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The Coma | [Alex Garland]

The Coma

From the internationally-known author of The Beach, a gripping mystery and stylistic tour de force that delves into the subconscious mind, with brilliantly disturbing results. A young man is brutally assaulted late at night in an underground train by a gang of thugs.
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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally-known author of The Beach, a gripping mystery and stylistic tour de force that delves into the subconscious mind, with brilliantly disturbing results. A young man is brutally assaulted late at night in an underground train by a gang of thugs. Beaten unconscious, he lies for days in a hospital bed, but appears to make a full recovery. On discharge from hospital, Carl picks up the threads of his daily life, visiting friends, seeing his girlfriend, until he starts to notice strange leaps in his perception of time, distortions in his experience. Is he truly reacting with the outside world, or might he be terribly mistaken? So begins a dark psychological drama that raises profound questions about the boundary between the real and the imagined.

©2004 Alex Gurland; (P)2004 Penguin Books Ltd.

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  • Anna
    York, United Kingdom
    2/2/13
    Overall
    "A Treatment for a short film"

    I will admit that this book did feel like a chore to read. While the idea behind it is very clever a short story may not be the best medium for it.



    Due to the nature of the story, a man trying to escape a coma, the narration does have to reflect this and thus Matthew MacFadyen does not use different voices to distinguish between the characters. The only secondary character that stands out is the taxi driver, but there is a reason for that as you get to the end of the story. Due to the author exploring themes of self and consciousness all the characters in the story are extensions of the main character as it is a dream like world he is inhabiting and creating.



    I think this type of story doesn't work as a novel or a audio book, I think it would have been far better for it to be a short film or a 90 minute one off television drama.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catriona
    AYLESBURY, Bucks, United Kingdom
    2/7/09
    Overall
    "sorry"

    couldnt finish it

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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