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My Year of Rest and Relaxation (2018)

by Ottessa Moshfegh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,9201007,290 (3.59)83
It's early 2000 on New York City's Upper East Side, and the alienation of Moshfegh's unnamed young protagonist from others is nearly complete when she initiates her yearlong siesta, during which time she experiences limited personal interactions. Her parents have died; her relationships with her bulimic best friend Reva, an ex-boyfriend, and her drug-pushing psychiatrist are unwholesome. As her pill-popping intensifies, so does her isolation and determination to leave behind the world's travails. She is also beset by dangerous blackouts induced by a powerful medication.… (more)
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  1. 10
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    RidgewayGirl: Both novels share razor-sharp writing, a deeply unsympathetic protagonist and an eye for the less savory parts of daily existence.
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» See also 83 mentions

English (91)  Piratical (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (96)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
This is a very odd book. The main character is very unbelievable although I suppose could exist in a certain Manhattan world. I was not enraptured by this book and just wanted to get through it. I guess it is just not my type of fiction as others seem to have enjoyed it. The ending was not very satisfying and I wish I had spent my time on more worthwhile reads. ( )
  JMC400m | Sep 21, 2022 |
The protagonist is my sexual fantasy: young, pretty, thin, selfish, rude, mendacious, lazy, unhygienic, drug-addled, and just the right amount of racist.

She's a Manhattanite who, despite her privileged background, can't even manage her simple job as a receptionist at a gauche art gallery. She despises everyone, including herself, her best friend, and her boyfriend who is just using her (and she's fine with that). She's never had a close relationship with anyone, including her now-deceased parents.

She can't think of a reason to live, but believes that if she could just sleep for an entire year, she'll wake up refreshed, renewed, and ready to take on life. So she lies to her loopy therapist to get mind-altering prescription drugs and experiments with them in various combinations and amounts to achieve a state of hibernation. Despite her self-destructive nature, I couldn't help but get caught up in her "quest" and found it funny, poignant, and insightful. I also like how this book satirizes the art scene.

I was reminded of the 1984 novel "Bright Lights, Big City" which is about a male cocaine addict and satirizes journalism. Both books are about young Manhattanites who use drugs to escape the feeling that they are lost. But they both have the same problem of losing the pace by getting too detailed at times. In addition, MYORAR's final chapter is jarringly different in tone. While it's beautiful and inspiring, I don't think the book properly built the road to get there.

This is the first book I've read by the author, and my understanding is that it spawned a genre of "bad girl" books. The audiobook narrator, Julia Whelan, is very good, and her voice has "cream and chew" that is pleasant to hear even while fitting the unpleasant main character. ( )
  KGLT | Sep 4, 2022 |
i have never read a story like this! such a bizarre and interesting store. i enjoyed it very much, although i’m still stuck on whether or not i liked the main character.. overall such a good read ( )
  Ellen-Simon | Aug 15, 2022 |
I'm not sure that it was wise for me to select this as my entree to the writing of Moshfegh. I had been intrigued by what I'd read of [b:Eileen|28787160|Eileen|Ottessa Moshfegh|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1453926535l/28787160._SY75_.jpg|43014905] and [b:Death in Her Hands|50690143|Death in Her Hands|Ottessa Moshfegh|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1580138878l/50690143._SX50_.jpg|71378368], and when I saw [b:My Year of Rest and Relaxation|44279110|My Year of Rest and Relaxation|Ottessa Moshfegh|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1553096683l/44279110._SY75_.jpg|55508660]on a BOGO table during my first venture into a bricks and mortar bookstore in 6 months I bought it on impulse.

I enjoyed Moshfegh's writing, and the construction of the book. I think my problem is that I just can't connect with characters who drown themselves in pharmaceuticals, even in the pursuit of black comedy. I don't think it's a question of being judgmental, just confusion at the idea of seeking answers - or oblivion - via the indiscriminate use of drugs.

Anyway, my point is that I found it tiresome to read about the main character's experiences with various drug cocktails aside from wondering how survived. I suppose that I don't necessarily react this way to characters in novels who drink alcohol to the point where you'd think they'd collapse and end up in the ER; maybe if I knew more about pharmaceuticals as recreation, these endless sequences would have been more entertaining to me.

With all that said, I never considered not finishing the book, since I really did want to know the outcome of the experimental year. And I do still plan to read more of Moshfegh. ( )
  BarbKBooks | Aug 15, 2022 |
The more I think about the ending, the more I want to take away a star, and there are some anachronisms that haunt me, but I'll leave it at 4 stars for now ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
"A beautiful 24-year-old gallery assistant wants nothing more than to sleep — not for a rejuvenating eight hours, but 'full-time,' like a hibernating bear or an aspiring narcoleptic. Her goal is to sleep, not perchance to dream, but to 'drown out my thoughts and judgments, since the constant barrage made it hard not to hate everyone and everything.'"
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Moshfegh, Ottessaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baude, ClémentTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biekmann, LidwienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahl, AlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerzoni, GioiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stheeman, TjadineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
If you're smart or rich or lucky
Maybe you'll beat the laws of man
But the inner laws of spirit
And the outer laws of nature
No man can
No, no man can . . .
"The Wolf that Lives in Lindsey," Joni Mitchell
Dedication
For Luke. My one. My only.
First words
Whenever I woke up, night or day, I'd shuffle through the bright marble foyer of my building and go up the block and around the corner where there was a bodega that never closed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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It's early 2000 on New York City's Upper East Side, and the alienation of Moshfegh's unnamed young protagonist from others is nearly complete when she initiates her yearlong siesta, during which time she experiences limited personal interactions. Her parents have died; her relationships with her bulimic best friend Reva, an ex-boyfriend, and her drug-pushing psychiatrist are unwholesome. As her pill-popping intensifies, so does her isolation and determination to leave behind the world's travails. She is also beset by dangerous blackouts induced by a powerful medication.

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Average: (3.59)
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