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Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland

Girlfriend in a Coma (1998)

by Douglas Coupland

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2,901421,988 (3.56)49



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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
i agree more with the negative reviews than with the positive. it starts strong but I should have heeded the warning signs that it would devolve into paranormal babble and over bearing how do we save the world psychology. the early parts of the book that raise the question of which characters are in stasis and which are dynamic are worth exploring but the ghost tale that follows is a cheap gimmick. ( )
  jimbomin | Jan 23, 2017 |
Odd. Have to think about it awhile. When deciding to read it, I wasn't particularly intrigued by the premise. I was intrigued by the promise of bigger ideas, of how the title motif fit into the grand goal of the book.

The weaving of smaller & larger stories was indeed interesting. Also on the plus side, I was impressed by how the author made the kind of people I normally refuse to read about into sympathetic and engaging characters. On the minus side, the grand idea was just a little too odd for me. Also on the minus side were too many minor implausibilities, even given the suspension of disbelief for the major fantastic elements.

I could go on, but it was kinda draining to read, and I want to be done. So,in sum, my star rating reflects my mixed feelings, *not* a lukewarm reaction. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
What to do with a human life? ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland - Good

What a strange but interesting book. I've read other books by Douglas Coupland and enjoyed them, but I have to admit the title of this one kept putting me off. I needn't have worried, it's not particularly depressing.

One snowy night in Vancouver, a couple of teenagers decide to lose their virginity, by the end of the evening, Karen has slipped into a coma leaving a strange message for her boyfriend, Richard. For 17 years he and their group of friends try to live their lives while Karen 'sleeps' and then...

Hard to categorise without giving too much away. Starts as a teenage, coming of age, sort of book, slips into a middle age crisis type of thing, then dystopia, then redemption of a sort. It really defies description and I suspect for that alone, it deserves its place in The Guardian's 1000 best novels

The fact that it's a page turner and you really want to know what happens to this group of friends makes it well worth reading regardless of listings.

( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
I cannot stress this enough. I think this is the worst book I have ever read. I picked it up on the strength of glowing appraisals on the blurb, along the lines of "Coupland does it again. He may not give the answers, but asks the questions of our purpose" etc. Glowing indeed.

It held quite a lot of promise in the first part. And then the story becomes so convoluted I just lost interest. I try to finish every book where possible but this got drastically worse and led to a terrible ending. I put it down feeling thoroughly dissatisfied.

And it's a shame, because Coupland can write. But the storyline in this was really poor in my opinion. ( )
1 vote rimbo90 | Mar 28, 2015 |
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I'm Jared, a ghost.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060987324, Paperback)

In this latest novel from the poet laureate of Gen X--who is himself now a dangerously mature 36--boy does indeed meet girl. The year is 1979, and the lovers get right down to business in a very Couplandian bit of plein air intercourse: "Karen and I deflowered each other atop Grouse Mountain, among the cedars beside a ski slope, atop crystal snow shards beneath penlight stars. It was a December night so cold and clear that the air felt like the air of the Moon--lung-burning; mentholated and pure; hint of ozone, zinc, ski wax, and Karen's strawberry shampoo." Are we in for an archetypal '80s romance, played out against a pop-cultural backdrop? Nope. Only hours after losing her virginity, Karen loses consciousness as well--for almost two decades. The narrator and his circle soldier on, making the slow progression from debauched Vancouver youths to semiresponsible adults. Several end up working on a television series that bears a suspicious resemblance to The X-Files (surely a self-referential wink on the author's part). And then ... Karen wakes up. Her astonishment--which suggests a 20th-century, substance-abusing Rip Van Winkle--dominates the second half of the novel, and gives Coupland free reign to muse about time, identity, and the meaning (if any) of the impending millennium. Alas, he also slaps a concluding apocalypse onto the novel. As sleeping sickness overwhelms the populace, the world ends with neither a bang nor a whimper, but a universal yawn--which doesn't, fortunately, outweigh the sweetness, oddity, and ironic smarts of everything that has preceded it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:24 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

After making love for the first time, high school senior Karen Ann McNeil confides to her boyfriend, Richard, of the dark visions she's been suffering recently. It's only a few hours later on that snowy Saturday night in 1979 that she descends into a coma. Nine months later, she gives birth to a daughter, Megan, her child by Richard. Karen remains comatose for the next eighteen years. Richard and her circle of friends reside in an emotional purgatory throughout the next two decades, passing through careers as models, film special-effects technicians, doctors, and demolition experts before finally being reunited while working on a conspiracy-driven supernatural television series. Upon Karen's reawakening, life grows as surreal as the television show. Strange, apocalyptic events begin to occur. Later, amid the world's rubble, Karen, Richard, and their friends attempt to restore their own humanity.… (more)

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