Wendy Mass
February 16, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

In Miss Wyoming, John, a burned-out movie mogul whose mother kept him sequestered ”away from hooligans, third rails and strange men in raincoats,” is desperately seeking Susan, a beauty queen turned actress who began competing in pageants at age ”JonBenet-and-a-half.” Douglas Coupland, coiner of the term ”Generation X” and the undisputed master of the ultraspecific pop-culture reference, weaves together near-death experiences, bad ’80s sitcoms, escapes from plane crashes, Burger King Dumpsters, stage mothers, and gay husbands. While John and Susan seek peace in a town where everybody knows their names, what Coupland’s fans will find is his most engaging work since 1995’s ”Microserfs.”

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