Girlfriend in a Coma is a novel by Canadian writer and artist Douglas Coupland. It was first published by HarperCollins Canada in The novel tells the story of a group of friends growing up in Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada in the late s. On the night of a teenage house-wrecking party, one of the protagonists, Karen, falls into a coma. More alarmingly, she seemed to expect it, having given her boyfriend, Richard, a letter detailing the vivid dreams of the future she had experienced and how she wanted to sleep for a thousand years to avoid that dystopia.
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Girlfriend in a Coma is a novel by Canadian writer and artist Douglas Coupland. It was first published by HarperCollins Canada in The novel tells the story of a group of friends growing up in Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada in the late s. On the night of a teenage house-wrecking party, one of the protagonists, Karen, falls into a coma.
More alarmingly, she seemed to expect it, having given her boyfriend, Richard, a letter detailing the vivid dreams of the future she had experienced and how she wanted to sleep for a thousand years to avoid that dystopia. The book was named after the single " Girlfriend in a Coma " by The Smiths. The first part of the book covers the 17 years in the lives of this group of friends after Karen's lapse into a coma.
Richard has to cope with losing Karen but gaining a daughter, Megan, as fatherhood is thrust upon him: the outcome of their mutual loss of virginity just hours before Karen fell into her coma. Wendy throws herself into work and Linus loses himself, looking for that which is lost. Pamela becomes a supermodel and Hamilton a demolition expert, but none of the friends' lives turn out how they imagined.
Broken and lacking, they return to the suburbs of their youth to try to pull themselves together until one day, almost two decades after she fell asleep, Karen regains consciousness. The book is divided into three parts. The first chapter of the book is narrated by Jared, the ghost of a friend of the characters who died of leukemia at a young age.
The rest of Part 1 is narrated by Richard, in the first person, as he tells the story of what happened in the 17 years. The second part of the book, with no narrator, deals with Karen's return to the world. It also begins to explain where she had been all those years and the reality she had hoped to escape. Then, suddenly, the world ends. This section is narrated in the third person, with insight into all the characters' minds. The final part of the book details life after everyone except these seven people have fallen asleep and not reawakened.
This section is again narrated by Jared. The characters have to deal with the end of the world as predicted by Karen in her coma. In late , Coupland was touring for Microserfs throughout Europe. Coupland returned from his tour burnt out and very fatigued mentally. The period after this tour was, for Coupland, "one of the darkest periods of [his] life". This novel became Girlfriend in a Coma ; however, he wasn't sure where the novel was going to take him when he began to write it.
The novel "pretty well erupted out of [him]". The novel is set in Vancouver "because [his] brain was so incapacitated [he] decided [it] had to be set in [his] own neighbourhood. Comas were also an inspiration for him.
Before, say, , people who might have gone into a coma simply died. Comas are more modern than plastics or TV. I like the notion that comas can allow a person to radically reinvent themselves upon awakening.
I think we all want to do that—radically reinvent ourselves—I think it's our deepest need. Karen's full name is Karen Ann McNeil and the circumstances of her lapse into a coma are similar to those in the famous Karen Ann Quinlan case.
The title, a Smiths song title, was chosen because "It's clearly descriptive of the book, but it's also a little salute to those points in my life when I was melting down to soundtracks provided by British gloom rockers. It is considered one of Coupland's finest novels, with a stronger narrative than some of his earlier books but still providing relevant cultural criticism and commentary.
In the UK , The Guardian described the book as Coupland "becoming extraordinary" 25 April and The Times as "a disturbing, thought-provoking and moving novel. Girlfriend in a Coma has something of the quality of a fairytale, but it contains a sharp realism that makes the book scarily contemporary" 15 May BBC Radio 3 broadcast an adaptation of the novel as part of its "Drama on 3" strand on 24 February From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Girlfriend wasn't a consciously planned book. It pretty well erupted out of me. I started writing it at the start of , during what was probably the darkest period of my life. I'd just returned in December from that disastrously exhausting European tour. Dictators and Comas. The Toronto Sun ", March 15, Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved Douglas Coupland. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links. Namespaces Article Talk.
Polaroids from the Dead.
I know it's serious
W hen I first reviewed this book in hardback, I held off on some of the plot's details: it was pretty much the first time a Coupland book had had a plot, after all Microserfs might have had one for all I know, but no one I know has ever managed to get past the first few pages , and I didn't want to spoil the surprise. Now that the book has been in the public domain for a while, that's not such a problem any more. Besides, I think a certain morphic resonance has allowed the book's premises to leak out into the cultural continuum. And if you think that sounds wiggy, get a load of the novel itself. It's Karen Ann McNeil, who has been crash-dieting in preparation for a beach holiday, has a couple of drinks and pops two Valiums, because that's what year-olds from Vancouver did in those days. She then falls into a coma that lasts for nearly eighteen years.
Girlfriend in a Coma – Douglas Coupland
Girlfriend in a Coma , by Douglas Coupland tells the story about a teenager named Richard and his girlfriend, Karen. I find the overall concept for the novel to be quite intriguing; even so, I think how Coupland develops his ideas and concepts are ineffective and confusing. After seventeen years, Karen miraculously wakes up from her coma. Not only is this a rare case in society, but to add to that, Karen wakes up wi.
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