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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wyoming: Hit or Miss?
A self-confessed Coupland junkie, I don't know quite what to make of his latest. It once again has uncharted subject matter, glorious characters-as-possibilities, and pretty much all the warmth and zeitgeist-grabbing accuracy of his previous works, yet it somehow doesn't allow the reader to engage with it in the same way as "GenX" and the story collection...
Published on 22 Feb 2000

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good moments, but not one of his best
I'm a great admirer of Douglas Coupland's gifts: his memorable use of simile, his empathy with his characters, and his gift for revealing love and beauty in the most unpromising of locations. Here, he turns his eye to a satirical treatment of fame, beauty contests, making movies and fandom with the tale of washed-out film director John Johnson's pursuit of ex-child...
Published on 16 April 2010 by Jeremy Walton


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good moments, but not one of his best, 16 April 2010
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
I'm a great admirer of Douglas Coupland's gifts: his memorable use of simile, his empathy with his characters, and his gift for revealing love and beauty in the most unpromising of locations. Here, he turns his eye to a satirical treatment of fame, beauty contests, making movies and fandom with the tale of washed-out film director John Johnson's pursuit of ex-child beauty queen / soap opera star Susan Colgate. This takes quite a while (the whole book, even) because there's a lot of doubling back to show you how they became the damaged people they are. Some of this exposition is done quite explicitly (including toe-curling scenes of each of them eating out of garbage cans), but it's all done - I think - to reinforce the redemption that comes into their lives with the discovery of true love.

Unfortunately, by the time that turned up, I could feel my attention wandering (at one point, I realized that I was unsure about the difference between some of the minor characters, which isn't a good sign). To be fair, there are some good moments: Coupland gives you an insight into the life of the semi-famous that's valuable in a celebrity-obsessed culture, and he hasn't lost his gift for turning a phrase: for example, at one point, Susan highlights the Catholic guilt of her would-be (married) lover with "Excuse *me*, Larry. Pope on line three", which made me smile. This gift allows him to deftly summarise a setting with just a few words, e.g. (p183) "They were breakfasting in the Alpine Room of the Denver Marriott. It was seven-fifteen Tuesday morning, at an orientation meeting and 'Prayer Wake-Up with Turkey Sausage - Turkey, the Low-fat Pork Substitute'".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wyoming: Hit or Miss?, 22 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
A self-confessed Coupland junkie, I don't know quite what to make of his latest. It once again has uncharted subject matter, glorious characters-as-possibilities, and pretty much all the warmth and zeitgeist-grabbing accuracy of his previous works, yet it somehow doesn't allow the reader to engage with it in the same way as "GenX" and the story collection "Life after God".
Where the hyperreal fantasy episodes of "Girlfriend in a Coma" pulled you in and left you breathless, the flights from reality in Miss Wyoming come across as absurd plot contrivances. They wink at you with a "God, you wouldn't believe this if it happened in a book" impudence, but end up causing the same empty ache that John experiences on realising that Susan didn't appear to him in a sublime vision at all, but was merely his own post-resuscitation confusion of a mid afternoon TV re-run.
Having said that, Vanessa, the freakishy intelligent think-tanker and Ryan, the shrine-building scriptwriter are my favourite DC creations to date. A book to re-read, if not to treasure forever.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect but likeable tale of Generation X+1, 30 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
Nobody is better than Douglas Coupland at exploring the melancholy of the modern soul. Bret Easton Ellis has a similar view of the emptiness and restlessness of contemporary life, but whereas for Ellis's characters the result is narcissism and dehumanisation, Coupland spins bittersweet tales of learning to live with it, love with it, and be content, if not exactly happy.
To Coupland devotees, 'Miss Wyoming' is very much more of the same. Susan Colgate, her very name redolent of the empty, whiter-than-white magic of branding, is almost a parody of synthetic, commercialised modern existence. A woman whose very self-identity is indistinct from her vainglorious junk-media persona. Nonetheless her thoughts and wants are everywoman, albeit writ large and in flourescent colours. 'Miss Wyoming' is the story of how almost by accident she stumbles to happiness and finds real feeling under the plastic schlock that has passed for her past. The themes it explores filter back into experiences with which the reader identifies at every step.
It's not a great novel. In particular, it seems at times unable to decide whether or not it has, or needs, a plot. But it is a good novel - not Coupland's best, but still a well-written tale of emptiness and indistinct longing which nonetheless becomes sweet, charming, and even life-affirming towards its conclusion.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern love story that leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth, 12 Nov 2003
This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
I've got to admit I almost gave up on this book before after the first 100 pages or so. However, Coupland either picks up the pace at just the right moment - or I warmed to the tale's central characters in the nick of time. The plotlines may skip around a little too much, but the witty narrative and colourful supporting characters more than compensate.
Coupland captures the hollowness of modern life and tinges it with a melancholy that moves you and ultimately uplifts (although perhaps it shouldn't).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not his best., 30 Jun 2011
By 
D. Jenkins "Jenko" (Lincoln, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
Miss Wyoming isn't Coupland's best book, but it still is worth a read.

The idea that both main characters "disappeared" on the down turn of their careers is a good one, and provides a nice connection between them. I found myself more interested in Susan Colgate's life and feel that it may have been a better (though entirely different) book if she was the only narrator.

Other people have said how they found themselves not knowing who some of the secondary characters were towards the middle of the book, something which I agree with. This is probably because the story follow 4 threads. Both main characters have two timelines each and it isn't always clear which line you are following as the author switches between past and present mid chapter on occasions, a clever concept that isn't always successful.

If you haven't read a Douglas Coupland book before, try "Girlfriend in a Coma" or "All families are Psychotic" before reading this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 20 Nov 2010
This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
Great book, the way it was written keeps the reader wanting to find out what happens next. The stories intertwine well. Prompts one to think about the effects others have on us. Fantastic escapism.
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4.0 out of 5 stars If you're looking for something a bit different give this a whirl, 7 Jan 2009
By 
lovemurakami "tooty2" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
Douglas Coupland does modern america well. His portrayal of the shallow celebrity conscious world we live in and it's consequences upon individuals and individuality is wonderful. He plays with time and it passage well in this novel and gives us people to care about. Well worth a try, if you don't enjoy why not try Gum Thief that's great
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4.0 out of 5 stars Miss Wyoming, 22 Feb 2008
This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
Not quite up to the standard of JPod and All Families Are Psychotic, but much better than Generation X, Microserfs and Eleanor Rigby. The book flows well, with plenty of humour (of the dark variety). The plot works well, skipping between different periods of time, bringing together the strands of the story very effectively. I did feel the book ended a bit abruptly, which was a shame, but overall this was a very good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly constructed and very affecting., 3 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
Miss Wyoming is possibly Coupland's most accessible novel to date. It's also one of his most best and most readable.
A tale of two individual people as they try to find meaning in their lives, the narrative is excellent as their stories cleverly reflect each other.
The book also horrifies as it captures the disturbing nature of the child/teen-beauty queen circuit and its uncomfortable implications.
A very good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but never really catches fire, 22 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Miss Wyoming (Paperback)
Coupland has moved away from his Generation X settings with this one and perhaps that explains why it is not up to his usual standards.
Its an interesting read, but hampered by an overly complex structure and a plot that seems to drift aimllessly.
The book seems to be principaly about the desire to reinvent oneself and how difficult that is. However it take a long time to make its points. Its not a long book but it could have been much shorter.
The characters & dialogue are engaging but untilimately it seems to go nowhere.
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Miss Wyoming
Miss Wyoming by Douglas Coupland (Paperback - 16 Oct 2000)
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