That’s right, the guy that wrote Generation X,
wrote this book, and regardless of how you felt about that novel, this
one is worth your time. Trust me. Set in the late Seventies, Richard,
our primary narrator, and Karen are two teenagers making love on a
snow-topped mountain for the first time. Promptly thereafter, a
pregnant Karen slips into a drug coma for two decades only to emerge to
a despondent world where her high school friends are failing miserably
to form cohesive identities or assert themselves into the world.
Following her awakening and reuniting with the daughter she never met,
Karen is given the premonition of a severely prosaic apocalypse, and we
are treated to an unlikely and highly metaphoric end of the world, one
replete with philosophical musings about questions of identity and
human meaning in the coming millennium.
I found the use of a
sort of magic realism at the end, when the world slips into a painless
death via “sleep sickness” leaving only Richard, Karen, and their
friends alive to deal with the ecological disasters created by
unchecked machinery, to be as refreshing and intriguing as it was
corny. Given the premise of the novel, a woman in a coma for twenty
years, it is essential to suspend disbelief to read the novel in the
first place. Once that is out of the way we are left with compelling
and unique characters that loosely resemble people we know in real life
and care about, making Girlfriend In A Coma a smooth and enjoyable read right up to the last page.