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Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate; she works an easy job at a hip art gallery and lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?
My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary alienation can be. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Claudia Gallegos on 07-12-18
I love it...
Very few times I become obsessed with a book, and this one made the trick!
I was engaged at all times, expectant with what was coming and sad that it ended.
The style is quick, anxious, serene, well constructed.
R for Recommended!
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
By Kat - Audible on 07-10-18
Who doesn’t want to sleep through life sometimes?
Strong, world-conquering heroines are everywhere these days. I admire them, which might be why I’m also a bit bored of them. Thank God for Ottessa Moshfegh, who has a knack for making miserable characters eerily seductive (I see you and I love you, Eileen). At the center of My Year of Rest and Relaxation is another disdain-able type: a beautiful, privileged twentysomething who tries to escape her angst—aided by enough pharmaceuticals to make Hunter S. Thompson bat an eye—by sleeping all. The. Time. It’s a simple, ingenious plot that yields more narrative tension than you might think (I was reminded at times of The Girl on the Train’s blackout-induced mysteries), made all the juicier by Oshfegh’s razor-sharp insights, a send-up of the New York art scene, odes to Whoopi Goldberg, and world-weary narration by the amazing Julia Whelan. A lavish ending caps off this wholly original novel. Don’t sleep on it!
19 of 21 people found this review helpful