Miss Wyoming


From Library Journal (October 1, 1999)

by Marc A. Kloszewski

Anyone who has read or even heard about Coupland's novels (Generation X, Girlfriend in a Coma) knows that they are firmly entrenched in late 20th-century Americana, paying close attention to the popular culture and how it shapes the people immersed in it. His latest begins with a happy ending: having disowned their respective celebrity careers, fallen starlet Susan Colgate and burnt-out movie producer John Johnson meet at a restaurant and make a love match. Then Coupland rewinds to see how the pair got to that point, detailing Susan's life as a reluctant teen beauty queen and John's reckless, hedonistic lifestyle while steering his characters through a morass of 1990s signposts: near-death experiences, child kidnapping, Internet rumor mongering, and dead celebrity shrines. It would be easy to take pot shots at these people on the fringe, but Coupland portrays them sympathetically, and the chaotic tale is told pretty simply (if not chronologically). A little edge or satire might have made it more interesting, but this is lightweight fun that will find some receptive readers. For larger collections.