L. C. Tyler, A Very Persistent Illusion
Macmillan (UK), 2009
Chris Sorenson, a minor bureaucrat in a minor British bureaucracy, wonders whether the world exists outside of his consciousness. (We have scenes interspersed with Descartes.) In Chris's world, his parents and younger brother died in a crash some 20 years before. His girl friend Victoria's father dies, leaving behind a strange, hidden past. My favorite part of the book is Descartes trying to decide between "Dubito ergo sum" and "Cogito ergo sum." I do love the idea that "I doubt, therefore I exist." This is not a happy book and it does not have a happy ending, but it's hard to put down.
But it brought something back for me...On December 24, 1980, I was in a fairly serious car crash, which resulted in a broken hip and a 7-day stay in the hospital. For several years after that (the frequency of this diminished over time), I was occasionally afraid to fall asleep, because I was afraid that what I thought was reality was simply a dream I was having while in a coma. And if I fell asleep in the dream, I would not wake up. I did not really need--or want--to be reminded of that.