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Shampoo Planet Paperback – 12 Nov 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; New edition edition (12 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684860201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684860206
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 945,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian NATO base in Beden-Sollingen, (West) Germany on December 30, 1961. He is the author of bestselling fiction, including GENERATION X, LIFE AFTER GOD, POLAROIDS FROM THE DEAD, MICROSERFS, GIRLFRIEND IN A COMA and ALL FAMILIES ARE PSYCHOTIC. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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My mother, Jasmine, woke up this morning to find the word D-I-V-O-R-C-E written in mirror writing on her forehead with a big black felt open. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "juliet_w77@hotmail.com" on 1 Jun 2001
Format: Paperback
I read Coupland's other books before this one and approached this one almost expecting to be disappointed. I wasn't. It's obviously not his best but here Coupland has created a deliciously simple story centering around the tales protaganist, Tyler, and his not overly turbulent transition from unaffected youth to relatively unaffected early adulthood. In this one you will find typically cool Coupland dialogue, but it is more naive and, dare I say, even more zeitgeisy than gen x. The characters are younger and the novel serves to illustrate the differences in 60's peace and love and the 80's consumer mentality. His novels are never pessimistic, and the characters are far from the empty, disaffected, mixed up drones of say Easton Ellis. There is chaos, there is confusion but at the last page you are left with nothing but unbridled hope and the sweet taste of optimism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Nov 1999
Format: Paperback
Shampoo planet is probably Couplands least famous novel. A fact that still remains a mystery. Sure it lacks some of those dialogs that made his Generation X into a 90's version of the Catcher in the Rye, but its still way better than Girlfirend in a Coma. Shampoo Planet is more naive but at the same time more realistic than Couplands other novels. The fact that Tyler has not yet past his twenties makes the book more positive in that Adrian-Mole-Kind-of-Way. Beneath all the cyncsim lies a fairly undamaged soul. But Shampoo Planet manages to combine this naivity with modern day irony towards the consumption society and Hollywood envy. The Schampoo Planet is to Coupland what Strangeways Here We Come was to the Smiths. An underrated follow -up to his greatest masterpiece.
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By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read almost all Douglas Coupland's novels more or less in the order of their publication, but had inadvertently omitted this, his second. (Looking at some of the reviews in here, others appear to have missed it as well - perhaps it's been overshadowed by its predecessor, the classic Generation X.) Picking it up to read today is like stepping back in time; it was written in 1992 - that is, before the rise of the Internet - which, since it's a story which builds on teen culture, fashion and consumerism, makes it feel like it comes from another era.

That said, I enjoyed reading this tale of smart, well-groomed Tyler Johnson as he strove to come of age in an undistinguished, decaying American town, with his loving but eccentric family and his witty, flawed friends (both invariant features in much of Coupland's fiction), his neat, clever girlfriend and the emotional fall-out from his summer's trip to Europe. The use of paired adjectives in this sentence echoes Coupland's descriptive style as well - you sometimes feel that his books would be halved in length if his editor capriciously disallowed the use of simile (e.g., "the Pacific sunset [...] like shrink-wrapped, exotic vegetables", "a feeling at once destructive, romantic and grand - like falling into a swimming pool dressed in a tuxedo" [both on p5]). This story has rather more character development than some of his others (or at least, as far as I can remember), and I was pleased to fill in this gap in my experience of his canon.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this book, and what I can say is that it has a definite feel of a journey about it- one feels like they have travelled with the character, perhaps not greatly distance wise, but certainly experience-wise.

As other reviewers have said, this is not as dazzling as Generation X or as geek-chicy as Microserfs or jPod, but it is a slow burner. A few set-pieces in it stick with you- writing on notes, nuclear flowers in the desert.

At it's core, Shampoo Planet has a romance- that between Tyler and Anne-Louise. Coupland takes us through the full range of emotions one finds- fear, loneliness, sadness, joy and optimism within this pair's interactions.

Interactions are the key point in the book. Focused on a single character (unlike a few of Coupland's other books, which whilst not having a Trainspotting style flit between characters, demonstrate at least sharing of the role of protagonist.), we are introduced to characters with secrets, loves, hates, dreadlocks, dreams and depth. In my opinion, this is what Coupland is best at, and he succeeds here with great aplomb.

Generation Y? Maybe not- but still well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul M on 5 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this as Genration Y expecting an anthesis of Generation X where one of the cool new generation people vs the forsaken people in Generation X.

If I hadn't read American Psycho before this book I'd have not noticed but the grooming part of Patrick Bateman of American Psycho seems to have been borrowed for this book when discussing shampoos, hair sprays or whatever. American Psycho

Bret Eason Ellis did this so much better to portray a shallow materialistic existence. This tacked onto the end of a not so interesting story.

Boy meets girl boy loses girl boy gets dream, the characters are flat as a pancake and I generally didn't give a damn about them and they were terribly cliched quite simply I didn't believe them at all.

Again the ending feels tacked on almost as corny as those films where somebody starts right at the bottom of the company and gets noticed by the CEO type story lines. I'd say it was a teenagers book by the way nothing goes into any sort of depth. Granted generation X wasn't a book where characters had any depth but they were specifically like this because there was no real story line to Generation X it simply does not work here.
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