Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Coma” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.87  ·  Rating details ·  44,531 ratings  ·  713 reviews
They call it "minor surgery," but Nancy Greenly, Sean Berman, and a dozen others, all admitted to Memorial Hospital for routine procedures, are victims of the same inexplicable, hideous tragedy on the operating table. They never wake up again.

Some traceless error in anesthesia has cased irreversible brain death, leaving each of them in a hopeless coma.

Something is very wro
Paperback, 308 pages
Published December 13th 1977 by Signet (first published 1977)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Coma, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ashwin Dongre While Yvonne Crawford's answer maybe true, those spoilers are clearly shown on the cover picture, with artistic indication to organ theft; the body is…moreWhile Yvonne Crawford's answer maybe true, those spoilers are clearly shown on the cover picture, with artistic indication to organ theft; the body is quite apparently partially translucent. So it is not necessarily a spoiler. Nevertheless, that part should be removed from the description.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  44,531 ratings  ·  713 reviews

More filters
Sort order
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
This is an oldie and as far as I'm concerned, it is also a goodie. I enjoyed this. I think that calling this a medical thriller is definitely appropriate. This book is very very dated with transistor radios, 10 cent pay phones, and a $600 hit job, but it was worth the read. The best part for me was the suspense build up. It was well done because I couldn't wait to turn the next page. I also have to say that it was all quite satisfying regarding the "bad" guys. And I loved the attitude of the fem ...more
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
* Coma starts out so well and encompasses such a wonderfully sinister plot that it's a shame it had to be written by Robin Cook. I read the author's Shock not too long ago. In the nearly 25 years that had elapsed between the publication of the books, Cook clearly hadn't learned a thing about creating believable characters or plot complications. Why should he, when his books are bestsellers?

* Cook writes like a bad TV show: if you don't approach it passively, you can't possibly enjoy it. That's h
Terri Lynn
I first read this in 1977 at age 18 when it first came out and was a Robin Cook fan thereafter. I decided to re-read it this month and compare what my 18 year old self thought with what my 53 year old self thinks.

Third year medical student Susan Wheeler , along with 4 male medical school classmates, are assigned to Boston Memorial Hospital to begin learning first hand about surgery and patient care.

There are some aspects of this book and about women in medicine that I really want to discuss. I
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Paul by: A recycle bin.
Every male in this book is a a sexist and a chauvinist. So it makes it difficult to circumvent their attitudes to get the feel and fuel of the story. In the middle of the mystery the author has taken liberty to create an unimaginable romantic relationship with the (hero), and one of these misogynists (very unlikely). However there is some really nice action sequenced moments that allow you to keep on reading. But unfortunately the author ruins the ending by trying to do the unexpected. I like th ...more
Asghar Abbas
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I am not even hesitant to grant it a well deserved five star rating. What a truly scary book this was, about what humanity does best; subject their own kind to man made horror, and that's the worst kind. A frightening tale Herr Docktor had cooked for us ( tell me you saw what I just did there, hehe anyway ) because not only it's possible but probable that we are capable of this. It's all about the possibilities, isn't it? No, wait. It's all about the endings. Parallels could be drawn that trusti
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it years ago. One of my fave movies - have seen it many times.
Apr 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Okay, who hasn't read this book or seen the movie? It was a phenomenon in its day. And it was a decent suspense, thriller novel. But the only Cook novel I ever read.
Sep 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Coma" is a medical mystery/thriller by Robin Cook. It was the initial book that earned him the reputation as a successful author. It's a pretty good book. A little weird in places. And the main character has all the common sense of a doorknob.

Susan is a third year medical student in Boston just starting her first day at Memorial hospital. She soon comes into contact with two patients who have inexplicably ended up in comas. For some reason, she immediately becomes obsessed with these comas and
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who knew that I would enjoy a medical thriller? This genre is new to me. And I recently read a book about a coma in a totally different genre ("Anything But Ordinary" by my lovely neighbour Lara Avery) and when I found this book on my bookshelf my interest of comas and the mind during comas (it's so fricken mysterious) made me pick it up. And BOY OH BOY am I glad I did!

The following may or may not contain spoilers.

Susan Wheeler is a young and beautiful (of course) medical student who discovers t
Kenneth Tocyloski
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going with 3.5 stars for this 70's classic. Well conceived story that is truly a scary thought. The ending was brilliant. My only knock is the technical jargon; for example, you do not need to name the bones of the hand when you are using a pair of sizers as a weapon and you drive it through the hand.
But other than that the characters were believable and well developed. Also, my days of BBQ in an apartment was spot on and did bring back some fond memories.
♛ Garima ♛

My father is huge fan of Mr. Cook, I'm still bit skeptical trying - what if I don't like it? ?
A decent suspense/thriller. Content is quite dated (late 70s - smoking everywhere, every man is sexist, characters searching for payphones) but that did not detract - in fact, it was an interesting history lesson for late 70s culture.
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robin Cook pretty much owned the medical thriller. Hmm, I wonder who owns the genre now? This was perhaps his best book.
Michael Sorbello
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes “dirty hospital politics” to extreme levels of grotesque absurdity and that’s what made it such a fun read. Some of the dialogue and character interactions come off as strange and stilted, but the book was written during a different time when politics and social issues were completely different than what we deal with now so that’s to be expected to a certain degree.

It’s certainly a bit outdated in some areas, but the main thriller that serves as the center of the plot is still t
Julia Madeleine
Mar 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was huge when it first came out. I read it when I was in my teens and loved it. It was probably the first medical thriller I've ever read. I saw the movie when it was released staring Michael Douglas (love those books to movies), and back then it was pretty scary. Probably that was due in large part to my youth. Everything is scarier when you're a kid.

