Douglas Coupland is one of my favorite authors. He is also an artist and has one of his works featuring the War of 1812 on display at the corner of Bathurst and Front Street. Today, I just finished a novel he wrote in 2009, Generation A.
A brilliant, timely and very Couplandesque novel about honey bees and the world we may soon live in. Once again, Douglas Coupland captures the spirit of a generation….
In the near future bees are extinct — until one autumn when five people are stung in different places around the world. This shared experience unites them in a way they never could have imagined.
Generation A mirrors 1991’s Generation X. It explores new ways of looking at the act of reading and storytelling in a digital world.
The book is told in first person by five different people, Harj, Zack, Samantha, Julien and Diana, which was a little difficult to grasp at first. Once I realized that each chapter is named for the character who is doing the narrating, it became easy. I don't think many authors could pull this off but Coupland does and quite well.
The story is well told, highly imaginative and the last quarter of the book is quite unusual, but highly entertaining. Coupland does a great job is describing a world without bees. With no bees to pollinate plants, they no longer grow. Other animals die because of this. The chain reaction goes on and how the world comes to cope with it.
What killed off the bees. Why are they suddenly making an appearance. Will they return and flourish again. It's not a depressing look at the future but a very enjoyable one.
I enjoy Coupland's books and after reading this one, his Generation X (1991) is next up for me for books of his to read.