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“Microserfs” – Douglas Coupland.

May 5, 2016 book review, geek, programming
A 'cult' book about Microsoft programmers in the nineties.

"Microserfs" - Douglas Coupland.

A couple of days ago, as I was browsing our town’s tiny ‘library’, my eyes caught a glimpse of something familiar …
Microserfs’ !

I could feel myself smile in warm recollection.
‘Microserfs’ … That’s that funny (not ‘ha, ha’) book about those geeks … the Microsoft programmers without a RL (Real Life).
Woo hoo ! Let’s go home ! The SEARCH for a BOOK is over !

For those of you unfamiliar with the book : ‘Microserfs’ was written by Douglas Coupland in 1995.


1995 ?!

Pwew …

Douglas Coupland used to be ‘Quite Someone’ in those days. A bit of a ‘Cult Figure’. Someone whose books were weird, different, definitely not mainstream.

Mmm … I wonder what happened to him … Is he even still writing books ?
Let’s ask Google.

He’s still writing.
And … oh … the title of his last book (‘Worst. Person. Ever.’) sounds kind of interesting …
I think I’ll put that on my ‘Pile-Of-Want-To-Read-Books’ …

And what excellent timing too !

You know that if you don’t feed Your Pile at least one book a week, it might just ‘give up’ on you. Right ?! Disappear. Move out. And you wouldn’t want that to happen, do you ?


Back to ‘Microserfs’ …

The Good :

  • The book is still highly entertaining. It’s a collection of non-stories, little snippets of ‘daily life’. Sometimes they make you laugh. Sometimes they make you feel sad.
  • If you’re a bit of a geek (computer or otherwise), you will definitely appreciate all the little inside jokes and commentaries. You will also enjoy reading about what it was like to work for Microsoft or Apple. I think this is probably still pretty much what it is like today, to work for a giant tech company.

The Not-So-Good :

  • If you’re not of a certain age, and if you didn’t grow up in the US, then a lot of the references in the book will make no sense at all to you.

What I Had Forgotten :

  • The bodybuilding.
  • The feminism.
  • Oop! (which now reminds me of Minecraft).
  • Misty & the Gerbils.
  • Lego (and lots of it).

Conclusion :

I don’t think this is a must-buy-book. Not in 2016, anyway.
But, if you should come across it in your local library … definitely give it a try !
It’s different. It’s quirky. It’s very light reading. And it’s definitely still entertaining.