In the near future bees are extinct - until five unconnected individuals, in different parts of the world, are stung. Immediately snatched up by ominous figures in hazmat suits, interrogated searately in neutral Ikea-like chambers, and then released as 15-minute-celebrities into a world driven almost entirely by the internet, these five unforgettable people endure a barrage of unusual and highly 21st-century circumstances. A charismatic scientist with dubious motives eventually brings the quintet together, and their shared experience unites them in a way they could never have imagined.
Generation A mirrors the structure of 1991's Generation X as it champions the act of reading and storytelling as one of the few defences we still have against the constant bombardment of the senses in a digital world. Like much of Coupland's writing, it occupies the perplexing hinterland between optimism about the future and everyday, apocalyptic paranoia, and is his most ambitious and entertaining novel to date.
[A] visionary author . . . rock'n'roll yet deadly serious, a caustic social commentator and delineator of the near future . . . He's caught midway between technophilia and technophobia . . . there's no better place to be for a contemporary prophet
A shrewd observer of modernity . . . His latest novel is a quirky glance into the near future . . . an earnest plea for authentic communication in an evermore isolated world . . . Coupland touches on an ambitious array of topics . . . enlivened by observations about the banalities of popular culture
A paean to good old-fashioned storytelling, of which the novel itself is an inventive and unexpectedly moving example
[An] intoxicating cocktail of literary influences . . . Coupland [is] a joy to read . . . A globally ambitious novel, and all the better for it
Fans of Coupland will rejoice . . . Coupland's audacious flights of fancy, his laugh-out-loud dialogue and his magnificent ability to bring it all back to storytelling and orange-flavour tang, they're all here . . . Such a treat