Microserfs [9.2 out of 10]

Author: Douglas Coupland
Year: 1995
Number of Pages: 371 pages

Microserfs - Book Cover I must admit that this book made me realize how much of a nerd, sorry, geek I truly am. The whole time I was reading about their jokes, their stories and how they felt about some subjects, I kept telling myself: “I AM such a geek!”. I could so relate to them, especially through the way they were thinking about life and some of the meaningless things we do. Douglas Coupland did an amazing job at bringing the characters and the stories to life, and making us want to know more about them. In an nutshell, it begins by the story of a group of Microsoft employees who live in microsoft group house in Redmond, and how their lives are all defined by the work at Microsoft. I couldn’t have read this book at a better time having just visited the Microsoft campus for interviews last fall (November 2006). I could still see the buildings, the people, the city of Redmond, and the whole ambiance that hangs around the Microsoft campus.

I really have to give thanks to Tracey for buying me this super good book for christmas. It was a really nice present and I really enjoyed it!

Excerpts from the book:

Here are a couple of my favourite quotes from the book. They are good examples of the kind of thoughts the main characters go through throughout the book.

Nerds overfocus. I guess that’s the problem. But it’s precisely the ability to narrow-focus that makes them so good at code writing: one line at a time, one line in a strand of millions. [2]

If you concoct a convincing on-line meta-personality on the Net, then that personality really IS you. With so few things around these days to loan a person identity, the palette of identities you create for yourself in the vacuum of the Net – your menu’s of alternative “you’s” – actually IS you. Or an isotope of you. Or a photocopy of you. [327]

Karla pointed out that there’s really not that many things a person can have in their house in the end.. after a certain point you run out of things you need. You can get more powerful and expensive things, but not really new things. I guess the number of things we build defines the limit of ourselves as a species. [356]


I really enjoyed this book. I could read it again next week. It is full of great inspiring reflexions from many of the characters. I guess what I really liked about it is how open and comfortable the main character was with his geekiness.


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