My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

Ottessa Moshfegh has crossed over to the deep sleep state with this well-written explorative novel. Her novel about a young woman who tries to reset her brain through medically induced sleep is provocative and scary as hell. It's frightening in regards to the character's willingness to undergo active blackouts, uncontrolled behavior, sleep eating and more all in pursuit of escaping her own mental demons. Demons that would seem to most people to just be normal in our currently abnormal world. Moshfegh's supporting cast of characters are equally disturbed in their own ways, whether with the need to fit in or the need to "express" through so-called modern art. In...

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The narrator is seemingly a NYC "it" girl, a size 2 blonde who works at an art gallery and has an inheritance. She decides she needs to sleep for a year and finds a wacky psychiatrist with a penchant for prescription pads. Pills of all kinds for anxiety, depression, insomnia etc. are given and gladly taken. Sleep occurs with bouts of shopping and partying unconsciously. There is a best friend who has her own numbing issues with alcohol and as desperate as some of the scenes may be, some are laugh out loud amusing. There is quite a bit of 9/11 foreshadowing that isn't very subtle and plenty of irony focused on the material and art world and the objectification of women. A bit...

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A twenty-something nameless, parentless, lifeless girl finds herself face to face with her existential void. Instead of trying to fill that void with all the inessential and futile stuff the world seem to offer—as done by her friend Reva and by her cynical and quite misogynist fiancé Trevor, both symbols of a quasi-Darwinian adaptation to their environment—decides to immerse herself in that nothingness and take a year of rest and relaxation from life, i.e. sleep for a whole year with the aid of the pills prescribed by the weird and indulgent Dr. Tuttle.
She ends up with a progressive cancellation of her external world, in a path not unlike that of Descartes and Berkeley.
Ottessa Moshfegh...

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Otessa Moshfegh’s ‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’ is one of my favorite book of 2018 (so far).  The book follows one woman's quest to hibernate in a deep sleep for a year under the influence of as much prescription medication as she could get her hands on.  I'm not sure what I can say that hasn't already been said - this book describes the hard reality of detachment and the beauty in sleep.
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Who hasn't wanted to drop out, hibernate in our apartment for a long time, get away from the world for a while? Ottessa Moshfegh's unnamed narrator takes the need for getting away from it all and puts a plan of action into effect. In late 1999, the narrator, a recent Columbia University graduate with a major in art history, lives on East 84th Street in a doorman building paid for by her inheritance. She works in a chic art gallery downtown for $22,000 a year. Her job description is to help out at openings but otherwise to sit in the gallery and ignore any pedestrian visitor. The hibernation begins when she begins taking her lunch in the form of a nap in a closet.

The...

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'This was the beauty of sleep- reality detached itself and appeared in my mind as casually as a movie or a dream. It was easy to ignore things that didn’t concern me.'

Moshfegh is a hell of a writer, I was dazed after reading this novel. I felt like I was sucked into the pit of our narrator’s despair. Finishing this was like stepping out of a pitch dark room into torturous sunlight. Our narrator is seemingly blessed with beauty, a fabulous education, and money which allows her this living death of sorts. Her best friend Reva, oh lord what a complicated relationship these two share. “I was both relieved and irritated when Reva showed up, the way you’d feel if someone interrupted...

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My Year of Rest and Relaxation was surprisingly eventful for not much happening. Darkly humourous, but can on occasion lose momentum between drug-fueled somnambulant episodes. If you liked Ultra Luminous by Katherine Faw or the works of Bret Easton Ellis Rest and Relaxation will be a found-pill for you. .
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I've never read another novel quite like this - plus one of the great psychiatrist depictions in literature.
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After spending months and months reading YA, I needed a break. I wanted to read something full of emotion and adult problems. I requested this ARC on a whim, and boy, it really hit me hard.

The narrator is nameless and for the most part, friendless. She is beautiful, smart and has an incredibly painful past. Her father, who she had no relationship with, died of cancer and left her with her soul-less mother. After her mother dies, she floats through life with incredible sadness. She turns to drugs to help her have zero emotion and to "hibernate" for a year. She ends up seeing a crazy pants psychiatrist and getting whatever she wants.

