Months and months ago, not too long after dmax wrote a favorable review, I picked up Only Revolutions. This was the latest novel by the same guy who wrote House of Leaves. I was happy to score an autographed copy at Powell’s, but was a little worried about the book itself. I had high expectations because of House of Leaves and was afraid that that was the book equivalent of a “one hit wonder.” I started reading it several times, could never get very far, and really disliked the writing style. Last week, it finally got moved from its dust-collecting position on the nightstand up to a bookshelf. Maybe I’ll try reading it again at a later date.

On the other hand, jPod (title capitalization changed at the last minute to protect from lawsuits from those that didn’t notice the j’s descender), which I picked up last night, is amazing. I am only about halfway through, so cannot write a complete review, but it’s great stuff. It is definitely Microserfs 2.0. While the situations are obviously a bit exaggerated from real-life to make for a good story, it really does make me glad that I no longer work in a media/entertainment technology company. I don’t have to worry that our network switch firmware isn’t “edgy” enough or is lacking a sidekick character halfway into development. 🙂 Upon reaching page 86, I was reminded of entelein‘s Hulk-hands stories from her previous nasty job.


And I have to say that the self-referential first line of the novel is great:

“Oh God. I feel like a refugee from a Douglas Coupland novel.”

Posted in: Books Dear Diary

2 thoughts on “Books”

  1. You know, I couldn’t finish more than half (a fourth since there were two sides? or is reading half of each of the halves actually like reading the whole thing? my brain hurts.) of Only Revolutions. Like Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, I think that the idea is what drives the product, but I had trouble actually enjoying the finished article.

    And now, to confuse me more, there’s an audiobook version. how the heck would THAT work?

    I’m going back to “Go Dog Go.” I can follow that one.

    (But, if you want a fascinating html-like book experience that’s actually quite do-able and very very entertaining and thought provoking, there’s Brian Eno’s A Year (With Swollen Appendices). He’s a real artist and thinker, and this one-year diary is a nice little slice of an intelligent and creative life.

  2. Hmmm… the review of that Eno book on Amazon are a little tough to grok, but it’s now on my Powell’s wishlist as a reminder to browse through it next time I’m downtown.

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