Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Talk about a sleeper novel...

Over the weekend, I picked up -- and devoured -- Alex Garland's "The Coma" (which just came out in paperback). Damn good book, it's a quick read that clocks in at 200 pages. Although the book picked up some good reviews upon its initial release last summer in hardcover, it was quickly forgotten by consumers.

It's a hard right turn for Garland, who wrote "The Beach" (written ten years ago at this point-- time goes by quick) and "The Tesseract," as well as the screenplay for "28 Days Later." And it's probably his best effort to date.

Illustrated with woodcuts by Garland's father, this is the tale of Carl. As the book's publisher says: "When Carl awakens from a coma after being attacked on a subway train, life around him feels unfamiliar, even strange. He arrives at his best friend's house without remembering how he got there; he seems to be having an affair with his secretary, which is pleasant but surprising. He starts to notice distortions in his experience, strange leaps in his perception of time. Is he truly reacting with the outside world, he wonders, or might he be terribly mistaken? So begins a dark psychological drama that raises questions about the boundaries of consciousness." As Carl grapples with his predicament, "The Coma" plays with conventions, and questions our assumptions about the way we exist in the world, even as it draws us into the unsettling and suspenseful story of a lost suitcase and a forgotten identity."

Very Kafka-esque, very good-- check it out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I must be living under a rock - had no idea Alex Garland came out with another book recently. Read both Tesseract and The Beach - saw 28 Days Later at Tribeca a few years back -- looking forward to checking this book out. Thanks for the heads up! :)