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Shampoo Planet

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  8,835 Ratings  ·  263 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
Sep 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
Jun 04, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, canadian-lit
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
Jun 26, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
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
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Для меня познакомиться с Анной-Луизой было все равно как поднять в магазине с пола оброненный кем-то список продуктов и вдруг осознать, что есть, оказывается, другие, куда более завлекательные диеты, чем та, которой ты придерживаешься. Впервые в жизни я почувствовал, что мне самого себя недостаточно.

Как-то раз в конце весны я тайком пошел за Анной-Луизой, когда она прогуливалась по центру, пытаясь увидеть ее как бы глазами постороннего прохожего - юные ноги, такие нежные под короткой, в складку
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
En Shampoo Planet, como en otros libros de Douglas Coupland, la trama pasa a segundo plano y el acento está puesto en los personajes; sus diálogos y sus comentarios sobre la sociedad pos moderna en la que se desenvuelven. El libro está narrado por Tyler Johnson, joven ambicioso regresando a su pueblo natal del Estado de Washington después de un viaje de verano por Europa y que ahora debe vivir una serie de cambios personales que marcarán su debut a la "edad adulta".
Coupland es un maestro del aná
Lindsay Wilson
Dec 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, canadian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Boring to me. Probably because:
1) I do not like the voice of Tyler. He just bored me.
2) Weak insights. Weak weak insights. The book is like this: blah blah blah blah blah weak insight. Blah blah blah blah blah another weak insight.
3) The issues, characters, and culture probably are too old for me. I was just not immersed into the mood and theme of the book.

I was really not happy. I expected the same power as what I experienced in Hey Nostradamus!. And the fact that I bought a physical copy of th
Jun 18, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sb
One of my favorites, I don't want to tell you what it's about. It's Built to Spill good, Paris, Texas good
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book drove me crazy. The characters were unsympathetic and generally shallow; this may have been the point but it didn't help w/ the book's readability. The metaphors were also painful. For example, "I thought I was going to be permanently warped by loneliness, like a record being scraped by a screwdriver" or "the aura of strained, un-discussable pseudo-cheer near my grandparents, like partying in a house in which the mother has recently died" or "Jasmine's caught KittyWhip fever--like a pl ...more
Tyler sueña con ser millonario. Aprovechar su juventud y divertirse. Aspirar a la vida del hombre moderno: conseguir dinero, divertirse y dejar a un lado la trascendencia. Sus amigos, al igual que él, siguen el mismo patrón. Amistades y amores fugaces como el agua entre las manos. No hay nada sólido, "el amor de tu vida" te dejará por un ricachón. El amor verdadero se convertira en una amistad que durará lo necesario. Obtendrás lo que deseas, serás rico y famoso. El sueño de la juventud que aspi ...more
Cynthia Lewis
May 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The worst self-consciously Gen-X drivel. Perhaps the emphasis on consumerism is supposed to be post modern or ironic or something, but this book just comes off as hollow and without any redeeming qualities. This is a case where I strongly believe the book is shitty because the author is a shitty human being. Because he himself is not deep or humane, he cannot write complex, believable, likeable characters. The end of the book is especially off-putting, as the protagonist has learned absolutely n ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
verrebbe quasi da vederlo come il prequel di "generazione x": tyler -il protagonista- sembra vivere quella crisi che porterà alla scelta di vita dei protagonisti di quel fortunato libro. e poco importa che alla fine almeno uno dei suoi sogni arrivi: il tyler delle ultime pagine è diverso, in un contesto diverso da quello in cui era all'inizio del libro, forse meno "rampante anni '80" e più vicino allo spirito della madre hippy (magari in una versione più "apocalittica", come le scritte che lasci ...more
Aug 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, couldn't finish it. Too irrelevant? Outdated?
Sean Lavergne
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clare Walker
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5. Read in one sitting, couldn’t put it down. A perfect mix of chuck palahniuk and Brett Easton-Ellis with a hint of nostalgia. Love it.
Eric Adriaans
Didn't enjoy it even when I was still enthusiastic about Coupland's story-telling.
Amusing but not memorable
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six word book review: Interrupting the manufactured life of youth.
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it
"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
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a lot of things that all come together to be about one very, very specific thing: the future, or progress, or whatever the hell keeps the world on its toes and growing toward total destruction and perfection. In other news, this book was, well, weird. Weird in the sense that the symbolism was scattered, the plot somehow surreal despite being pretty dull when taken apart piece by piece, and the story's habitat- though set in a past so futuristically obsessed by inevitable desig ...more
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
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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,

Apr 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coupland fans who liked Generation X, Girlfriend in a Coma
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: dad
Shelves: oh-canada, cadeau, 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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...
“Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life's cruelest irony.” 6083 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.” 156 likes
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