By Daneet Steffens
Updated August 25, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT


  • Book

Douglas Coupland pegged a generation with his 1991 book, Generation X, then went on to write three more au courant novels. His latest venture is also a timely one. The Microserfs are a group of successful, code-crunching twentysomethings, extremely disgruntled with both their round-the-clock hours on Microsoft Corporation’s campus in Redmond, Wash., and the cult of BILL (as in Microsoft owner Gates). When they’re not working or stuffing their faces with junk food (”I sandpapered the roof of my mouth with three bowls of Cap’n Crunch…”), they are hanging out in group houses and reveling in their geekness. Written in the form of a journal (on a laptop, natch), the novel’s real fun is in the frequent and rapidly fired pop-culture references that span the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Everything from the Archies’ Betty and Veronica to the @ sign is up for grabs, and Coupland uses them with relish. As the group relocates to California to start their own cutting-edge-of-technology company, the plot turns slightly soggy, but the writing maintains its satisfying level of mind candy. A

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