The book got me at the first lines: "Oh God. I feel like I'm a refugee from a Douglas Coupland novel."
This was my first exposure to Douglas Coupland, and JPod remains my favourite of his novels. As a geek and a technocrat, I loved a look at the world of software development through Coupland's eyes. What's more, he broke the fourth wall, but he did it in style! He wrote himself into the novel, gave himself a major part, and then turned the book into a meta-referential story.
Each of the characters is so crazy you'd think that they were pulled from an obscure book of stock characters from the '60s. The main character, Ethan, is the sort of guy with whom most people can identify: trying to do good, but feeling the pressure of expectations from a somewhat off-kilter mother, a father going through a mid-life crisis, a brother, his coworkers ... oh, and did he mention he knows a Chinese mob boss? Kam Fong is awesome.
JPod is one of the wittiest character studies I've ever seen. It's both funny and endearing. Even if you don't understand how computers or video games work, you will still enjoy this story for the relationships of the characters and the situations they experience.
If you're trying to sell this to someone, try this: "It's like Dilbert, in book form."