The characters in this were fabulous. After...

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This book was hypnotic. I couldn't put it down. Not a lot of action or suspense -- a bit of dread, perhaps, worried about what would happen to the protagonist, especially since the date the story takes places obviously was leading up to a major event in modern history. Definitely recommend!
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One thing is clear: Otessa Mosfegh knows how to write. I have already been intrigued, mesmerized and repulsed, in equal measure by Eileen, which I thought was superbly written so I was ready for this next novel. This satirical, lyrical, literary work written in the form of a memoir dazzles and exhilarates at the same time. The plot is simple: We follow the protagonist who decides to take off a year from her life and sleep through her depression. This idea is so fantastically simple and so familiar. Who has not wanted to sleep through the worst moments of their life? Having experimented with quantities of drugs freely prescribed to her by a quirky psychiatrist the unnamed narrator realizes...

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I am already a fan of Ottessa Moshfegh. This did not disappoint. I find her characters oddly relatable, and they capture my imagination in a way that no other writer does. I have found myself being both disgusted and intrigued by Moshfegh's writing, even when it hits close to home.
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I was oddly bored by this one and didn't finish it. I was disappointed because it sounded like a fun and quick read.
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Repetitive but never slow; bleak but never depressing; gross but never offputting— Ottessa Moshfegh's masterly second novel is an improvement on 2015's lopsided 'Eileen' and a return to the obvious brilliance of her lauded early stories.

'My Year of Rest and Relaxation' stages our nameless narratrix's plan to return to the world refreshed from an extended period of opioid-induced hibernation. Light on characters and plot, the novel moves with the unrestricted airiness of a good dream, sinking its teeth and fingers into another of Moshfegh's richly mapped interior worlds.

It's abrupt final chapter is among the most surprising, left-field, and...

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This review will appear on my blog on February 26, 2018. http://www.allisonesreads.com/

I am a fan of Ottessa Moshfegh. She cemented her place in my list of Books to Recommend as soon as I closed the cover on her astonishing novel Eileen. And reenforcements were added after I finished her superb short story collection Homesick for Another World. So when I read that she had a forthcoming novel, I knew I had to request it immediately. I was fortunate enough to be granted access to an advanced copy by the publisher.

We meet our unnamed narrator at a time in her life when she is tired. She's a young woman who, by all outward appearances, has everything one could want. It is the...

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Self-indulgent drivel aimed at wealthy neurotic women. A waste of time.
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After reading Eileen and Homesick for another World I couldn't wait for Moshfegh's next work.  In this novel the protagonist decides to medically hibernate for a year.  Throughout this year we find out more about the character and her history.  Bla bla bla... This book will exhaust you.  It's a surreal exploration of depression, art, friendship, and love.
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When I finished this I was like,  "What did I just read? Is this a memoir?" It’s being called a black comedy, but there is nothing funny here. Weird, quirky, existential — some readers will find it all too relatable.  Love the author’s writing style and went on a Otessa Moshfegh reading binge directly afterwards.
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What an odd book. I will say that this book is not for everyone but I found it entertaining and intriguing, perhaps in a voyeuristic way. The main character/narrator is depressed, although she wouldn't put it that way, after suffering big losses in her life. She decides to take a year off from reality and life via lots and lots of pills in the hopes of being reborn. It's narrated in the first person so the reader is exposed to her inner thoughts, many of which are vulgar or mean but also often hilarious, snarky, sad, and spot-on. Nothing happens really in the book and yet I found it compelling and insightful and wholly absorbing. She is not likeable but it's also not hard to...

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I wasn’t sure when I started My Year I’d Rest and Relaxation. I ended up getting sucked in about 30 pages in and I couldn’t put it down. It was so unique and the writing was captivating. I had never read anything by this author before, but I absolutely will in the future. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity!
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