- 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)
Shampoo Planet Paperback – 1 Jul 2002
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Of all Doug's books this is the last one I've read. I was put off by the name and perhaps the cover. It is a very nicely written book. It's quite a simple story. Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2013 by Mr M.
After reading Generation X which was a book I borrowed off a friend I was very excited to see what Shampoo Planet would be like as Generation X was a fascinating read and had many... Read morePublished on 4 July 2013 by Steve Nicola
Generation X was a slow read and a cinematic one. You wallowed in it. It packed a punch as history and metaphor. Read morePublished on 16 April 2013 by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'
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... Read morePublished on 20 May 2009 by Mr. Ryan J. Fitch
I'm afraid I didn't enjoy this book at all - I couldn't believe in any of the characters (and therefore didn't care what happened to them). Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2008 by gerty guinea
The sort of magazine-ish writing that passes the time enjoyably on the train to work, but is really too slight to be taken seriously.Published on 23 Jan. 2008 by Nt Deregowski
Have you ever felt an adrenlin rush at the inevitable prospect of your (unrequited) love walking through the door? Read morePublished on 17 May 2007 by Deanne Dixon
While this was very readable, with some astute observations on the trade-marked consumer culture of a branded generation, it was pretty lightweight. Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2006 by Green Pixie
I'm a big Douglas Coupland fan, this being his 8th book that I've read.
For some reason this one left me a bit cold. Read more