Oh boy, yet another book about yet another modern thinker who suggests that “electronic interdependence” is the defining aspect of our time. All very ho-hum, except Marshall McLuhan, the subject of this book, figured it out 50 years before anybody ever updated his Facebook page or posted his whereabouts on Twitter. “Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!” is an odd title for a weird book. Not weird bad, just weird in a way that makes you stop and think about what precisely the author, Douglas Coupland, is up to. Like the man it chronicles, Coupland’s book is full of unconventional angles, ricochets and resonances. Rather than offering a doorstop-size addition to the Great Man canon, it comes in at just over 200 pages that nonetheless sprawl and unfold to their own idiosyncratic rhythm. This is the kind of book that will deliver major annoyance to academics who have made a career out of deconstructing McLuhan’s effort to define the modern media ecosystem. But to a reader interested in a little serious fun, a dip into someone we pretend to understand but don’t really know, “You Know Nothing of My Work!” is a welcome taunt. The book rewards by refusing to slip into the numbing vortex of academic discourse, taking a fizzy, pop-culture approach to explaining a deep thinker, one who ended up popularized almost in spite of himself.
more from David Carr at the NY Times here.