Shampoo Planet
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Shampoo Planet

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  7,080 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Shampoo Planet is the rich and dazzling point where two worlds collide--those of 1960s parents and their 1990s offspring, "Global Teens," the generation after Generation X.

Tyler Johnson is a twenty-year-old MTV child. Once a baby raised in a hippie commune, he now sells fake Chanel T-shirts, collects shampoo and studies hotel/motel management in a small northwest city sadd

Softcover, 299 pages
Published May 1st 1993 by Pocket Books (first published 1992)
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I feel like I've already reviewed Shampoo Planet because I've reviewed (I think) three other Coupland books. Don't get me wrong, I like Coupland and I like Shampoo Planet. But the Coupland novels I've read hold at least a few common elements:

1) An articulate, hyper-self aware protagonist.
2) His/her messed up but well-intentioned immediate family.
3) A focus on consumer culture and changing technology.
4) Fear of poverty and crappy jobs.

I think I could go on with more common elements, but I'll stop...more
douglas coupland is depressing as hell. i finished this book a bit ago and since then i have been wrapped in this loop of thought about how my generation has absolutely no prospects and will continue to exist in the stasis of unhappiness until we die. and dying would end up being one of the best parts of our lives.

but, then again, i have been trying to figure out whether the moon spins on an axis and around the earth or just around the earth. and, you know, whether or not you walk faster if you...more
An early Coupland (his second novel), I probably didn't pick the best time to read this as a lot of it deals with money worries. In fact, there's a whole 'Down and Out in L.A.' section and—yeah. Bit close to home, that. I don't know if it's the result of my trying to subconsciously distance myself, but this book didn't reach me as much as some of his others; there were sequences I loved, like the bits about 20-year-old protagonist Tyler's trip to Paris, and his visit to Père Lachaise Cemetery (b...more
This book was fantastic. It perfectly captured the mood and aura of the early 90s. Tyler reminded me of a far less pretentious and whiny and more lovable Holden Caulfield. Anna-Louise reminded me, almost scarily, of myself. Coupland has a way of utilizing small, insidious devices to emphasize a certain attitude; an excellent example of this was the copious use of brand-names, each bearing a trademark symbol. I was fascinated by the way Coupland himself, in writing the novel, was so clearly rooti...more
I found it very difficult to relate to the protagonist of this, Coupland's second novel. He leaves his dying town in the desert region of Washington State for a summer of rail travel round Europe and cheats on his girlfriend. He returns to Terminaldeclineville (I fail to remember the name Coupland actually uses) and pretends nothing happened. He bemoans the lack of ambition of just about everybody but drops out of college.

When Coupland talks about the USA I recognise the place. In this book he d...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This Coupland book was like comfort food for me. Others have commented on his writing, and I have to agree that there are some excellent passages in the book--there were several chunks that I had to read aloud to my wife because I enjoyed them so much.

Really, though, I enjoyed the growth and interaction of characters most. I appreciate the way he blends the sort of hyper-consumerism of his characters with personality traits to make them likable hypocrites. Flawed, but not hated. You get the same...more
Jared Gee
Gen X at its best. Disillusionment with expectations, desire for something more but not sure what the possibilities are, the search for new anti-heros, the exploration of life and the world with the hope for something more.......Gen X doesnt sound too much different than all the others. This book is a nice look at the vibe of pre-cell phone life just before the last round of junkie heros took over pop culture......
One of my favorites, I don't want to tell you what it's about. It's Built to Spill good, Paris, Texas good
"This novel is the second novel by Douglas Coupland from what I know and is also probably his ""not up to par"" novel for me so far. I may reread it one day but for now, I am taking it as is. This novel is about two different generations and how they end up working together and of course how they colid against each other. In this one, the generation gap is the 1990s children and their 1960s parents. This is the reading hook for this novel and though it is a good hook it was taken a little too ca...more
Dec 24, 2013 Tuxlie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Shampoo Planet is the rich and dazzling point where two worlds collide -- those of 1960s parents and their 1990s offspring, "Global Teens." Raised in a hippie commune, Tyler Johnson is an ambitious twenty-year-old Reagan youth, living in a decaying northwest city and aspiring to a career with the corporation whose offices his mother once firebombed.

