Reviews tagging Misogyny

My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh

7 reviews

anij020's review against another edition

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challenging 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? It's complicated

2.75


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harm's review against another edition

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challenging dark 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

1.75

 After finishing My Year of Rest and Relaxation, I took some time to think about whether I liked it, or whether I just wanted to like it based on what others had told me.

Why do we read? If we read for enjoyment, this book is not worth our time. Getting through the pages upon pages of mostly aimless narrative was a hard slog with minimal pay-off and a vaguely insulting ending. If we read to learn and to feel, this is still not the book for us. Our beautiful, privileged narrator does not bring anything particularly new, thought-provoking or touching to our attention over her year of wilful dissociation and refusal of help.

As I read My Year of Rest and Relaxation, I found myself growing more and more despondent. At a stretch, I could say that in some ways my mood during this read mirrored the narrator's. Was this Moshfegh's design, to construct an example of "life imitates art" by dragging her readers into a sleep-like state? Or was this book truly just an unpleasant experience?

At the end of the day, I read for enjoyment and I did not enjoy this book. Am I missing something? 

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abbiesb_read's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful reflective sad tense fast-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

2.5

This book is like how we stare at car wrecks. We shouldn’t look but we can’t help but look. 

I think there is definitely a place for stories with flawed characters and then there’s this….

Let’s start with the positive:
I enjoyed the exploration into different sides of depression. We see a main character (the narrator) that is mourning the loss of gaslighting parents and another character (her best friend) that is constantly comparing herself to others. 

As someone who struggles with depression and is constantly comparing myself to others, and beating myself up about it, I identify with the narrator’s desire to want to   sleep to escape her problems. 

On the outside her life looks “perfect” but inside she feels like she’s dying. —she’s a narcissistic, she is selfish, she is rude—her thoughts feel very realistic because I think she thinks what a lot of people (including myself) don’t want to admit that they think. 

Now, let’s talk about the negative: 

Some of these are simply because certain aspects of this book are not my cup of tea so keep that in mind. 

I think parts of this book are supposed to be “dark comedy “ but to me those portions felt very over the top and crude. I felt like this book was vulgar for the sake of being vulgar. For example, the narrator is uncomfortably obsessed with Whoopie Goldberg—in a way that is disturbing, degrading, and disgusting. if I was Whoopie I’d be seeking a restraining order from the writer. 

I was also very uncomfortable with the fact that this author essentially gives the reader a guide on how to legally get an excessive amount of addictive prescription drugs and how to use them in a way that won’t kill you. If an impressionable person were to get their hands on this book I think it would be dangerous. 

The main character LIES about sexual assault and committing suicide so she can get the affection of a man —I don’t think that this was necessary for the character to do in order to manipulate her toxic on-again off-again boyfriend to fuck her. 

Additionally, the main character spends the whole book being a toxic friend to her insecure “best friend.” She didn’t give a fuck about her unless she needed something from her—which is definitely true for some real life people, but in this book the narrator has full awareness and understands to a high degree why her friend is the way she is and yet she still choses to be toxic. She puts in the bare minimum of effort into reshaping their friendship — this is an element of the story that I felt lacked in character development and should have had a better pay off, considering that her “best friend” was the secondary character in the story.  

I know all the problematic elements of the narrator are on purpose but did it pay off in the end? 

I don’t think so. To me, the ending felt rushed and the problems that the main character faces seem to just go away—all it took was her doing some tidying up and she was magically better. this author just slapped a bandaid on the narrator’s problems without the character going through the deep emotional development that she needs in order to be a better person. Her “healing” felt very temporary (I’m pulling from my personal experience here).  

This is purely a cover design critique but I’m kind of annoyed that this isn’t a historical fiction, based on the cover design. 

I honestly feel very conflicted on how to rate this book. I can’t tell if I dislike it because it’s what the author set out to do or if I hate it because it’s objectively bad. 

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adinareads's review against another edition

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

4.25


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kat_ewing's review against another edition

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dark emotional funny sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

I read this book in 1 day! I was hesitant after reading some online reviews for this (my first mistake) after seeing it on tiktok. But I'm so glad I read it. I can see why people may not have been so taken with it, the main character is hugely unlikeable (so is pretty much everyone else)  but that is not a bad thing at all. I love a flawed character and although she isn't hugely relatable, as someone who's struggled a lot with their mental health, I can relate to many of her very real sentiments for sure.  The drug use is extensive but that is the kind of the whole point of this book. I would recommend this to anyone who think they might enjoy a mix of 'Fleabag' and 'The Bell Jar'. I can draw a few similarities from both of those. 

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nefari_'s review against another edition

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dark emotional sad tense 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

4.0


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samdolan's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional funny reflective tense slow-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
You’re really in your head the entire time you read this book.  

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