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Shampoo Planet Paperback – 1 Jul 2002

3.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; Reissue edition (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743231538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743231534
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer 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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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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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
Generation X has long passed and we seem to have gone through to about Generation CC by now, even MTV no longer plays music videos. This does not mean that the Gen X books of the 80s and early 90s don't hold their worth as they act as a potent time capsule of the disenfranchised youth of yesteryear. Douglas Coupland was a pioneer of this type of fiction and `Shampoo Planet' is an excellent example. Tyler is a young man who wants to be a yuppie, but he lives in a backward town and has a family full of hippies to keep him company. Who has the right philosophy on life and do we really care?

Like in most Coupland novels `Shampoo' is full of people who are hard to like. No matter if someone is a capitalist or a nature lover they all have one thing in common; complete and utter self absorption. Everyone in `Shampoo' thinks of themselves and although this may be true to life in many ways it makes for a bleak read. The story is about Tyler coming of age and it meanders around America and Europe as he meets new people who let him down. It can't be described as gripping reading, but as a relaxed observation of late 80s life the book works well. It is the moments of almost poetic narrative within the story that make the book worth reading, and not the story as a whole. For the brief glimpses on insight into Coupland's thinking it is just about worth trailing through the sections that could drag you into depression.

`Shampoo Planet' is Coupland as is most usual and is therefore interesting, but narratively flawed.
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