Daniel Coyle: Waking Samuel

Waking Samuel - Daniel Coyle

By chance, I read two books about coma in a row. Unlike the last one, this one was great. In particular, I thought the characters were interesting and easy to get to know. I have so much in common with the main character, Sara: like me, she is balancing her ideas of childhood against mass popular culture, and she is trying to raise her preschooler to have his own independent non-corporate ideas about the world. Which is to say that, like me, she is stubborn, worried, over-thinking things, and a bit of a misfit around other mothers. On top of that, the story that Samuel tells her, about a childhood that is probably too free of both culture and parental influence, is fantastic and scary. It's also a great mystery: too detailed to seem made up, and too fantastic to seem true.The one thing that bothered me about the book is that the story Samuel tells seems to be about himself as an adolescent, while the current Samuel is apparently a full-grown adult. I couldn't quite figure out how old he really is, which bothered me considering Sara's intense interest in him (which, now that I think about, it would have made more sense if he really were very young). But that's a forgivable problem for me, given how rich and exciting the story was.