This six-month chronicle of Tyler's life takes us to Paris and the ongoing party beside Jim Morrison's grave, to a wild island in British Columbia,

I can't say that I enjoyed it. This is only the second Coupland book that I have read; I really liked "Hey Nostradamus," and while "Shampoo Planet" is written in a very similar style, the story didn't interest me. The first couple chapters were fabulous, with some very striking observations of our culture and human nature, but I got bored about halfway through the book.

Notable quotes:

"...a portrait of Jasmine, facing the world as she does at this point of her life, utterly frightened by a monst...more
Generally you will be hard pressed to get a bad review of Douglas Coupland out of me. I like his later work better than his earlier but this is certainly a grand exception to the rule. Coupland's characters always have this keen insight into the future of the world, which says a lot about his ability as a writer. I can't help but feel that if I was a young adult in the time that he wrote this book that my conversations would sound a lot like the conversations he writes into his book, perhaps eve...more
3.5 stars:
This was Coupland's 2nd novel, sorta-kinda a sequel to Generation X. This was for the following generation: Generation Y, or what Coupland called Global Kids. This gets a bit confusing, because the lead in Shampoo Planet seems to be the younger brother of the lead from Generation X...or maybe that's making a point right there...

I enjoyed this, but not quite as much as Coupland's other books. It's kind of a transitional novel for him, as it lacks the anger of his first book, but hasn't...more
So, I'd heard of Coupland for years, of course. In fact, this book may have made my reading list way back when I was working in the downtown Oakland Waldenbooks around the time the book originally came out. Some things take longer than others to get to.

Coupland, the disaffected young writer who was supposed to be a voice for my generation. Or, well, for people slightly older than me. Or maybe I came in on the edge of Generation X (which will be another topic for another time). Coupland, who intr...more
Davie Bennett
This has been my year of Coupland, having already enjoyed his novels Generation X and Miss Wyoming thanks to some recommendations and prodding from my good pal Tami. I can't enthusiastically recommend this one though; it was just okay for me. The characters were typically sharp and interesting, and the dialogue crackles like you'd expect. But the story just isn't that interesting; the characters aren't given a great arc. I found the tongue-in-cheek product name drops and ironic little copyright...more
Oct 05, 2009 rabbitprincess rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coupland fans who liked Generation X, Girlfriend in a Coma
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: dad
Shelves: cadeau, oh-canada, 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yuki Daigo
"What is the side effect of technology development?" This book "Shampoo Planet" suggests that technology is always changing, but humans are difficult to change their ideas. Those things start to go awry when hippie Jasmice wakes up with "divorce" written on her forehead. Ambitious twenty year old Tyler is a living anti-hippie, devoted to hair-care, sleek technology and big corporations. He considers Jasmine the living figure of sixties idiocy, but he consoles his mother about her rotten husband'...more
Jul 21, 2008 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gen X'ers
I was looking for something totally different than what I usually read, and found it!

Coupland writes for the generation before mine, his stories full of witticisms that seem dry now that they're over a decade old. I think the generational gap was too close for my comfort - the things that were ironic and sarcastically funny are now too true, imbedded deeply into the fabric of our national consciousness/experience. This makes them not funny anymore, but rather tragic and frightening. It was a lit...more
I tried to read Generation X when I was 13 or so and, frankly, I just didn't get it. I don't think at that age we can truly grasp the bleak future that is a never ending parade of strip malls and McJobs shrouded in a neon disposable culture. Unfortunately another 5 to 10 years make these realities seem all too possible. I'm sure I would get a lot more out of it now, but instead I moved on to Douglas Coupland's sophomore effort Shampoo Planet.

Like all great Canadians, Coupland has a much keener s...more
Sadly, not as brilliant as other works of him I've read so far (Microserfs, Player One: What Is to Become of Us, Life After God, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, Generation A.

