Miss Wyoming


From Sunday Times (February 20, 2000)

by Simon Carnell

For Susan Colgate, a career begun at the age of four in beauty pageants for tots has ended in unwanted offers of bit parts in "titty- flicks". Fondly remembered by everyone as the child star of a soap opera, she slips away from a plane crash, its miraculous sole survivor, in a bid to escape "the plastic strand of identities she'd been beading together across her life". Coupland's smartly written, satirical novel, animated throughout by his trademark exaggerated similes, takes a scalpel to various kinds of plastic American celebrity. It interleaves Colgate's story with that of a lesser victim of dubious success - a Hollywood action-movie star who has also attempted to stage his own disappearance. Coupland is remarkably good at entertainingly sending up the grotesque milieux from which his protagonists flee, and atmospherically depicting the altered perspectives they gain in flight.