Marc's Reviews > Coma

Coma by Robin Cook
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Sep 10, 2008

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Read in September, 2008

"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 HAS to know what's causing them. She discovers that Memorial has had a comparitively large number of these unexplained cases. So she starts poking around. She skips lectures. She skips rounds. She bugs the department heads (many of whom are misogynistic jerks, and all of whom have a lot of influence). She refuses to back down even though she's a STUDENT on the FIRST DAY of the semester, and there's almost no hard evidence of any medical reason or foul play. But she eventually finds out there really is a sinister plot behind it all.

The main character, Susan, obviously irritates me. She manages to anger EVERYONE with her obsession. Why does a med student think she can solve a problem on her first day that the department heads haven't solved in a few years? Why is she SO sure there's a problem when there's no evidence of one? Why does she have to sleep with her supervisor? (I think this last question says more about the author's sex drive than the character herself.)

But beyond Susan, the book was pretty good, even if it was a bit odd in the end. It had suspense and mystery enough to satisfy. I'd recommend it to those who like thrillers.
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