Coupland used to live and breathe culture. He used his observational skills to pen Generation X and Life without God. As he progressed as a novelist, he added plot his his cultural acumen. Girlfriend in a Coma, and All Families are Psychotic are great examples of this. Lately, though, Coupland’s been on a bit of a slide.
Generation A, despite recalling the name of his first novel, was more boring than witty. I still can’t understand how Player One made the CBC Massey Lecture series. Worst. Person. Ever. feels like more of the same.
The plot is little more than scaffolding to display Coupland’s cultural insight. That’s not necessarily bad—Vonnegut made a career out of that sort of novel! Unfortunately, Coupland doesn’t seem to have any insight left into human nature. He has managed to write a book with no characters I understand (or feel sympathetic towards).
The only redeeming quality of Worst. Person. Ever. is the humour. There are some laugh-out-loud moments here. Unfortunately that’s all the reader’s left with.
—Douglas Coupland, Worst. Person. Ever. (Toronto, ON: Random House Canada, 2013).