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. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/18/1991 Release date: 03/01/1991 Genre: Fiction
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