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3.7 out of 5 stars94
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 September 2000
This book was ace, i read it after a friend could not put it down and iwas just the same. The life of karen, the girlfriend in a coma, moved meto tears at times. I was reading it at every spare second i could salvage. the ending was poor compared to the rest of the book, but still deserves a whopping 5 stars!
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on 14 August 2000
Well what can i say... even though i did not buy this book it was given to me by a good friend, i thought well it looks good and the review on the back i good.... BUT after reading it WOW. If you can read this book and not have to stop and think about life.... Check for a pulse.
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on 22 May 2005
this is excellent; plot, descriptions and characters are all well written. i haven't read any other books by douglas coupland, but this is definitely worth buying/borrowing.
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on 10 December 2000
My fav. Coupland novel - yes better than gen. x - but dont take my word for it.... BUY it & love it.
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on 5 May 2004
"Girlfriend in a Coma" definitely ranks among the most disappointing books I have ever read. In spite of the fact I abhorred "Generation X", a "cult" book (allegedly) that I've always found immensely over-rated, I hoped this one would be somewhat superior.
It isn't.
In fact, I find utterly puzzling that it should receive such positive reviews, given its total lack of redeeming features.
The author's style is irritating to say the least: Coupland makes an excessive and unnecessary use of similes, at times two in the same paragraph, which mostly verge on the ridiculous. The only effect of lines such as "chirping like birds in a mango tree" is to completely kill the narrative flow.
The characters, Richard in particular, are all invariably dull and uninteresting (if not downright exasperating) and it is indeed extremely hard to feel any form of interest in their thoughts, actions or even their future.
Finally, the plot has to be one of the most absurd of the last fifty years. It is a shame the story takes such a 'wacky' turn: the
idea of a woman being in a coma for twenty years and waking up to a different world could have developed into something brilliant and thought-provoking. Instead, the author chooses to veer towards an implausible and banal re-hashing of an already overused 'end of the world' scenario, populated with tedious ghosts.
A waste of time.
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on 15 January 2006
This would be the perfect book for my 15 year old sister- the book certainly reads like teen fiction. The prose style is very easy to read. I don't always want an incredible challenge when I read, but I often felt "Girlfriend in a Coma" to be too simplistic. Coupland seems to write with consummate ease but the result is an unimaginative apocalypic scenario that i'm certain i've read about a million times before. Saying that I did find the relationship between Richard and Karen, the girl in the coma, quite moving. The book basically asks you to imagine all of your loved ones keeling over and dying. That should move anyone. Doesn't make it good though.
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on 6 January 2001
I was so upset by this book, which starts out with quite a nice, easy story. Not particularly challenging, no new questions asked, but still well written. I even liked the post apocalyptic bit.
It's just that I can't believe that a great author like this could seriously use the "it was only a dream" story line. Even before coming 'round from unconsciousness, the final message to never stop screaming meaningless pointless questions at people is a ridiculously oversimplified solution.
I really liked the start, I think that's why I feel a bit bitter about it. He made me care about the characters, only to do stupid things with them.
Two stars is for making me care, otherwise it would have been less.
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on 4 January 2007
On December 15th 1979, on the night after they first make love, Richard's girlfriend Karen goes into a coma. She wakes up 20 years later, mentally undamaged, to find her friends relatively unchanged (they seem t have just grown into their own expectations of themselves) and that she and Richard have a teenage daughter.

And just as she starts to recover, the rest of the world falls apart.

Yes, you do have to suspend disbelief, but it's worth it.

This is an unusual, original book with a unique storyline and an interesting (if somewhat clichéd) cast of characters who are searching for their meaning of life.
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on 9 November 1999
This novel is truly, truly dreadful. I am utterly perplexed by the rave reviews - I have never been so underwhelmed by a so-called 'cult' novel in all my life. The characters are just so boring, so one-dimensional, I just found it impossible to engage with any of them. The plot - admittedly bursting with promise - was ruined by a writer who is so obsessed 'apocalyptic zeitgeist' and Smiths lyrics (at best tenuous or misplaced references, sometimes even cringe-making, e.g., 'hand in glove')that he sadly neglected to develop any ideas further than the "that will do for now" stage. It was all so crashingly disappointing - the contrast between the last three decades of the twentieth century and the coming of Armageddon would - indeed SHOULD - have led to the creation of a really absorbing story, but Douggie failed abysmally. Another thing that really annoyed me was that there was absolutely NO humour in it at all. I can just about deal with zero credibility - which the book is also guilty of - but true to the mournful Smiths-style melancholy which pervaded the whole sorry affair, it was all far too serious to be remotely enjoyable. I know Mr Coupland fancies himself as Morrissey or something, but the old chuckle wouldn't have gone amiss. Indeed, it may even have redeemed it. And so speaks a Smiths fan, would you believe.
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on 26 February 2003
No doubt Douglas Coupland is a very talented original writer, but for some reason “Girlfriend in a Coma” just didn’t click with me. But still there was much to admire here and it is essentially a novel in two parts - the first half is story concerning the frustration and futility of growing older – the second half about a neo-apocalypse and redemption.
Now I can understand a lot of the points Coupland makes here but he weakens them by preaching so dogmatically. It treats the reader as a sponge to be squeezed and refilled, never once seeming to consider the flaws of his own creation.
The characters are likable but lean heavily towards stereotypes at times, if the novel didn’t drive forward at such a pace then perhaps Coupland could have developed them more.
More time should have been spent on this novel, as it stands the plot is so rigid that it constrains its brief flirtations with greatness. An ambitious failure, but it is still worth a look.
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