My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Mr B's review
A bizarre and bleakly hilarious tale of a young woman’s quest to spend a year in hibernation, aided by psychiatric drugs, to escape the pressure and hypocrisy of modern American society. Over the course of the novel, her pursuit of extreme isolation and sense of renewal comes to seem increasingly reasonable and necessary – I really didn’t expect to sympathise with this character, but somehow that ended up happening! I’ve never encountered a writer who can do acerbic, ironic humour quite like Moshfegh, and mingle the comically strange with serious currents of grief, loneliness and alienation.
FROM THE MAN BOOKER-SHORTLISTED AUTHOR OF EILEEN
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
‘Savage, funny, frequently on the verge of teetering into lunacy… My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a non-negotiable in your holiday carry-on this summer’ Vogue
It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?
Our narrator has many of the advantages of life: Young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, she lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like everything else, by her inheritance. But there is a vacuum at the heart of things, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents in college, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her alleged best friend.
Blackly funny, both merciless and compassionate – dangling its legs over the ledge of 9/11 – My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a showcase for the gifts of one of America’s major young writers.
Electrifying… [Moshfegh] is adept at crafting compelling female characters who violate the rules of femininity… Moshfegh’s protagonist is an unlikely revolutionary. * Vanity Fair * My Year of Rest and Relaxation is whip-smart, continuously compelling, and acerbic in all the right ways. * Daily Telegraph * The superabundantly talented…Moshfegh’s sentences are piercing and vixenish… she is always a deep pleasure to read. * New York Times * This is the first book I couldn’t put down this year… Almost offensive with its close-to-the-bone truths, it’s shockingly relatable. And legitimately laugh-out-loud funny. Ottessa Moshfegh is sharp, savage and hilarious. — Isabel Dexter * Elle * The book that everybody’s talking about… I read it and was entranced. * The Times *
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