The premise of this book is wicked; going into the hospital for routine surgery and never waking up from the anesthetic. I think that ap
Re-reading this today, it's hard to imagine this book could have caused such a stir when it was first published in the 70s and that it could have generated an entire sub genre--the Medical Thriller. I bet it wouldn't even be published today: cardboard characters, a plot almost anyone can see right through and identify the villain (although I don't remember that being so easy when I read it when it was published), the ridiculous amount of medical information--the bad guy falls and it's his 7th ri ...more
Jan 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, after three books I'm calling it. Time of death is 19:47 hours. How on Earth is Cook a best-selling novelist instead of someone printing up stories in his garage to send to family at Christmas?

Coma is a wretched book. Cook couldn't write an interesting, strong, or likable character if you held a gun to his head. The words in the book repeatedly tell us how beautiful and (more importantly) how smart the protagonist, Susan, is. But the actual words that represent what she thinks and says te
Shailesh Niroula
Well to start with the positives:
Great start to the story. It gives the reader glance into the life of a medical student. Plus the medical details are vivid and as a medical student myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the first 40 pages.
That is when everything goes plummeting down. The story takes a bizzaire twist. And I just couldnot comprehend the fact that a 3rd year medical student on the first day of her rotation will begin a crusade to bring down the almighty Dr. Stark. Also I didn't like the sup
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i totally undercranked the moving picture of ted's coma. in one morning we glued on the score, set it up on an old 65 Rexredux Super-Visor and killed it on an eighth, no short stops except for the rigs in and out. you play it back at 1:1.15 and you have yourself a portrait of the artist as a young ghost envying our average looks, to the crushing finger-drumming of C.V. Alkan, courtesy of Ronald Smith.

something unusual happened on the way out of the hospital. I told jay and ben about a chocolate
Jenny  Baker
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't as good as Mortal Fear, but still enjoyable. The first 12 pages hook you, but then the book slows down until about midway. Half way through, the book picks up speed and hooks you again. After reading two Robin Cook novels in a row, his books sounded formulaic, so I don't recommend reading his novels back to back if you're easily annoyed by formulaic writing. I still love his novels and plan to read more, but now I need something else. If you're in a reading rut, a medical thriller is ...more
Oct 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the worst author I have ever read. He tries to describe everything and he fails. You know, you read a book and you basically see it in your head like a movie... no this guy didn't succeed at all. He tried, but did not succeed.. poor Robin. I will never read another book by him.
On the contrary, I did like the idea for the book. I am an aspiring doctor so I love ANYTHING within the medical field :)
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good. Couldn't put it down.
Dec 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was in the mood for a fast-paced thriller and this isn't it. The writing is dreadful and I quit after 100 pages.
Laura (crofteereader)
This book was a wild ride. I picked it almost at random because of the audiobook narrator (January LaVoy) and because medical thriller sounded interesting. If I hadn't read the synopsis (which spoils the whole book) I think I would have been a lot more engaged.

The good: the time period feels so authentic, from nurse uniforms to pay phones to really aggressive sexism. Of course, I only saw the publication date of the audiobook (2014) and not the publication date of the actual book (1977) so all t
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooked
This wasn't an awful book. I didn't even really not enjoy it. However, the book has such major flaws that it wasn't possible for me to rate it particularly highly. Some of these may be due to to how dated the book is. I am reviewing it from the perspective of someone in 2018 who was not alive during the time period it was published.

Anyhow, to start with, most of the major plot elements were very predictable. The big reveal of why people are dying, the characters that are suppose to be red herrin
Ryan Meloche
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Wheeler manages to paradoxically make and break this novel. From the very beginning she is abrasive, overly emotional, over-ambitious, and even a tad conceited. She views herself as a rational individual, an intellectual - yet she responds to every confrontation or negative situation with an instant emotional knee-jerk reaction. In truth, despite my criticisms this served to draw me in more rather than repel me, it seemed like an honest interpretation of what people are really like. It's s ...more
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
Revolutionary for its time. This book and the derivative movie actually changed the culture and direction of an entire Nation of people. As a result, it should be considered a land mark work - regardless of "literary" merit.

Not so science fiction now that violent and nonconsensual organ harvesting is taking place in China on a very real and massive scale. They are the number one importer of organ transplant anti-rejection drugs yet also one of the lowest for voluntary organ donation due to the m
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lindsey by: Andrew Portwine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Randall Reese
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book a 4.49 star rating. Not quite a full 5 star, but a very high rating.

The storyline of the book is compelling and never drags. The one slight flaw that I saw was in the plot acceleration in the book. It felt like there was a rather long build up to the actual main thrust of the plot, then a very fast resolution. I'm not even sure if the resolution is fully realized (view spoiler) This being said, the journ
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Hospital and people die from anesthesia in a certain room [s] 5 14 Apr 04, 2019 04:17AM  
Coma 7 40 Apr 27, 2014 12:32AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Natural Causes
  • Airport
  • 1984 ج2
  • خلف جدار النوم
  • تجربة محرمة
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Cold Plague
  • قطار الجحيم
  • The Deep
  • حكايات مارك توين
  • The Case of the Waylaid Wolf
See similar books…
Librarian Note: Not to be confused with British novelist Robin Cook a pseudonym of Robert William Arthur Cook.

Dr. Robin Cook (born May 4, 1940 in New York City, New York) is an American doctor / novelist who writes about medicine, biotechnology, and topics affecting public health.

He is best known for being the author who created the medical-thriller genre by combining medical writing with the thri
2 trivia questions
2 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“She thought about how marvelous is would be to have a wife keeping the house in order, the meals on the table. At the same time it seemed ridiculously unfair that she could never have a wife. In fact, if she married, she would be expected to be the wife.” 29 likes
“wish” 0 likes
More quotes…