Short Stories + EssaysBook - 2016
Bit Rot, a new collection from Douglas Coupland that explores the different ways 20th-century notions of the future are being shredded, is a gem of the digital age. Reading Bit Rot feels a lot like bingeing on Netflix... you can't stop with just one.
"Bit rot" is a term used in digital archiving to describe the way digital files can spontaneously and quickly decompose. As Coupland writes, "Bit rot also describes the way my brain has been feeling since 2000, as I shed older and weaker neurons and connections and enhance new and unexpected ones."
Bit Rot the book explores the ways humanity tries to make sense of our shifting consciousness. Coupland, just like the Internet, mixes forms to achieve his ends. Short fiction is interspersed with essays on all aspects of modern life. The result is addictively satisfying for Coupland's legion of fans hungry for his observations about our world. For almost three decades, his unique pattern recognition has powered his fiction, and his phrase-making. Every page of Bit Rot is full of wit, surprise and delight.
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After much anticipation, renowned Canadian writer and artist Douglas Coupland has released his latest literary work. In his newest collection of stories and essays entitled Bit Rot, Coupland weaves together well-crafted tales of fiction and insightful musings of his high-tech experiences in the information age.
In keeping with the technology-focused themes of his prominent novels JPod and Microserfs, the essays in this collection discuss the implications of overly connected lifestyles in the 21st Century. Through modest yet engrossing entries, Coupland shares his thoughts on the ever-changing nature of human relationships in the world of texting and Tinder.
In contrast, the darkly humorous tales in this collection vary from comically whimsical to deeply disturbing. These eccentric tales include a fictional dialogue between Andy Warhol and the two tragic subjects of his art work “The Tunafish Disaster.” Additionally, the author spins a yarn of a king whose subjects have all suddenly lost the ability to read. Generally, these fictitious anecdotes are filled with quirky characters and outlandish narratives.
Ultimately, Coupland strikes a delicate balance between peculiar fiction and common reality that keeps readers constantly intrigued. The ever-changing subject matter will have you both cackling and grimacing through each entry. Readers will be content to find that each story and essay possesses the quintessential elements that Coupland-enthusiasts crave. For those that enjoy the witty and unconventional writing of Daniel Wallace and Tom Robbins, this compilation of stories and essays will prove to be educational and entertaining.
Bit Rot and many other great works by Douglas Coupland are available to borrow at the Stratford Public Library.
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