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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

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The Coma

Chris Campbell

The Coma
"If we wait long enough, something strange will happen."

I've only read one novel by Alex Garland and seen one film where he wrote the script. I loved the film (28 Days Later) and I also loved the book (The Coma). The Coma is the story of a man in a coma. It's a small, beautiful book that is filled with woodcuts by Nicholas Garland (Alex's father). I read it very quickly over three nights just before I went to bed. Maybe it wasn't a good idea since I had a hard time sleeping over those three nights. My sleep was... strange. The novel is subtle and it wasn't until I was about a third of the way into it that I started to realize what was going on (which I'm not going to tell you). It's not a big secret, but, like a dream it's hard to explain and maybe that's the point. Garland explores what it means to be awake and be asleep and make us wonder about ourselves, how we think and what we are. How much of us is us? What can we lose and still be who we are? How do we define ourselves? Is it how we look, how we feel or how we think? Garland writes very well and I loved the condensed prose that slowly unfolded in front of me. It made me think a lot and sometimes made it hard to sleep. It's good when something does that.