Polaroids from the Dead

Douglas Coupland, Author
Douglas Coupland, Author ReganBooks $18 (198p) ISBN 978-0-06-039149-2
Reviewed on: 06/03/1996
Release date: 06/01/1996
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-06-098721-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-51714-5
Hardcover - 198 pages - 978-0-00-639251-4
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-00-654860-7
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-06-210594-3
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A cult writer for the disaffected (Generation X), Coupland combines manic poetry and scary precision in his dazzling, deft takes on modern life and non-living. Illustrated with 42 b&w photographs, this collection of 24 mini-essays and short fictions (all but three of which ran in Spin, New Republic, etc.) opens with several pieces on a series of Grateful Dead concerts that will mainly interest Deadheads, but it picks up speed as Coupland roams the former East Berlin in 1994; files a bittersweet, sunset-drenched dispatch from the Bahamas; meditates on James Rosenquist's enormous pop painting F-111; visits the nuclear tourist sites of Los Alamos; and spies on yuppies and political consultants in seamy Washington, D.C. In Palo Alto and in his native Vancouver, Coupland celebrates middle-class stability, which he views as a fragile construct that shields us from our animal nature. The ""secular nirvana"" of Brentwood, Los Angeles, to him seems an inevitable site for the O.J. Simpson/Nicole Brown saga and for Marilyn Monroe's death. Coupland teaches survival of the hippest as the world plunges toward a ""new thought-based economy."" $100,000 ad/promo; translation rights: HarperCollins. (June)
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