Books: They're Ripley In Reverse

Douglas Coupland crafts a mystery of celebrity

It's better to be a fake nobody than a real somebody. Contra Tom Ripley, this is the conclusion reached by the two lead characters in Miss Wyoming (Pantheon; 311 pages; $23), Douglas Coupland's witty and hyper discourse on celebrity. Like much of his previous work (Generation X, Microserfs), it's a brilliant set of riffs that passes as a novel with mixed success.

Susan Colgate and John Johnson are two former Hollywood luminaries, on the verge of becoming trivia questions, who share a history of disappearing. She, a faded sitcom actress and the erstwhile beauty queen of the title, once emerged unscathed...

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