Alex Garland is the author of the The Beach, later made into a movie with Leonardo di Caprio, and The Tesseract, neither of which I have read. Now, having read his novella The Coma I may have to rectify that situation.
To be honest, I'm not quite sure how one should review a book like The Coma, it is quite unlike anything I have ever read before. The writing is sparse and simplistic in a Kafka-esque kind of way. And because of this the story's gentle, rhythmic nature lulls the reader into a false sense of security. Initially, you think The Coma is a childlike tale of a man recovering from a traumatic head injury. It's only later, towards the end of this page-turning read, that you realise that you have been taken on a chilling journey through the depths of human darkness and despair. It is quite possibly the most frightening book I have ever read.
But don't let that put you off. It's an ultra-quick read (it took me
two 20-minute tube journeys to complete cover to cover) which really
gets your mind going. It helps that the text is complimented by a series of almost-menacing woodcut
illustrations by Garland's father, the political cartoonist Nicholas
And, if like me, once you reach the final page, you will want to turn over and start again - just to see if you missed something.