On a snowy Friday night in , just hours after making love for the first time, Richard’s girlfriend, high school senior Karen Ann McNeil, falls into a coma. Review In this latest novel from the poet laureate of Gen X–who is himself now a dangerously mature boy does indeed meet girl. The year is. Nicholas Lezard on Douglas Coupland’s best yet: Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland pp, Flamingo, £ Sat 14 Nov

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Girlfriend in a Coma – Coupland Douglas

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 VancouverBritish ColumbiaCanada 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. Richard has to cope with losing Karen but gaining a daughter, Megan, as fatherhood is thrust upon him: Wendy throws herself into work and Linus loses himself, looking for that which is lost.

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, girlgriend 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. Coupland, from a letter sent to members of the media [1].

In lateCoupland 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”.

Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland, A Review

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. Ocma 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 girlrfiend 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 Girfriend finest novels, with a stronger narrative than some of his earlier books but still providing relevant cultural criticism and commentary.

Girlfriend in a Coma

In the UKThe Guardian described the book as Coupland “becoming extraordinary” 25 April couplannd 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.

It pretty well erupted out of me. I started writing it at the start ofduring what was probably the darkest period of my life.


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