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Girlfriend in a Coma [Paperback]

Douglas Coupland
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon Review

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 semi-responsible 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘This is a millennial novel of a very subtle and interesting kind. It’s visually brilliant, full of extraordinary imagery, fresh like new paint. I was absolutely knocked over by it.’
Tom Paulin, The Late Review

‘I was amazed by it. The dialogue is some of the most brilliant I’ve ever read in a novel. It’s a great wake-up call to young Americans everywhere.’
Mark Lawson, author of Bloody Margaret

‘What I found most moving and gripping about the book is that Coupland, the poet laureate of the slack generation, is clearly struggling with maturity, struggling with the expectations of his youth and the realities of his life. A wholly original and successful novel.’
Tony Parsons

From the Back Cover

What did Karen see that December Night? What pictures of tomorrow could so disturb her that she would flee into a refuge of bottomless sleep? What images would frighten her out of her body, making her leave the world? Why would she leave me? C’mon, Karen-BEB-sugar pops, starbaby – we all know life’s hard…we found that one out pretty quick. You told me we were all going to be dead – but – alive zombies in the future.That’s what you said. Fair’s fair. Tell us what you meant, Karen. I want an answer. Wake up. Wake up, Okay? We’ll drive down town and have an Orange Julius. Hey! – We’ll drive to the states for a steak dinner the size of a mattress. We’ll drive to Europe and drink champagne and we’ll stop in Greenland for ice cubes along the way.
Knock Knock. Who’s there? It’s me, Karen. No joke, no punchline – c’est moi. Will you come out? Or will you let me in?

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian NATO base in Baden-Sollingen, (West) Germany, on 30 December, 1961. He grew up and lives in Vancouver, Canada. His previous books are Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Life After God, Microserfs and Polaroids from the Dead.

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