Has anyone read 'Girlfriend in a Coma' by Douglas Coupland ?

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I found this a very thought provoking novel, particularly the ending. The metaphor of people dropping dead and leaving the machines running did remind me of what some are predicting for Y2K.

The questions it raises about society and the direction it is heading in also echoes some of the thoughts which have been raised on this forum. I was wondering whether anybody else had any comments about this book.

-- (someone@somewhere.com), February 23, 1999


Never heard of it - I presume he nicked the title from my fave band The Smith's song of the same name...

"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."

Thanks for the heads-up! I'll get it from the library, looks like a good read.

Later, Andy

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), February 23, 1999.

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