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MISS WYOMING

Coupland, Douglas

5,880 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375407340 / ISBN 13: 9780375407345
Published by Pantheon Books (1999), New York, 1999
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: MISS WYOMING

Publisher: Pantheon Books (1999), New York

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of Generation X and Microserfs, a smart, funny, fast-paced mystery with a heartfelt American romance at its core.
Susan is a former child-beauty-pageant contender. John is a hard-living movie producer. She walks away from a plane crash without so much as a scratch. He comes away from a near-death experience with a unique, vivid plan.
Susan refuses to spend one more day peddling herself for cheesy TV sitcom parts and takes advantage of a very weird situation to disappear. John turns his back on a hedonistic life making blockbuster action flicks. Shedding their self-made identities, each sets out on an uncharted course across the Gap-clogged, strip-mall landscape of California, searching for the thing--Love--that neither has ever really known, but that they now think they just might, actually, desperately want.
Assisting Susan and John are a blackmailing pageant mom, a pair of suburban eggheads, a rust-belt refugee, and a salad bar of other twentieth-century Americans who all share the dream of one day taking center stage. In Miss Wyoming, Douglas Coupland has combined the literary and the popular in a sparkling and witty caper that quietly resonates into the eternal.

Review:

The eponymous heroine of Miss Wyoming is one Susan Colgate, a teen beauty queen and low-rent soap actress. Dragooned into show business by her demonically pushy, hillbilly mother, Susan has hit rock bottom by the time Douglas Coupland's seventh book begins. But when she finds herself the sole survivor of an airplane crash, this "low-grade onboard celebrity" takes the opportunity to start all over again:

She felt like a ghost. She tried to find her bodily remains there in the wreckage and was unable to do so.... Then she was lost in a crowd of local onlookers and trucks, parping sirens and ambulances. She picked her way out of the melee and found a newly paved suburban road that she followed away from the wreck into the folds of a housing development. She had survived, and now she needed sanctuary and silence.
She's not, of course, the only Hollywood burnout who'd like to vanish into thin air. Her opposite number, a producer of big-budget, no-brainer action flicks named John Johnson, stages a similar disappearing act. After a near-death experience, in the course of which he is treated to a vision of Susan's face, he roams the western badlands. And even after his return to L.A., Johnson is determined to unravel the mystery of this woman's fate.

Throughout, Coupland displays his usual gift for capturing the absurdities of modern existence. The distinctive minutiae of our age--junk mail and fast food, sitcoms and Singapore slings, and the "shop fronts bigger and brighter and more powerful than they needed to be"--come to vivid, funny life in this author's hands. And while Susan and John occupy center stage, Coupland is just as generous with his peripheral characters. A scriptwriter and his supernaturally intelligent girlfriend, a recluse who spends his evening generating Internet rumours--all manage to be blessed and cursed, numbed by their pointless existences but full of humanity when put to the test. Picture Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut collaborating on a Tinseltown version of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and you come halfway to grasping Coupland's brand of thoughtful, supremely funny storytelling. --Matthew Baylis

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