It's a nice story all right, yet looking for meaning, ideas and concepts that stick with you long after the book was read (which I so dearly love in other Couplands) proved unsuccessful.
Once I finished rereading Generation X, I reread Shampoo Planet. I remembered being so disappointed with Douglas Coupland's sophomore effort, especially since I had acquired an autographed copy of the novel. I could not relate to the main character at all. Tyler is the complete opposite of Ethan in Generation X. He believes the path to happiness involves gathering all the comforts--the right hair care products, sleek, modern furniture and audio equipment, a sweet ride and a career with a multina...more
I don't think time was good to this book. If I had read it in 1992 when it was published I probably would have enjoyed it more. Tyler is the child of hippie parents who are now divorced, he lives with his mother who is still a hippie and his younger hippie-wanna-be sister. Tyler's dream is to be the CEO of a company that his parents once tried to bomb. Tyler's European fling, Stephanie shows up in town and turns his world upside down.
My problem with the book is that I am so far removed from myse...more
Coupland had some on-mark passages and way of using words that makes you want to read paragraphs again and again....

"my memories begin with ronald regan - thoughts and ideas and remembrances like an explosion of white birds released on the coronation of the king. of the times before regan i remember little fleeting, ghostly webs of images, the strange undeniably dreamlike phantasms of a grey era. rocks as pets...underwear you ate...rings that told you how you felt. i must have been asleep then."...more
Coupland's second novel, which I decided to catch up on several years late (being a devotee of his fiction), sets modernity and post-modernity up against each other with little obfuscation. Tyler feels distant from his family and hippie mother, Jasmine, when he returns from backpacking around Europe. When Stephanie, a French girl who was his euro-railing fling, turns up it causes havoc. She is intent on experiencing "The New World", but knowingly dismisses everyone as "too modern" as in the back...more
Probably my favorite of the three Coupland books I read for my author study. I liked this one more than the others because I could relate to Tyler more. He's this young dude who doesn't know who he is, clinging to things like shampoo and the appearance of his room and his car and other material whatnot to feel like an individual. I thought the idea of Kitty Whip was cute, but for some reason I thought a lot about how the Kitty Whip machine would look when broken. Anna-Louise was my favorite char...more
Jan 06, 2008 Cormac rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Coupland's second novel and the first I read by him, it still sticks in mind as probably the best book I've ever read.Its basically summed up as just another teen novel plotwise. Its everyday formalities, family, friends ,girlfriend(s), but looked at in Tyler Johnson's skewed perspective. It deals with the simple issues such as what haircare product to choose and more difficult ones such as trying to find an identity in the modern world. Like all of couplands work it explores the good and bad si...more
Lily Moore
Overall, I did enjoy this book because it was an interesting twist in your typical coming of age story. The book follows a young man by the name of Tyler who lived with his woodstock- age living mother and his step father. Tyler is portrayed as a money hungry young man, who although seems to be somewhat upright, makes beautiful realizations about life and the way we act towards it. Throughout Tyler's six months of travel, he experiences life realizations while at the same time moving endlessly f...more
Coupland is a little overly descriptive for my taste. A few well-placed adjectives go a long way, but there is such a thing as over-saturation in my opinion. However, as I got further into the book, the style didn't seem to bother me. I suppose this style communicates the idea of a shallow, materialistic, consumer-driven economy of 1980's and 1990's America.

For the majority of the novel, I despised the narrator (Tyler). I thought he was stupid and weak. But as the novel progressed and he started...more
Jun 07, 2009 Noel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of wes anderson movies, little miss sunshine, etc.
i was continually amazed by how the money-hungry, status-obsessed young man narrating the book managed to come up with these gorgeous, meaningful observations about life...despite being the kind of person who has a vast collection of hair products, frequently says things like "smoking is for poor people," and adores shopping malls. maybe there was supposed to be some kind of irony there- out of the mouths of shallow babes, etc.- but i missed it, and i don't think it was my fault. it's just that...more
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Douglas Coupland is Canadian, born on a Canadian Air Force base near Baden-Baden, Germany, on December 30, 1961. In 1965 his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he continues to live and work. Coupland has studied art and design in Vancouver, Canada, Milan, Italy and Sapporo, Japan. His first novel, Generation X, was published in March of 1991. Since then he has published nine novels and sever...more
More about Douglas Coupland...
Microserfs Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture Girlfriend in a Coma JPod Hey Nostradamus!

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“Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life's cruelest irony.” 5254 likes
“In periods of rapid personal change, we pass through life as though we are spellcast. We speak in sentences that end before finishing. We sleep heavily because we need to ask so many questions as we dream alone. We bump into others and feel bashful at recognizing souls so similar to ourselves.” 138 likes
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