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

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  559 Ratings  ·  141 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 10th 2018 by Penguin Press
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Margriet It's Portrait of a Young Woman in White by Circle of Jacques-Louis David ! It's on view in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

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Rating 4.5 stars

I was a fan of Ottessa Moshfegh after reading her book Eileen. I really enjoyed the read and could not wait for more from this author. But her next book came out and to be honest, I didn't like it. In fact, I didn't finish it. (Why - see my #3 reason below) So when I saw she had a new book coming out, I was excited but a bit worried. Would the 'third times the charm' fate indicate if I would read more of her books or just say she's not for me. I'm so happy to say I really enjoyed
Samantha Colwell
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book narrated by a very depressed and beautiful young woman who has graduated from college, works in an art gallery, and lives in New York, the year is 2001. She was recently lost both her parents, her father to cancer, and her mother close afterward from pills/alcohol. She also has an awful relationship with a man who is on again off again.
So... she decided she needs a year of rest, to just sleep for a year, consistently. She finds a psychiatrist who really is a horrible doctor, a pil
Pretty brutal and absolutely brilliant.
The unnamed narrator of My Year of Rest and Relaxation may be obscenely privileged, but her life is bleak. She was neglected by her parents (both now dead), maintains an on-off relationship with a ‘reoccurring ex-boyfriend’ who treats her like shit, and has one friend, Reva, whom she despises. ‘I was plagued by misery, anxiety, a wish to escape the prison of my mind and body.’ In 2000, she begins a year-long process of ‘hibernating’ – staying inside her apartment in a narcotic haze, sleeping as ...more
When I received an ARC of My Year of Rest and Relaxation in the mail I was beyond ecstatic. I loved Ottessa Moshfegh's debut, Eileen, and was really looking forward to this one. I can tell you that if you were not a fan of Eileen then you will probably not like this book either. Even I found this one a tough pill to swallow.

Our unnamed narrator is a beautiful, smart, wealthy New York twenty-something that has decided that she wants to take the next year of her life off by taking a concoction of
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: Every professional publication, plus evidently Lena Dunham (surprise?)
Shelves: 2018, tres-annoying
Listening to this book was like watching Girls.

Occasionally funny and occasionally insightful in a limited WASP-y kind of way, but mostly ridiculous, privileged, pointless, and, finally, thin.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Uriel Perez
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[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.
From LitHub:

This book is very, very good. It’s narrated by an arrogant, beautiful (we are constantly reminded) woman who is traditionally “unlikeable,” but is so completely out there that you can’t help but be charmed and delighted by her on every glorious deadpan page. Even when she poops on the floor of an art gallery.

There’s not much plot here, but somehow the voice Moshfegh has created is compelling enough to make you miss your subway stop—I did, twice—or, if you do take this novel to the b
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Cara M
May 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
*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
Martha Chudy
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
EB Fitzsimons
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Heather Fineisen
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Vincent Scarpa
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“'At least I’m making an effort to change and go after what I want,' she said. 'Besides sleeping, what do you want out of life?'
I chose to ignore her sarcasm.
'I wanted to be an artist, but I had no talent,' I told her.
'Do you really need talent?'
That might have been the smartest thing Reva ever said to me."
Erin Cataldi
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Jessica T.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Abby Kalkstein
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
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.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Let me start off by saying that I loved this book! The writing is amazing and somehow super compelling, even given it's subject matter and lack of traditional plot.

Our narrator embarks on a journey to basically become non-existent through an ill-advised plan she calls her "Year of Rest and Relaxation" where she uses combinations of heavy drugs to basically put herself to sleep for long periods of time.

I will say that this book is probably not for everybody. The main character is, by all rights,
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
“It was proof that I had not always been completely alone in this world. But I think I was also holding on to the loss, to the emptiness of the house itself, as though to affirm that it was better to be alone than to be stuck with people who were supposed to love you, yet couldn’t.” 1 likes
“If I had been a man, I may have turned to a life of crime. But I looked like an off-duty model. It was too easy to let things come easy and go nowhere.” 0 likes
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