Reviews tagging Cancer

My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh

95 reviews

jordanh's review against another edition

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dark reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

I completely understand why people wouldn't like this book. Nothing really happens, all of the characters are unlikeable, the chapters are way too long (if that's something other people care about), and it's repetitive on both a large and small scale. I, however, enjoyed it anyways. I'm much more into character driven novels than I am plot-driven, and there was certainly no real plot to this - just an overly privileged woman, her depression, and the few insufferable people in her life. This was definitely more of a character study than anything else, which I liked, despite hating the character being studied. 

The commentary on privilege - especially when you reach the end of the novel - is subtle but effective. The ability to quit your job and abandon your life just to sleep for a whole year and never worry about how the bills will get paid and expect your life to be completely changed after the year is up and have all of your mental illness vanish.
Spoiler And it 'works'. She wakes up after the year is over feeling like she is a changed person, but she's not. She's still the same vain narcissist one year later and that is punctuated with the final, one page chapter and her comment on the beauty of a woman who is falling to her death. As if it's that easy to do away with mental illness. Brilliant. I know people have commented saying the last chapter referring to 9/11 was insensitive, but that was obviously the point. To point out that the narrator saw herself as a changed person - a better person - after her year of sleep, but to look at such a tragedy and only think about looks, it shows she's the exact same person as she's always been. That the only thing that's changed is her attitude, which shows the way that privilege functions.


Anyways, definitely not a book for everybody, but I enjoyed it. 

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thywren's review against another edition

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reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

not necessarily to my tastes, but it was a quick read

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samarakroeger's review against another edition

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challenging dark sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

1.5

let the record show that I HATED this book.  And I generally like plotless books about sad, somewhat unlikeable women in their 20s...

This book was such a slog to get through, especially the middle.  It truly put me to sleep better than any of the myriad of sleeping pills featured in (and weirdly endorsed by) this book and put me in a reading slump.  

I got the sense that Ottessa Moshfegh was trying to make this book as provocative as possible (which it definitely was, I just don't really vibe with that approach).  The casual racism, ableism, sexism, and homophobia served no purpose except to solidify my intense dislike for both Moshfegh and our vile, unfeeling narrator.  I've never read a book before where I hated every single character with every fiber of my being.  Reva did deserve a better friend despite her personal flaws.

The reason I gave this 1.5 stars instead of 1 is because Dr. Tuttle is so ridiculous and unhinged she became funny to me - i.e. "I've heard from several esteemed colleagues in Brazil that regular Infermiterol use can activate a profound tectonic displacement.  Followed up with some filigree work using low doses of aspirin and astral projecting, it's proven to be quite effective in curing solipsistic terror...".  After slogging through the 70 page middle chapter (ugh), the last two real chapters (can't count that cheap last paragraph) were alright (in comparison).

This was so incredibly privileged and pretentious and filled with so many triggers for mental illness I have no idea why people liked this book.  I was even more disappointed in this book due to all the positive hype I'd seen about it, so I'd definitely recommend reading the trigger warnings and thinking about why you want to read this absurd, pointless book before you pick it up.

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sydelyse's review against another edition

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dark reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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mrnltt's review against another edition

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dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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lovelylilelle's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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marinarc's review against another edition

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dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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frostedpetals's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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sapple23's review against another edition

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challenging dark funny reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

It's short and sweet, a darkly funny reflection on the emptiness of the life of someone who's been handed the genetic lottery (and a massive inheritance). Moshfegh is insightful and witty.

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lulu_pero's review against another edition

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dark reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


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