From Publishers Weekly
Beemer Minutia, a 25-year-old Southern California drifter, has already lived in 15 different cities at the start of this breezy debut novel, a paean to consumerism. Currently, Beemer lives out of his Honda Civic, sustaining himself with makeshift meals from the 7-Eleven, and moves from strip mall to parking lot in search of his big break. Reared in the '80s by two detached parents ("Reagan watched over us, and Atari kept us busy"), he entertains visions of his name mass-marketed on everything from "motion pictures to action figures." His more immediate, practical future, however, involves a decision to move in with his feisty, power-obsessed girlfriend, Paulina ("Paul") and her family in "Regularland." Beemer scores entry-level work at an advertising firm, and his creativity is rewarded with a promotion to more high-profile assignments on another floor of the building (accessed via an otherworldly porthole in the men's room). Random explosions mark the first in a series of random anti-consumerist attacks, and Paul flees the drama to tour with Eunuch Town, the boy band she manages, leaving our dejected hero alone at the mercy of Paul's Uzi-toting mother and computer-whiz brother. Is there any hope for L.A.'s laziest slacker? Worldwide success for Eunuch Town and a surrealistic long-term project for Beemer seem to point toward pseudohappiness. Gaslin's story meanders along at a comfortable clip, though the plot has a tendency to detour into chatty psychobabble. A behind-the-scenes sequence at a fast food restaurant and Beemer's unique marketing campaign for "Death" are both clever and insightful, demonstrating Gaslin's potential for greater things. But like Beemer's sugary soda habit, this novel's empty calories supply a modest rush but little else. Coupland does it better.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
An affectionately lethal sendup of Orange County suburbia . . . sharply observed. -- The Orange County Register, June 15, 2003
Sharp and entertaining . . . Beemer is a blisteringly funny satire on the acquisitive self. -- Chris Lehmann, Washington Post, July 22, 2003
Slapdash satire. Loads of fun, often over-the-top, yet in its way as simple and earnest as On the Road. -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review, June 1, 2003
The future is scary . . . at least a good imagination like Gaslin's can add some humor. -- Rocky Mountain News, July 2, 2003