Another book – oh ehm gee! Yes, yes – this girl that enjoys talking about innumerous shades of red nail polish also likes reading books! After The Rosie Project (review here) – the wittiest book evaar – I’m here with Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland. This is sad. Very sad. And it doesn’t make sense. Towards the end the author probably went bonkers, with all due respect.
When I really really think about it, I guess, I didn’t particularly enjoy this book. The first sentence basically says it’s about a ghost of a guy who’d shag anything with tits (pardon my French!), a girl falls into coma, then wakes up some 20 years later and the world comes to an end, which she obviously predicted before she fell into coma in a letter she gave to her then boyfriend who impregnated her the night before. So much for the extremely twisted storyline. Saying this, I can totally emphatise with people who said that this book is an utter rubbish. In a way it is. But on the other hand – in my eyes Douglas Coupland is somewhat of a genius.
I don’t think he meant this book to be actually good good. The story is just so unreal & mental that it makes you think. And it makes you think hard. Now read these two quotes and THINK ABOUT THEM.
“Question: would I do it the same way all over again? Absolutely –
because I learnt something along the way. Most people don’t learn
things along the way. Or if they do, they conveniently forget those
things when it suits their need. Most people, given a second chance,
fuck it up completely. It’s one of those laws of the universe that
you can’t shake. People, I have noticed, only seem to learn once they
get their third chance – after losing and wasting vast sums of time, money, youth, and energy you name it. But still they learn, which is the better thing in the end.”
“At what point in our lives do we stop blurring? When do we become crisp
individuals? What must we do in order to end these fuzzy identities –
to clarify just who it is we really are?”
When Karen, the girlfriend in a coma, wakes up those two decades later (now force yourself to forget how nuts that whole idea of waking up like that 20 years after you fell in a coma is), she notices what others don’t. People have computers, internet, faster cars & better technology. Life is so much better. Everything is so much more efficient than it was those 20 years ago. And efficient means BETTER, right? Oh, oh, does it?! No, it doesn’t. Life of society as a whole is better, but life of an individual is complete doggerz. You just get up, go to work, come home, pay your bills, watch telly, eat your premade dinner, go to sleep & here you go again repeating your every day undying mantra until your body expires. And that’s it.
Just look at me. I used to have so many goals and ideas and things I wanted to achieve, places I wanted to see. I still do, but because of turning into this worker-bee, I dumped all that on a side, just so I can pay my rent (for a crappy apartment), cat food (which makes Cookie get UTI every other month), I waste my time commuting to work, waiting for delayed trains, running away from homeless people chasing me down the street screaming they want my change (true story). It’s such a stupid vicious circle! 20+ years back people came home from work and went for a walk or fed their pigs, or God knows what – but it surely felt more fulfilling than your regular life nowadays. This book made me re-think this whole wasting-my-life situation. I really need to try harder to live a better life. Otherwise I’ll wake up from my coma some 20 years later and realise that I wasted a life. I applaud you Mr Coupland, if anything, you made me think twice about the scarcity of one’s time.
Oh, by the way you can buy this book here for £1.98 (a pretty cheap way to get depressed about life, aha!).