Bill's Reviews > Coma

Coma by Robin Cook
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's review
Mar 30, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: thriller
Read from March 18 to 29, 2010

I was expecting more from this book. After all, it was a best-seller and launched both a major motion picture and Robin Cook's career. I'm not entirely sure why. Somehow the story manages to stumble along and keep the reader interested, but it has a number of problems. I personally hung with it only because I knew something would (or should) eventually happen.

First is the matter of the heroine, Susan, a third-year medical student whose one strength is that she's convinced that the two coma cases she encounters on her first day of residency at the hospital are connected. Other than that, she's confused, ineffective, insubordinate, and a typical 1970s swinging single who sleeps with her supervisor on a first date (also on her first day).

Second are all of the other characters, none of whom is much more than a cardboard cutout. Third is the contrived story, which mostly consists of Susan insisting that she's right and everyone else is in her way, to the point that she ignores her assignments and schedules and even steals computer time. I would have kicked her out of school, too, regardless of how sexy she looked. When the actual coma conspiracy kicks in during the last quarter of the book, it really doesn't hold up to much scrutiny. Nobody would have gone to that much trouble and expense and risk for so little payback. And the organization is laughable. No wonder a medical student took them down.

To top it all off, the writing is overwrought and overburdened with medical terminology (yes, I know it's a 'medical thriller', but still) and repetitive introspection and self-loathing. Disappointing.
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