Fiction Flashback: Girlfriend in a Coma

Start your week of with some older titles that deserve a second look

Girlfriend in a Coma

by Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland books fall into one of two categories.  They are either humerous, jaded romps that tear through societal concepts with a cast of madcap characters, or they are soul-destroying stories about the concept of lonliness.

This is the latter.  But don’t let the inevitable depression stop you from reading this.  It’s a wonderful book that is both grounded in a touching reality and fantastically improbable.

It’s also the winner for the most literal title ever published.  Girlfriend in a coma is about a girlfriend who is in a coma.

I’ll feature Douglas Coupland a lot, because he’s wonderful, but this book has emerged as my favorite

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What’s it about?


On a snowy Friday night in 1979, just hours after making love for the first time, Richard’s girlfriend, high school senior Karen Ann McNeil, falls into a coma. Nine months later she gives birth to their daughter, Megan. As Karen sleeps through the next seventeen years, Richard and their circle of friends reside in an emotional purgatory, passing through a variety of careers—modeling, film special effects, medicine, demolition—before finally reuniting on a conspiracy-driven super-natural television series. But real life grows as surreal as their TV show as Richard and his friends await Karen’s reawakening . . . and the subsequent apocalypse.

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