My Year of Rest and Relaxation

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

A Novel

Large Print - 2018 | First large print edition.
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Entertainment Weekly's #1 Book of 2018

A New York Times Notable Book and Times Critics' Top Books of 2018

The New York Times bestseller.

From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman's efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes.

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, 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.

Named a Best Book of the Year by:
The Washington Post, Time, NPR, Amazon ,Vice, Bustle , The New York Times , The Guardian , Kirkus Reviews , Entertainment Weekly , The AV Club, & Audible
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, [2018]
Edition: First large print edition.
ISBN: 9780525631934
Branch Call Number: Large Print FIC Moshf
Characteristics: 356 pages (large print) ; 21 cm

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brangwinn
May 19, 2019

As I continued to read this story, I just like the protagonist, wanted to take drugs to escape. Spending a year sleeping isn’t my idea of a good time. I couldn’t believe how the psychiatrist was so happy to add to the collection of pills. I give this book higher marks than you might expect because, this really was creative writing, being able to document a wasted year of a person’s life. It is the kind of book I am compelled to finish reading just to find out what happened to the main character.

j
jmath_
Apr 08, 2019

It may have been because I read this book in one sitting, but I found myself in an almost dream-like, monotonous state while reading through this story. The main character's empty sense of existence may have you checking the time or wondering what day it is, yourself. That being said, this book has a really interesting take on a protag who has all the money she needs to waste away inside of an apartment, drowning in her own thoughts.

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Lady_Librarian
Apr 01, 2019

I went into reading this with pretty low expectations since it has such mixed reviews and I ended up really enjoying it. I can understand why some people don't like this book. The main character is really crude and unlikable. I think for me the writing is what made the book. I would say it's a book that you should try before making any kind of judgement, and then once you try it and hate it (or love it) judge all you want.

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lukasevansherman
Mar 19, 2019

This was a strange one. As a number of folks have noted, the protagonist/narrator of Otessa Moshfegh ("Eileen") novel is unlikable and unpleasant. Of course, likability is hardly a necessary quality for a character. Think of Lady Macbeth or Humbert Humbert or God. The attractive and privileged woman at the heart of the novel decides to hibernate in her apartment, taking a truly alarming amount of medication prescribed by her eccentric and wildly unprofessional psychiatrist. Her few outside interactions with the outside world include a needy friend, whom she doesn't really like, an ex-boyfriend, whom she doesn't really like, and an artist at the gallery where she works, whom she doesn't really like. For all the interpersonal dysfunction, it's a compelling and unusual book that builds to a powerful ending.

n
nalahblueberry5
Mar 11, 2019

Enjoyed

Hillsboro_JennyM Feb 24, 2019

I decided to read MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION after thoroughly enjoying Halle Butler's THE NEW ME (out March 2019), which is very much a read-alike. Both novels are explorations of the interior lives of young women, and delve into aspects of modern life which many people want to avoid thinking about. In this case, trauma and addiction are front and center, but presented with a level of wry humor and ennui that allows the reader to maintain some emotional distance. This is a novel made for discussion, not groundbreaking, but it does offer a good deal of fodder for book groups. I would actually recommend reading it alongside Butler's novel or even pairing with SEVERENCE by Ling Ma. Now THAT would be a great discussion!

j
jasminestea
Feb 13, 2019

Never have I enjoyed an unlikeable character more. I thought the concept was unique, and the lack of emotion to the point of numbness as represented in the main character's self-medicating was darkly refreshing to me. I can see how readers would (and should) find the narrator irritating and self-involved, but I read her as a reflection of how we think, act, and what we place importance on as a society, in general. It was dark and bleak, and seemingly promoted the idea that someone would be better off hibernating from our problematic world. I also liked how it read very matter-of-fact, almost like a journal entry. There's so much to this. There's so many aspects to break down and think about, which is almost as fun as the reading of the book itself. I loved it. And that's the tea.

OPL_EllyR Feb 11, 2019

I read this with a book club, and am glad I did. It's an intriguing, unsettling book, but I don't think I would have liked it without the opportunity to discuss it afterward. There are moments of absurd humor (mostly having to do with the protagonist's terrifyingly irresponsible psychiatrist), and the book moves impressively quickly, but the protagonist struck me as a deeply unlikable, cruel person. It's impressive that Moshfegh could write a character that is so isolated and appears to be suffering immensely, but for whom I feel almost no sympathy. Of the 9 people who I read My Year with, 1 person loved it, another person flat-out hated it, and 7 of us weren't sure what to make of it, which I think speaks for itself. In any case, it's a book that has stuck with me, though in a shifting, somewhat disconcerting way.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Feb 09, 2019

Strange, thought-provoking, and darkly comic.

j
jmbradle11
Feb 06, 2019

I like how this book relates, in my mind, to The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. The protagonist is constantly trying to escape all of her dis-ease and discomforts by just sleeping for the whole year. So much so, she practically is killing herself. She does wake up at the end, and it is interesting of how the author describes it. All the sex references to her boyfriend, are kind of gross. And all the medications she takes, sound endless. But the author is using both generic and trade names to give double the amount of Med access to the character!

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jmath_
Apr 08, 2019

'Although I understood that he was foolish, I trusted his resolve. He wouldn't let me out of there. He was too conceited to fail to keep his word, and too ambitious to give up the opportunity to take advantage of my offer'.

-pg 266

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