Jennifer's Reviews > Coma

Coma by Robin Cook
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's review
Mar 31, 2010

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bookshelves: mystery
Read from March 31 to April 02, 2010

Coma is a medical mystery written originally published in 1977. The medical world and the average person's knowledge of health and medicine have expanded hugely in the thirty-plus years that have passed. I was delighted to find that amongst the predictable parts of the book, there were still some surprising twists to find. The mystery was very good, even now, and must have been mind-blowing in its day.

My rather large problem with the book was in the form of the main character, Susan. She's a medical student on her first surgical rotation. This is her first time treating patients, her first time putting in an I.V., on her very first day in this hospital. She's demanding. She's blowing off pages calling her to treat patients. She's not going to lectures. She's all consumed by the mysterious coma patients. It's her first day and she's getting involved in things she obviously shouldn't instead of doing the things medical students should be doing. The scenario is ludicrous, as she obviously should have been kicked out of the program for her behavior.

There are some interesting parts focusing on sexism in the medical community and how she battles it. The situation may be dated, but her reactions to it are beyond belief now and in the 1970s. She sleeps with her immediate superior on her second day and yet gets mad about not being taken seriously. This and her entire attitude towards the career she supposedly longs for make her a very unsympathetic main character. Susan brought the entire novel down. Every time she did something, or even thought about something, I have the urge to scream "Are you freaking kidding me?" The plot is great, but the main character is atrocious and distracting, causing the entire novel to be average at best.

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03/31/2010 page 104

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