For Gary Hawken, life in a coma comes with few perks. Nurses care for him and people sit by his bed and tell him stories, but the glorious mess of life passes him by. In a world where survival depends on his ability to understand his stories, Gary must recognize the value of his own soul. A hypnotic tale of one man's struggle to find the truth in his own epic life.
©2011, 2014 Mario Milosevic (P)2015 Mario Milosevic
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sara Niña on 29-03-16

This book is based on a truly insightful idea!

Where does The Coma Monologues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is different in its own way, thus rendering it impossible to answer this question. So instead, I'd write of how different this story was. A story of a man trapped in a coma, who is spoken to by a selected bunch of people (by his own conjuring, and in some cases by his wife's design). The originality of the tale struck me, and I commend Mario on his intelligent way of developing a character. We even learn that the victim of the coma is murderer. This was most surprising.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Coma Monologues?

I adored the romantic sentimentality within the monologues, when we hear his wife, Melanie, as well as Mother Nature and Death.

Have you listened to any of Michelle Babb’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not yet, but I do plan on it. More so, after hearing her with this. Her performance was impressive, I'd have rated it 5 were it not for the robotic voice attributed to some of the characters. Also, with all the different voices this was quite a feat. I commend her for that.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, but only because after hearing some of the characters I felt that it became a little dragging, and slightly repetitive with all the characters beginning their monologues in a similar way.

Any additional comments?

I felt compelled to write how this novel was absorbing, I kept thinking if that were me - in that state- what would I do? Who would I conjure up, who would be willing to speak to me? Or if I were Melanie, would I have her patience?

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4 out of 5 stars
By K. J. Noyes on 29-02-16

Original story let down by terrible narrator

Where does The Coma Monologues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not a great audiobook, would have preferred to read this on paper.
It has a fantastic premise, it is well written and very distinct, but as an audiobook I'm afraid I wouldn't recommend it. The narrator is ABSOLUTELY ROBOTIC - she speaks sooooooooo slowly and sometimes without emotion. I had to listen on double speed to keep the flow going and my temper down.

What did you like best about this story?

The unusual changes in 'voice', from the coma patient's family, to his house, a crow, Death!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Michelle Babb?

Almost anyone...
I would have preferred different actors for each chapter, suited to the gender/background of the character being portrayed.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not especially, the different narrators/speakers each spoke in chapters so pausing between them felt like a good point for a pause.

Any additional comments?

I would read more by this author, I just had a very negative reaction to this narrator, a strange choice.
The book ends very nicely, I liked the build-up and a few surprise along the way.

With thanks to the author for the complimentary copy, provided for review purposes.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Nocturnus on 06-01-16

Whether To Wake Or Not To Wake

Where does The Coma Monologues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right up there! It was an amazing experience and I could not imagine experiencing this particular book in any other way... Unless it was watching it on a stage :)

Who was your favorite character and why?

The centaur because he was so far from the mythological being as to truly be comedic just for existing :)

What does Michelle Babb bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She brings loads of nuance and expression to the characters that I would totally miss. Her performance makes.the characters seem much more.alive than myself reading the book ever could!!

If you could take any character from The Coma Monologues out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Melody to ask.her how she could stay so positive and keep the faith for so long! I cannot fathom sacrificing so much and being so hopeful in such an arduous situation :)

Any additional comments?

This book is a loosely strewn together collection of essays on a common theme in chronological order. I believe if to be a stand alone novel.

What I find most intriguing about this book is that it could be easily acted out as a play with little effort. There wouldn't need to be any real conversion of the work. It also could be used as audition pieces as each essay is really only person giving a monologue as per the premise of the book.

Gary is in a coma. His wife desperately wants him to wake up and rejoin the land of the living. She devises a plan to get various people from his come and talk to him. She hopes that he will hear something that will make him want to wake up. She also records the conversations for later playback to Gary in case repetition helps to hasten the process. Will her plan succeed? Can her hear them? Will he wake up? Does he want to? Or will he die without ever waking up again?

***This book is suitable for adult readers who enjoy hopeful and dramatic novels full of joy, disappointment, humor and angst tempered with grief and paranormal aspects :)

°°°The performance contained within this audio book was varied and engaging evoking both happiness and grief as well as humor and frustration alternately. I believe books like this lend them self easily to narration as they are basically written for the stage already :) I look forward to more! Both from the author and this incredibly talented narrator :) °°°

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3 out of 5 stars
By Melstamps on 20-12-15

A Conceptually Interesting Listen

Any additional comments?

The Coma Monologues is an imaginative, conceptually interesting book surrounding the "life" of a comatose patient, Gary Hawkins.  Following a devastating accident that has left Gary in a coma, his wife, Melody,  arranges visits from anyone she can reach who may have known him or had an impact on his life at some time. He also receives visits from others, perhaps summoned deep from within his own subconscious mind. 

I vastly preferred the visits from tangible beings from Gary's life--his son, daughter, and wife in particular, but others, as well, even those who had already passed away. I enjoyed some of the visits from lesser friends, though not all. I didn't necessarily care for some of the other visitors: Scheherazade, God, the Centaur. Ironically, I far preferred Death's visit to the one of Mother Nature. While these were conjured from his own subconscious, their ramblings were sometimes dark or just annoying (God, in particular). There is a particularly unexpected and rather interesting monologue near the end of the book. 

Throughout the book there is a recurring Charlie Brown (Peanuts) theme. The "wah-wah" phrase used as speech for adults is referred to be nearly every visitor who comes to speak to Gary. Gary also had an imaginary friend in childhood named Charlie.

The narrator, Michelle Babb, does a great job of voicing the multitude of characters in this book. Some characters in particular (God) had to be very challenging. 

While I found the book to be conceptually interesting and innovative, as a whole, I found it to be very uneven. I enjoyed and was engaged by some chapters and others I wanted nothing more than for them to be over. 

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions stated are solely my own. 


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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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