NONFICTION

Bit Rot: stories + essays

Blue Rider: Penguin. Mar. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780399575808. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399575792. LIT
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Writer and artist Coupland's (Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture) collection comprises brief essays and stories of previously unpublished content, which alternate among treatments of everyday life in the postmodern era and are essentially ruminations on topics as varied as the author's childhood, politics, religion, and what it means to live in the 21st century. The fictional chapters can be at times jarring, at others playful, but overall this work succeeds in drawing the reader into tiny Couplandian worlds. What Coupland does best is keep the reader engrossed and off balanced, so that one never really finds a comfortable spot from which to observe both the horrors and sorrows of the first decade of the 21st century. Since the timeframe of these meditative works includes 2005 to present, the content reflects the tumultuous decade for which the seasoned and prolific writer expounds. The flow from nonfiction to fictional chapters represents a fine example of a postmodern narrative.
VERDICT This work will ultimately be of most interest to die-hard Coupland fans. [See Prepub Alert, 10/3/2016.]

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