He was 'in conversation with' Miranda Sawyer. I wasn't previously familiar with her but she did a great job: she was funny, and steered the evening in the right direction, without detracting attention from the star of the show. Also on hand was an actor who read a couple of passages from the book, since the protagonist is English and Coupland confessed he couldn't do accents.
I was mildly annoyed, therefore, when the first extract contained both 'sidewalk' and 'diaper'. Hey, famous foreign authors trying to write Brits, why not consult ME in these matters? My rates are very reasonable! However, if what we heard was representative, this is a killingly funny book (and also full of swearing). The bit where a character speculates on the possible contents of a tin of Spam had me crying with laughter; I lost it around 'plaited gerbil urethras'.
Afterwards we had questions from the audience. The first was the kind of two-minute ramble in which a question might be hiding somewhere among the sycophancy and self-promotion, and so was the second. At this point I got fed up, stuck my hand in the air and asked which writers Douglas himself found funny. He blanked completely, then asked me the same question back and I blanked too.
In the signing queue I remembered Nick Hornby, and communicated my thought when I reached the head. Coupland agreed with me, asked about my motorcycle jacket (not for the first time), felt my elbow armour, and admired my Scottie-dog keyring. Then I sat down to wait while Myk got his copies of Microserfs and Girlfriend in a Coma autographed. Doug asked if we were together, so I explained that Myk is my official Douglas Coupland gig partner.
I hope we attend many more such gigs together!