The books words of wisdom about change: “people are generally quite thrilled to have change enter their lives…(but) I’ve realized that people most dread the thought of actually initiating change… It’s hard coping with chaos and diversity.” “We mistake this time as “the ‘end of history.’ But maybe it’s the Beginning.”

“The only thing that is immune to change is our desire for meaning”

5) It’s important to choose to find hope

6) Awesome little stand alone paragraphs like: “And I wondered then, how do we ever know what beauty lies inside of people, and the strange ways this world works to lure that beauty outward?”

And

“Went to the gym for the first time today and my body feels like an East German Trabant car running on linseed oil crashing into a stack of burning televisions. The pain!”

7) Knocks the piss out of the silly tendency people have to define themselves by their work.

8) It’s reinforced my drive to be “One-Point-Oh.” To build; to create; to make something new. Version 1.0 “is what separates the microserfs from the cyberlords.”

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