Exams are coming up, in 3 days actually, and reading has transformed into my form of procrastination. In an attempt to stay on topic with my Pathology study i discovered this new author (from Dan Browns recommendations actually. Robin Cook is a medical doctor and his books are primarily Medical Thrillers- which is a combination of two of my favourite things

  1. Thriller Books
  2. Medicine and Pathology

Of course i was intrigued, and read one of his books “Coma”

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They called it “minor surgery,” but Nancy Greenly, Sean Berman and a dozen others–all admitted to Boston Memorial Hospital for routine procedures–were victims of the same inexplicable, hideous tragedy on the operating table. They never woke up.

Susan Wheeler is a third-year medical student working as a trainee at Boston Memorial Hospital. Two patients during her residency mysteriously go into comas immediately after their operations due to complications from anesthesia. Susan begins to investigate the causes behind both of these alarming comas and discovers the oxygen line in Operating Room 8 has been tampered with to induce carbon monoxide poisoning.

Then Susan discovers the evil nature of the Jefferson Institute, an intensive care facility where patients are suspended from the ceiling and kept alive until they can be harvested for healthy organs. Is she a participant in–or a victim of–a large-scale black market dealing in human organs?

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I loved the story of this book. The prologue was very well written and set up the story perfectly. It primarily details the surgery of Nancy Greenly- she was in for a minor procedure but ended up in an irreversible coma. This first couple of pages really set up the scene and really got me involved and excited in the medical aspect of the book. It was also important as Nancy was crucial to the whole story- she is who the main character Susan empathises with so heavily, so much so it drives her to investigate what is actually going on. The plot was amazing and super interesting- i loved weaving the medical school aspect into the thriller plot. Sometimes i found it was a bit too unbelievable- that an industry would send out someone to kill a medical student for snooping around (but hey, you never know, people will do crazy things for money). The story was overall interesting. I understand that many people would be a bit daunted with all the medical terminology, he does attempt to explain it sometimes, but as a pathology student it was easy for me to understand.

I loved reveal at the end- and what was actually happening in the hospital and with the coma patients was actually pretty cool- in a weird sort of way. It built up very nice to an interesting climax and i couldn’t put it down until i finished it!

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I loved Susan.. for the most part. I lover her determination to succeed in the medical field- a field so dominated by men during the 1970s. She felt so isolated in such a male dominated profession. Lots of her colleagues and superiors treated her differently because she was a women- hell even her supervisor for her surgical internship though she was attractive and was trying to work out if he should sleep with her or now. I love how Susan is strong throughout, and uses her gender for her advantage. At times i felt it she was a bit too ‘women’ and too ‘cliche’ if you catch my drift. But overall i really enjoyed her character. We never get to see much of the other characters- so i cannot really comment on them. Which is actually quite a nice thing to do in a story. She does have a romantic encounter with her supervisor, but it doesn’t dominate the story.

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I really enjoyed this book. i thought the overall story and concept was really interesting, and Robin Cook pulled it off perfectly. Susan was a really great character and i though the way she and other women in the medical field were treated and stereotypes during the 1970s was well conveyed. While people may get a bit daunted with some of the medical jargon behind this book, I myself had not problem being a Pathology major, it is very well though out and really adds to the story. Definitely read this book! And i am already working my way through all of the books Robin Cook has authored!


One thought on ““Coma”- The Bookshelf

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