Review of Microserfs


From Publishers Weekly (July 3, 1995)

Coupland, Mr. "Generation X," chronicler of the 20-something generation in all its existential lassitude, turns his gaze toward the "nerd" culture of Bill Gates's Microsoft Corporation and its young employees. Daniel is a code writer, a "bug checker," sifting through the intricacies of developing software programs one line at a time. He lives in a communal home with other "hair-trigger geeks." Shunning material possessions, love and social lives outside the company, they live for their work on the Microsoft "campus," where the presence of "Bill" looms constant. Then, together, in a rash move, the group decides to defect to Los Angeles to develop a new game program. They all yearn to be "1.0," that is, to work on the first generation of a product. Thus freed, they are able to find romance, real homes and identities - sexual and otherwise. Daniel, in fits of insomnia, records all this in a diary on his Powerbook. Perry (of TV's Friends) narrates in a manner fitting Couplands style: wide-eyed youth crossed with world-weary cynicism. Coupland's manic inclusion of contemporary jargon keeps the reading lively. As in his previous Life After God, Coupland aptly depicts a bleak moral universe where even nerds suffer existential crises. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins/Regan Books hardcover.