Girlfriend in a Coma – Douglas Coupland

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Girlfriend in a Coma – Douglas Coupland

Postby MatthewTM » Fri May 24, 2013 6:44 am

I finished this one last night, and it's quite an interesting novel.

Some of the things that make it interesting are stylistic decisions or flaws, such as genre-hopping, two POVs (first person with two different protagonists sandwiching a section of third person), the occasional (lazy?) switch into third person omniscient... There are two glaring bits that I noticed where a bit of exposition is stuffed after dialogue just so it makes sense. I thought the ending was contrived, self-indulgent and several thousand words too long.

But where there's some writing that could be questioned, there's some great writing and some lovely descriptions. Where the book shoots off on tangents, there's still a consistency and a lot of careful foreshadowing.

The book spent a lot of time exploring transformation and pre-millennial angst, the latter of which dates it a tad. The idea of losing (or letting go of) something to gain something is well explored. So is the idea that the modern world is slowly whittling people away in the name of progress until people can't even imagine a future. And although the third part is an intriguing extrapolation of these themes, it's too heavy-handed to get any personal revelation out of it.

But overall, I bought into it and liked it a lot. I think I liked Coupland's imagination more than anything else, and from what I know it's a very personal book and one that he allowed to develop quite organically. I might have enjoyed it a little bit more had I read it when I was 17, the same age as the characters when we first join them.

Anyone else read this one?

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Re: Girlfriend in a Coma – Douglas Coupland

Postby LMGilbert » Fri May 24, 2013 8:14 am

I haven't read any Douglas Coupland since Generation X. I know he's an internationally acclaimed author of Canadian origin, so I should be all `Rah rah, let`s hear it for the team!` but I couldn`t get interested in his work over the last years. I can see what you mean about the age group he seems to be targeting, though.

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