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Miss Wyoming by Douglas Coupland - Book Review


Miss Wyoming
Douglas Coupland
Harper Perennial

Fiction-Net Rating 4 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Susan and John need to disappear. Susan and John need to find each other.

Meet Susan Colgate - Miss Wyoming. Winner of a hundred teen pageants, child star of 'Meet the Blooms' (America's favourite family), owner of a hideously pushy mother and now reduced to small, brainless parts in small, brainless movies. Oh, and sole survivor of flight 802. If she were to walk away from the wreckage now, before the emergency crews get here, she could vanish and nobody would ever know.

Meet John Johnson - action film star (Bel Air PI, Bel Air PI2), occasional sadomasochistic, junkie. He just died - but only for five minutes. All the crap he's done to his body over the years and it's a flu that killed him but while he was gone, he saw a vision of a woman's face and realised that it was time to escape life in the fast lane, to ditch the baggage of being horny, rich, lonely John Johnson and to lose himself. To disappear.

Wouldn't it be nice if they were to find themselves and get together?

We Say

Once again, Douglas Coupland proves himself to be sharp, witty and totally hip. Miss Wyoming is about fame and identity and what it's like when everyone knows who you are except for you. Central characters, Susan Colgate and John Johnson are minor celebs living sordidly glitzy lives in L.A. until both find their unexpected and bizarre escape routes.

I found myself more and more surprised as Coupland takes this flashy setting, digs beneath the surface and finds the reality and meaning of the characters lives. Cleverly structured, revelations appear gradually as the past and present are interwoven throughout. When these revelations arrive we learn more about Susan and John as they learn more about themselves. Consequently, I found myself caring about them and willing them on in spite of their shortcomings.

Though not as deep and disturbing as his previous outing, Girlfriend In A Coma, the story is fascinating and original. With a great cast of characters from Susan's trailer trash mother to the smart but geeky Vanessa and Ryan, Miss Wyoming is engaging and unique. Let the story unfold in its own good time and you will be richly rewarded.

Review by: Rachel Taylor

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