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The Coma by Alex Garland

The Coma (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Alex Garland

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8071716,418 (3.16)11
Title:The Coma
Authors:Alex Garland
Info:Faber and Faber (2004), Edition: New Ed, Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Coma by Alex Garland (2004)


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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This was an interesting book. I'm not sure exactly what happened at the end though. Maybe I missed something. ( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
I wasn't interested in one man's idea of what a person might experience while in a coma, seeing as the author had no relevant experience to offer.

I guess the lesson we've learned here is that I should stop reading books that I find on the street in my neighborhood. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 4, 2014 |
Coma starts off very promisingly; Carl is in a coma, and we suffer along with him all his experiences, never sure what is real and what imagined, never sure what is his real state or condition. Up to this point it is a fascinating read, and we are probably switching from one opinion to another as to what the reality is, however when we finally learn what the reality is comes as something of a let down. There is no question about the quality of the writing and how well it conveys dream like images, but its drift toward a somewhat predicable conclusion seems to be a lost opportunity, an opportunity for something really imaginative. ( )
  presto | Apr 24, 2012 |
Very easy read, I finished it in a 4 - hour shift at the bookstore where I work. I felt as if the book was leading to something, thats why I kept reading, however the ending felt unfinished. I hate novels that do not give you a clear ending, it almost feels like laziness on behalf of the author. ( )
  RachaRolla | May 16, 2011 |
The Coma has a simple premise: while commuting home late one night, a man named Carl tries to protect a woman from thugs on a train and finds himself brutally assaulted. After being released from hospital he realises that something is wrong: his life is disjointed, impossible things are happening, and he seems to be hallucinating. He soon realises that he never left the hospital at all, and that he is trapped in a coma. Realising that he must be the instrument of his own salvation, he sets about exploring the dreamscape in an effort to wake up.

Clocking in at around two hundred pages (this is one of the first books I've read in ages that doesn't number its pages; I got the count off Amazon), many of which are white space of woodcut illustrations made by garland's father, The Coma is a quick and easy read. It had to be, of course - an exploration of one's mental landscape, with all the metaphors and weirdness required, would be far too tedious to cover a whole novel. As it stands, Garland manages the description quite well, and The Coma never feels like a chore to read - although novellas rarely do.

It does work quite well as a story, with a few glimpses of figures in Carl's hospital room making intriguing statements providing mystery, plus the simple desire to find out whether or not he successfully wakes up. There's also an unsettling sense of eerie alienation, with a few genuinely disturbing scenes; this is a book that could very easily be adapted into a horror film.

Interesting enough to hold my attention. Not worth seeking out, but certainly worth the $5 for which I bought it at Borders' holy-shit-we-are-on-the-brink-of-bankruptcy sale. ( )
  edgeworth | Mar 11, 2011 |
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Until the telephone rang, the only noise in my office was the scratching of my pen as I made margin notes, corrections, and amendments.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571223109, Paperback)

From the internationally-renowned author of The Beach, a gripping mystery and stylistic tour de force that delves into the subconscious mind, with brilliantly disturbing results. The brilliant mindmessing thriller from the author of 28 Days Later and The Beach A big success in its original editions, the paperback looks set to become an essential lead title in all summer reading promotions The award-winning illustrations from Nicholas Garland make this a beautiful and atmospheric book Massive advertising campaign across the Underground, national press and magazines to make The Coma an unmissable summer highlight

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:12 -0400)

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"When Carl awakens from a coma after being attacked on a subway train, life around him feels unfamiliar, even strange. He arrives at his best friend's house without remembering how he got there; he seems to be having an affair with his secretary, which is pleasant but surprising. He starts to notice distortions in his experience, strange leaps in his perception of time. Is he truly reacting with the outside world, he wonders, or might he be terribly mistaken? So begins a dark psychological drama that raises questions about the boundaries of consciousness." "As Carl grapples with his predicament, The Coma plays with conventions, and questions our assumptions about the way we exist in the world, even as it draws us into the unsettling and suspenseful story of a lost suitcase and a forgotten identity."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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