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WELCOME TO MY PLANET

Olson, Shannon

1,008 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0670892084 / ISBN 13: 9780670892082
Published by The Viking Press, New York, 2000
Hardcover
From Rare Book Cellar (Pomona, NY, U.S.A.)

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Very Good in a Very Good dust jacket. ; 1.1 x 8.3 x 5.7 Inches; 287 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 50466

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Bibliographic Details

Title: WELCOME TO MY PLANET

Publisher: The Viking Press, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

Welcome To My Planet is a novel that happens at the most neurotic point in one's life--when not dating is as acceptable a social form as dating; when early-morning NPR, infomercials, and VISA provide more thrill and companionship than grad school or one's day-job colleagues, and the daily struggle to get out of bed and interact with higher life forms than the plants or the TV remote takes on near-cosmic significance. Welcome to a center of the universe that's not London or New York, but Minneapolis, USA, where life just isn't The Love Boat for thirty-one year old Shannon, our tongue-in-cheek heroine. Between trips to Target and her parent's house to do laundry, Shannon visits a therapist called The Counselor and tries to get her life together. In a voice that's funny and as raw as your sister's bachelorette party, Shannon Olson brings an up-front perspective on issues of family and love, therapy and debt, and the occasional comforts of a few drinks. She speaks directly to young and not-so-young women who know that Mom's a great place to visit when you can't quite find yourself.

Review:

In Welcome to My Planet, the fictional Shannon Olson--who shares her creator's name--is witty but confused, whip-smart but unable to fully release her ties to bad boyfriends, childhood obsessions, and the "gassy expanse" of marginal jobs. With the help of a therapist known only as the counselor, this almost 30-year-old Midwestern neurotic gamely tries to steer her way past credit-card-fueled Target binges and a too close relationship with her mother, Flo, and to slowly inch toward the elusive land of adulthood. Comparisons to the charming neurotics found in Bridget Jones's Diary and The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing are inevitable, but beside the point: Shannon is less brittle, less self-consciously hip than those postmodern heroines. Contemplating living on her own again after a stint with her parents, she whines to the counselor, "I've never really lived anywhere else. What if I never find anyone? I may as well go out and adopt a bunch of cats and start wearing macramé ponchos."

Olson's debut easily pulls us in with a conversational, seemingly unadorned style that camouflages her well-crafted narrative technique as she moves back and forth in time. With her retro and up-to-the-minute pop-culture references to The Love Boat, grieving conferences, Prozac, Oprah, bachelorette parties, and the ravages of graduate school (where Babe the Gallant Pig is a "text"), the author clearly knows her target audience. Welcome to My Planet is an almost perfect coming-of-age story for an era in which public life, jazzed by lightning technological and commercial changes, leapfrogs away while emotional adolescence strangely extends into our 30s. --Maura Alia Bramkamp

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