Douglas Coupland’s New Book About Alcatel-Lucent Really Isn’t About Alcatel-Lucent

Recently, Canadian novelist and artist Douglas Coupland released his latest work, Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent.

The book, available on Amazon, is described as taking “an inside look at the global company that keeps us connected.” And it’s true, we as readers do get this from him. Coupland  indeed goes inside the company’s offices both in North America and overseas.

But that’s really not what the book is about. Like, at all.

If readers get any value from this book—and they do get value—it’s in Coupland’s insights into the internet’s societal effects. In Kitten Clone, Coupland wonders aloud what today’s unprecedented level of connectivity is doing to our brains and our sense of ourselves as humans.

“Coupland’s account is driven by his thoughtful reflections on the larger cultural and sociological significance of transformative information technology,” the description finally, accurately notes. “And by a larger meditation about what the Internet is doing to us as it relentlessly colonizes the planet, and our brains.”

And it’s in that area where Kitten Clone is worth every penny.

This is not a book review, per se. It’s simply a recommendation to anyone who is online everyday (that’s you, by the way).

In Kitten Clone, a slow start tricks readers into thinking this may indeed just be a book about a company. But by the midway point it’s positively gripping. And by the end, you barely know how to feel about the internet—or yourself.