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My Year of Rest and Relaxation
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My Year of Rest and Relaxation

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  182 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
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 Colum
Published 2018 by Penguin
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Samantha Colwell
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review from Hello Yellow Room.

Someone standing in line with Otessa Moshfegh at a Starbucks must have said aloud “I’m not sure there’s a novel that sufficiently embraces apathy brought about by woeful depression,” and Otessa said, “Hold my latte.” If that’s not a factual depiction of how this novel was conceived, then my new favorite author Ms. Moshfegh herself can come correct me. I wouldn’t mind.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a unique twist on the classic metamorphosis tale. Written to tak
Roman Clodia
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a bold, original, uncompromising writer Moshfegh is! If I fell in love with her work with Eileen, then this book has sealed my adoration.

On the surface, this is a kind of non-story: ‘I had started “hibernating” as best I could in mid-June of 2000. I was twenty-four years old.’ The unnamed narrator self-medicates with the help of a crazy-mad psychiatrist (‘there was no shortage of psychiatrists in New York City, but finding one as irresponsible and weird as Dr Tuttle would be a challenge’)
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, arc
Soon I was hitting the pills hard and sleeping all day and all night with two- and three-hour breaks in between. This was good, I thought. I was finally doing something that really mattered. Sleep felt productive. Something was getting sorted out. I knew in my heart – this was, perhaps, the only thing my heart knew back then – that when I'd slept enough, I'd be okay. I'd be renewed, reborn. I would be a whole new person, every one of my cells regenerated enough times that the old cells were jus
Lolly K Dandeneau
via my blog:
'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 educat
Uriel Perez
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without a doubt in my mind, I can say Otessa Moshfegh’s ‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’ is my favorite book of 2018 (so far). It follows one woman’s quest to “hibernate” for a year under the influence of enough prescription medication to sedate a small town in hopes of attaining freedom from her droll, empty life full of shallow friends and mindless entertainment. This quest for enlightenment, however, quickly transforms into a hypnotic nightmare of blackouts and lost time that touches at the v ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
[3.5 stars] A dark and sly novel about an unnamed narrator who literally hibernates for a year in the aftermath of her parents' deaths. No wonder there is buzz about Ottessa Moshfegh! She manages to make a novel with an unappealing subject - a vacant, depressed young woman who does nothing but sleep, take pills and watch videos - compulsively readable. I won an ARC from Goodreads Giveaways.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5+ out of 5.

Who would've imagined a book about a woman who wants to just sleep for a year could be so engaging? So crazy? So much more than that?

Of course, it shouldn't surprise. Ottessa Moshfegh is some kind of crazy genius and what a second novel this turns out to be. It's like a sibling novel to You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, with less overt weirdness and more deranged narrator. It is not going to be for everyone, but I loved it - every page of it. Except maybe the last one, which... I d
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are not a Moshfegh fan, I doubt this novel will do much to change your view.
If you are a Moshfegh fan you will probably love this novel. At least that is what I have gathered from scanning a few of the current GR reviews. This ARC, which was passed on to me by two friends, both fans and younger than myself, think it is her best work yet. I have mixed feelings, falling somewhere in between fan and non-fan (and is 'younger' a key word in those Moshfegh admirers?). I definitely have an appre
Lorri Steinbacher
Read in prepub. Due out July 2018. Loved the premise: a depressed twenty-something decides that she is going to medicate herself so completely that she will spend the better part of a year in either sleep or a perpetual twilight state. She manages to find a loopy psychiatrist to make this happen, and the narrative describes the protagonist's thoughts as she sleeps (and sleep-walks, sleep-eats, and sleep-parties) through her days and nights. Moshfegh manages to put the reader into a dreamlike sta ...more
Martha Chudy
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
What did I just read? Very strange story (or lack of story, really) but also unputdownable. The nameless first-person narrator sort of feels like you’re the one thinking these things. It’s a little maddening, which is certainly the point. I feel for her, whoever she is.
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this, but I didn't. None of the characters were likable, which I'm sure is the point, but it left me asking "why would I want to spend time with these people I don't like?" The only answer I had was that I just wanted to see where the story went and I'm glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the ending and quite frankly thought it was beautiful, but I wasn't really a fan of much else. Ottessa's writing is visceral and thoughtful, I think I would have deeply enjoyed this as a sh ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
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 h ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Original, smart, and bonkers in the very best of ways. Moshfegh has a unique voice that snapped me right out of my recent “there’s nothing new under the sun” fiction slump. The premise wobbles a bit in the third quarter, but it finishes strong and somehow manages to pull off being simultaneously dark, charming, funny, and unblinkingly raw.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Trashy Dreams
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In her last two novels now, Moshdegh’s lead protagonist is a strange, misanthropic, vulgar and often times disgusting lady-narrator. I enjoyed EILEEN, for all it’s weird unlovableness (not a word, whatever). But I didn’t like the ending, which seemed really forced and random to me.

