Player One

Author: Douglas Coupland
Publisher: Windmill Books
Star Rating: 1.5/5
Date Read: January 23rd to 27th, 2014
Oh dear.

I got absolutely nothing from this book. No enjoyment, no thrill, no sense of wonder was aroused throughout my reading of this book. It was nothing but an increasingly frustrating experience because guess what? ‘Real time’ is BORING. Nothing happens during ‘real time’ which is why most authors tend to skip over those bits.

The story is set in an airport cocktail lounge over five hours where an unspecified global catastrophe is occurring because oil prices went up, for some unspecified reason. So people start going crazy and some people shoot each other and other people barricade themselves into hotels and/or cocktail lounges and there’s some explosions. BOOM. Big chemical ones.

And while this is happening there are four people in the cocktail lounge: Rick the bartender, Karen a single mother who flew out to a nowhere place to have an internet hookup, Luke a pastor who stole a bunch of money when he lost his faith and Rachel, a blonde beauty who doesn’t understand the world around her. Add to that the ‘mysterious’ voice that calls itself ‘Player One’ – which is not so mysterious as it reveals itself in the first chapter or ‘hour’.

There is exploration of the deep seated issues the characters have – their issues with time, religion, their own identities and what comes next. But there just doesn’t seem to be anything interesting about their discussions and their discoveries about themselves. I just didn’t see the point of it all. I feel like I’ve wasted my time with a very disappointing book.


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