From Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Coupland sheds light on an often overlooked segment of the population: "Generation X," the post-baby boomers who must endure "legislated nostalgia (to force a body of people to have memories they do not actually own)" and who indulge in "knee-jerk irony (the tendency to make flippant ironic comments as a reflexive matter of course... )." These are just two of the many terse, bitterly on-target observations and cartoons that season the margins of the text. The plot frames a loose Decameron-style collection of "bedtime stories" told by three friends, Dag, Andy and Claire, who have fled society for the relative tranquility of Palm Springs. They fantasize about nuclear Armageddon and the mythical but drab Texlahoma, located on an asteroid, where it is forever 1974. The true stories they relate are no less strange: Dag tells a particularly haunting tale about a Japanese businessman whose most prized possession, tragically, is a photo of Marilyn Monroe flashing. These stories, alternatively touching and hilarious, reveal the pain beneath the kitschy veneer of 1940s mementos and taxidermied chickens.
Angry diatribe against Baby Boomers. Quite interesting verbal pictures of places still recognizable in and around Palm Springs, California.
"A frighteningly hilarious, voraciously readable salute to the generation born in the late 1950's and 1960's..."
Douglas Coupland's first novel. Serves as a good introduction to his style of writing. Other novels in a similar style include Microserfs and JPOD.
You can recognize some off-the-beaten-track places in and around Palm Springs that he mentions in the book (alas, they re-landscaped the Braille institute a couple of years ago so that they don't have a cactus garden any more).
Book the defined a Generation (and named it). Guy is a genius.
Well, at least they removed the cactus garden from the braille institute in Palm Springs.