MYORAR is much more well-rounded, and wraps itself up without pushing any misfired plot twists. Where Eileen was a gross and disturbed freakshow (by society's norms), the narrator here (whose name we never learn) is a
Jessica T.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
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.
Paolo Latini
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americans, 2018
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 ...more
Heather Fineisen
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 laug ...more
Cara M
May 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*i received an ARC of this novel through a Goodreads giveaway. which i suppose means final text is still subject to change but i wouldn't get my hopes up.

what a dreadful waste of words. i guess i'm glad the middle of the novel so sedated me in it's banality that the utterly cheap 9/11 conclusion was merely offensive rather than absolutely enraging.

moshfegh is clearly a talented writer, and her entertaining wit sneaks through in moments throughout the novel. one only hopes that she will one day f
EB Fitzsimons
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny, northeast
The plot- a young woman tries to sleep away a year- sounds trite, but this story stays strong and entertaining until the end. From the lousy boyfriend to the wacky Dr. Tuttle, the characters are well drawn, though it's poor Reva, the narrator's friend, who really shines. No matter how much the narrator disparages Reva, neither she nor I could shake her. I do wonder whether Reva deserved a more nuanced ending, but I suppose it tied in with the themes of isolation, existentialism, and self-regard.
Abby Kalkstein
A depressing book about prescription drugs and so many kinds of privilege. I continued to read it because I wanted to know how it ended, but even that was a strange disappointment. It was well written, and was a quick read, but I gained absolutely nothing from reading this. Every person in this book has a miserable life.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: selfmedicating
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 famili ...more
Erin Cataldi
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was.... odd? But in a totally readable way. My Year of Rest and Relaxation is exactly what the title promises, a woman in her late twenties decides to medicate herself into hibernation for a year. Her parents are dead, she only has one "friend," she's quit her job, and she just can't stomach going about the drudgery of the every day. She's happiest while sleeping and she's willing to take an insane cocktail of prescribed drugs to chase that feeling of rest and relaxation. Skinny, prett ...more
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an electronic copy of this book for review.

One of the best depictions of a psychiatrist I've ever read - every scene featuring her was gold.

Weird story but I compulsively kept reading this novel, in which the narrator decides to use all sorts of psychiatric medication in order to hibernate for an entire year, going out only to the bodega and watching VHS movies starring Whoopi Goldberg in an endless loop. Dreamlike and funny, the ending is sha
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Moshfegh is quickly becoming my favorite writer. This book is dark, sometimes twisted, and hilarious. But it remains entirely heartbreaking and tender, with such empathy for characters that could easily be caricatures. She sometimes reminds me of all the things I used to like about Chuck Palahniuk's prose, but much much better and without all the baggage and awful shit that he sometimes couldn't help but include.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
excruciating!!!! in the best way!! moshfegh’s character development alone is some of the best i’ve ever read (in this and in eileen), but the way she manages this very sleepy storyline stylistically is truly delightful to read. repetitive at times, but worth it.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
i love ottessa but i couldn’t fully love this book.
Janette Mcmahon
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I am a strong believer that your age and experiences will dictate how this book is rated. While I can understand the desire to hibernate from the world for awhile, I do feel that you need to pick yourself up and live. Moshfegh writes well even if I did not enjoy this book.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm left completely satisfied. Fulfilled by perfect prose, a perfect ending, and a perfectly horrible narrator that I loved.

I want to sing I loved this book so much. And I realize if I recommend this book to anyone else with glowing praise they'll assume I'm demented, because of course this book is also grotesque, but GOD! I don't care about a little poop here and there. If you're going to write me a book like this put all the poop you want to in the book. And gross blow jobs. I don't care.


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Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from Boston. She was awarded the Plimpton Prize for her stories in The Paris Review and granted a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford.
More about Ottessa Moshfegh

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