The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman, trapped between her role as her alcoholic father's carer and her day job as a secretary at the prison.
When the charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives as the new counsellor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted and unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship.
In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.
©2015 Ottessa Moshfegh (P)2015 Recorded Books Inc
"Fully lives up to the hype. A taut psychological thriller, rippled with comedy as black as a raven's wing, Eileen is effortlessly stylish and compelling." (The Times)
"Excellent...a taut, well-written, and completely engrossing novel...culminating in a dynamite ending." (Boston Globe)
A wonderful and compelling read, which starts mundanely enough with the gruesome detail of a desperate life and slowly creeps into a dark thriller. The twists and turns are at once subtle and shocking and hard to read, and the sordid day today grit of the life laid bare is all encompassing. The tension slowly tightens and becomes suffocating, and most striking of all is the bravery of having such an honest portrayal of a young woman with none of the graces and all the reality. This is stunning writing and I hope it wins the Booker!
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this myself but wouldn't think its everyone cup of tea. Not much happens and it's basically a monologue of self loathing. Being rather misanthropic myself, I like a miserable story, but if yr looking for excitement fairies sunshine love and unicorns you wont find it here. Having said all that I think it would be better read than in audio format, but this reader made such a good job of maintaining interest and texture , she has made all the difference. The ending is weak tho, I felt let down by that. And we need to know more of Eileen's later life other than she got rich.
Really enjoyed this but be warned it is bleak to say the least. Mostly this novel consists of a detailed description of damaged humans and the damage they do. Sounds grim and it is but it's a compelling and absorbing listen.
When I heard this book reviewed on Radio 4 in the UK I thought it would be challenging: the dark monologue of a depressive. When I read the blurb in a book shop I thought it would be a bit trite. Neither is true. I would read more by Ottessa Moshfegh. This book describe's Eileen's thoughts, opinions, feelings, self-image, predicament, in detail, honestly. I cared about her. The events of the book are surprising in a good way. One other thing: Ottessa uses clever narration to set up suspense, then defuse the questions you don't need and leave you with the uncertainties you do need. It's good story telling.
Kildonan by the sea
Here is a character that hates the world, but most of all she hates herself, every detail, every function of her body to revulsion, she is nausea walking in the form of a woman, jet she wants to be loved, she wants to love, but does not know how to achieve this mysterious ideal. There is a man she wants but it is a woman that entices her into a new definition of herself, a commitment to be not Eileen.
A bleak disturbing life, related with extreme realism, with visceral detail, a mortal coil that springs out of the pages to denounce the past, to recount her odious odyssey into a metamorphosis.
Seldom will you read a book that describes a female character so raw so exposed to the darkness of her mind. The neglect of her family has multiplied on her being rejecting her very physicality and jet we now from the start that she will survive. Live a life that is not Eileen, she reiterates this as she recounts a past, a crime.
Boring out pouring of a feeble minded narsastic youth with obsessive self image disorder. Listened for four hours and could stand it no more. Tried again a week later for two hours and still no promised story development but aimless mental meanderings about this or that person. I am returning this book as I feel offended by it.
Quite a most singular confessional. Exceptional interpretation; I couldn't help but picture Amy Farrah Fowler as Eileen.
Say something about yourself!
I chose this as on ManBooker shortlist for 2016.
The narrative was excellent aiding the delivery of the story
It is extremely dark and disturbing but drew me in and despite my revulsion at times I kept reading.
The book is set in New England in the 1960’s. The story is about Eileen Dunlop an older woman looking back on her life to her early twenties. Aged 24 Eileen undertakes secretarial work in a boys’ juvenile detention unit. She lives in a filthy hovel with her alcoholic ex Police man father. She shares his filthy ways with lax personal hygiene and home skills. Her father delights in her discomfort and pain telling her she is plain and will remain single. Eileen’s wish is to leave and murder her father. This is all talk until Rebecca St John arrives to work in the prison setting off a domino effect with Eileen.
It is morbid and then some Eileen is walking breathing thinking misery. She has no interest or care for anyone and I would not suggest this as reading material for those with depressive leanings.
The ending was satisfying and I cant believe Im saying this but I enjoyed it.
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