Video game programmer Ethan Jarlewski and five of his colleagues are stuck in the JPod, a dead zone outpost of a mindless technology corporation.

Supposedly, they are there to work on a video game, to follow the mindless orders of marketing managers to put a turtle, oddly enough, into a skateboarding simulator.

In reality they spend most of their time using the internet for time-wasting amusement. They're nerdy to the point of autistic, and oddly entertaining.

Inside work, Ethan hankers after the girl at the neighbouring work station. Outside, he has a borderline psychotic but emphatically dysfunctional family. Mum's a drug dealer, Dad's a failed actor who plays away, and his oddly conventional brother made easy money in property and has links with Chinese people traffickers.

Fans of Douglas Coupland will recognise this version of life like they would Linux operating systems. Sometimes it seems like he's writing just for them - there is something deliberately cult-serving to print 21 pages of Pi with one digit wrong and have your characters compete to spot the mistake.

That said, the blasts of incoherent techno babble that run to pages in eight point type capture the vapid, over-choiced internet world in the way Trainspotting's Choose a Life did for 90s consumerism.

When it's not being potently atmospheric to the point of annoyance, JPod is light, readable and very funny.

Jack Doyle