Saturday, March 1, 2014

Player One by Douglas Coupland

Player One: What Is To Become Of Us

Author: Douglas Coupland
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Windmill Books
Pages: 246
Reading Level: Adult

"A real-time five-hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster. Five disparate people are trapped inside: Karen, a single mother waiting for her online date; Rick, the down-on-his-luck airport lounge bartender; Luke, a pastor on the run; Rachel, a cool Hitchcock blonde incapable of true human contact; and finally a mysterious voice known as Player One. Slowly, each reveals the truth about themselves while the world as they know it comes to an end."


This book really surprised me. Player One is an adult novel by Douglas Coupland. It takes place over a period of five hours and follows five characters who are stuck in an airport cocktail lounge while something happens and the entire world kind of just goes crazy. If you know me at all, you know this isn't particularly the type of book I'd pick up. Initially, I heard about this book from Sanne at BooksandQuills on YouTube. She mentioned it a few months ago and the synopsis mixed with this particular awesome cover just has me hooked.

I had a fear going into this read that it would feel very slow to me for multiple reasons. One reason was because I don't read nearly as many adult books as I do YA, so I feared that it would be hard for me to get into. I also feared this because it says right there in the synopsis that it's a 5 hour story taking place in real time. To me, real time stories are very hard to do well so that the reader doesn't become bored or disinterested. For the more part, Player One kept my interest the entire read.

It was odd that I enjoyed this book as much as I did because it is extremely unique. It's very unlike anything I've ever read before. I'd venture to explain the writing style as a sort of stream of consciousness from each of the characters. The book is split up into 5 sections (one for each hour) with 5 chapters within each section (one for each character.) I found that the originality that define's Douglas Coupland's writing style was enlightening to read. It was like I was learning and yet there were also bits of humor and suspense.

As I read this novel, I found myself guessing what would happen next, while at the same time being distracted (in a good way) from the plot by the twisting and turning thoughts of each of the characters. Speaking of the characters, I felt they were extremely well developed and well thought out. In a book like this, you really need strong characters because each of their back stories becomes very important and relevant to the big picture. I found myself connecting and relating in different ways to every person introduced in the story.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Player One; What Is To Become Of Us. I loved the writing style, the plot, the characters, and the entire novel as one creation. It was so unique and unlike anything I'd ever experienced that it really blew my mind. Despite the fact that the character's did have a habit of rambling their thoughts for occasionally longer than I would've liked, for the most part I found myself enjoying and learning from their outlooks on the world we live in. I feel that this book really opens your eyes to what's around us and kind of forces you to look at the world in a new light. I ended up giving this book 4/5 stars.

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