This is a jolting new novel by the young Vancouver writer, Douglas Coupland. It’s the story of five young people in different parts of the world, who get stung by a bee.
This is at a time in the near future when bees are supposed to be extinct. The result is tremendous pressure to isolate this group and try to analyse them. Why were they picked to be stung?
One of them, Diana from North Bay,Ontario,admits that they are “damaged goods – deeply isolated in our own ways”. Coupland probes their isolation in rapid, modern prose. When they all get together,they find a way to get in touch by writing and telling stories. This is the world of cell phones, Blackberries, Ipods – all things that tend to make life faster but not necessarily closer.
Coupland takes an original look at this fast, modern world and the loneliness it may be leading us into – quite unsettling for an older reviewer !! – but energetic and provocative. He has written an international bestseller,”JPod”, and nine novels which have been widely translated and published in most countries around the world.
Review by Anne McDougall