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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To cool to be 4-gotten
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...
Published on 19 Nov. 1999

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something for the weekend
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...
Published on 1 Jun. 2001 by juliet_w77@hotmail.com


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something for the weekend, 1 Jun. 2001
This review is from: Shampoo Planet (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
4.0 out of 5 stars To cool to be 4-gotten, 19 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Shampoo Planet (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Smart and well-groomed, 6 Oct. 2014
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shampoo Planet (Paperback)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Wash, rinse, repeat, dry., 20 May 2009
By 
Mr. Ryan J. Fitch "We are heroes for trying" (Dundee, Bonny Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shampoo Planet (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
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special, 5 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Shampoo Planet (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shampoo Planet, 25 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Shampoo Planet (Paperback)
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). The French girl was particularly charmless. Not recommended - go for JPod, Girlfriend In A Coma or All Families Are Psychotic, but avoid this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy, enjoyable, definitely worth a look., 1 July 2002
This review is from: Shampoo Planet (Paperback)
Not Coupland's best work but certainly enjoyable from start to finish, with some moments of utter beauty that are difficult to describe. If you know Coupland's works, you'll understand what I mean. I'm not going to go deeply into the plot, which revolves chiefly around Tyler's hair, KittyWhip, Daisy & Murray's dreadlocks, Les French Babes, wax crayon rubbings and a certain exotic smelling stamp collection... you have to read the book yourself. All I will say is that the last few pages of the book are perhaps the most beautiful of any book I've ever read (inferior only to those of Coupland's infamous 'Generation X'). A thoroughly satisfying end to a throughly enjoyable novel. Big respect to Doug.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Coupland does Europe, 13 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Shampoo Planet (Paperback)
This novel covers a subject that is only touched on in his other books - Ambition. As the characters in his other novels wallow in the misery of a futureless society and impending doom Tyler the kid with the coolest set of hair products wants more. Stuck in a deadbeat town with no jobs and no hope he set out fo Europe where the past that he see's all around him makes him long for a more exciting future, as soon as he decides which shampoo to use... This book has more story than some of his others and prehaps less thought provoking than the likes of 'girlfriend' but with the trademak Coupland insane ending.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Generation whY, 6 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Shampoo Planet (Paperback)
For those of you who've read and enjoyed Generation X or Microserfs, you might find this book a bit of a let-down. However, it does have a lot to offer. Coupland is trying to approach a generation he clearly doesn't feel as much affinity to, and, I think, missing the point a bit.
There are the same themes revolving around American trash culture and the struggle to try and find an identity within that culture, but instead of working with characters who dealt with the main thrust of that during the 70s or the 80s, he's trying to look at the people doing it in the 90s, and I'm not sure he's managed.
As part of that generation, I felt slightly insulted that there was this assumption that I'm some sort of money obsessed little sh*t (which the main character in the book sort of is). I think he's missed the point that our formative years weren't full of nuclear crises. They were full of recession and job loss. I think the fear of destitution and poverty is a much bigger factor in today's ambitions than love of money.
Nonetheless, I think it's worth reading this book. It still has the Coupland quality of imagery and readability. And after all, if I can form an opinion opposing the author's, at least my thoughts have been provoked.
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3.0 out of 5 stars saved this one until last, 15 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Shampoo Planet (Paperback)
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. It is quite naive and a little too cutesy in places. Doug's narration feels very young in this book (the characters are much younger). Stephanie was an unpleasant character (intentionally so), but she spoiled my reading experience. The ending didn't really work. I did, however, enjoy it more than generation x.
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Shampoo Planet
Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland (Paperback - 12 Nov. 1999)
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