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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ireland's best young writer, 26 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Notes From A Coma (Paperback)
Mike McCormack is the most interesting writer to emerge from Ireland over the past decade. His short story collection Getting it In The Head ranks with the great Irish story collections, up there with McGahern's High Ground and Desmond Hogan's Lebanon Lodge. Now, nine years after Getting It In The Head, McCormack has produced his second novel in which his early promise bears rich fruit. Notes From A Coma is, to be reductive about it, the story of JJ O'Malley, a young man brought from a Romanian orphanage to McCormack's home county of Mayo who feels himself to be at a skewed angle to society and existence. He eventually comes to believe that what he needs is to give his mind a rest, to stop the thoughts and worries which are impinging upon his sanity. This JJ does by signing up to an experiment whereby men are placed in a coma on a prison ship for some weeks. But a plot summary can't do justice to this marvellous novel. McCormack is the most individual stylist to emerge from Ireland since John Banville was a young man and there isn't a duff sentence in the whole novel.It's by turns moving and disturbing, austere and celebratory. McCormack tackles a great deal (the footnotes to the book are a brilliant work in themselves, an examination of the texture of modern society Thomas Pynchon would have been proud of). But it's also a simple story of love and redemption, of joys and comradeship and the awkwardness of everyday relationships in a changing West of Ireland which has never been captured as well as it is here. The Booker Prize committee let themselves down by not naming this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting my mind off my mind, 22 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Notes From A Coma (Paperback)
I think that this is a fantastic book and recommend it to anyone as a great read. Mike strikes me as being above all else a great storyteller. I just couldn't put this book down once I started reading it, the characters are developed in such a way that you really feel that you know them and the use of different narrators gives you great insight into the various characters as you see things from their point of view. I don't know if this is the first time this has been done but it's ingenius and to my mind really added to the book. I read the 'Notes from a Coma' in two days and cannot recommend it highly enough. Read this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars sci fi as political metaphor, 20 July 2013
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terence dooley (camelford, cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Notes from a Coma (Paperback)
Science fiction, let's admit it, is mostly drivel, but serious fiction like this and Never Let Me Go can use some of its tropes metaphorically to great effect without losing sight of or interest in the fascinating everyday world which extraordinary people inhabit and where such strange things happen. This is a beautiful story about one young man's breakdown after his friend dies, and the experimental apparatus, the multi-narrators, the footnotes and the coma-prison - an excellent metaphor for the Eurostate - only add to its telling. All the way through you feel you are in the hands of a writer you can trust, someone with an ear, someone who knows about people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars IF there's 'Chicklit', this is 'Blokelit', 22 Nov 2010
This review is from: Notes from a Coma (Hardcover)
Here is an uncanny and deeply moving description of the shock, horror, and sheer mind-numbing boredom facing any man now.
Take yer pick. Or go under.
Or read this and inoculate yourself against the slings and arrows of outrageous globalism .
Don't forget - injections hurt. You're not alone; or you'll feel less so after reading this...
Jesus wept. Literally. - And me.
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Notes from a Coma
Notes from a Coma by Mike McCormack (Paperback - 14 Mar 2013)
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