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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, read by Julia Whelan.

From the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Eileen.

The New York Times best seller. 

It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?

Our narrator has many of the advantages of life: young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, she lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like everything else, by her inheritance. But there is a vacuum at the heart of things, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents in college, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her alleged best friend.

Blackly funny, both merciless and compassionate - dangling its legs over the ledge of 9/11 - My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a showcase for the gifts of one of America’s major young writers.

©2019 Ottessa Moshfegh (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Savage, funny, frequently on the verge of teetering into lunacy...My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a non-negotiable in your holiday carry-on this summer." (Vogue)

What listeners say about My Year of Rest and Relaxation

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Miserable.

Great idea, wholeheartedly spoiled by entirely unlikable characters, none of whom have any real problems whatsoever. This book is full of that shallow self-indulgent neurosis where people who don’t really have problems try to convince you they do.

This book has nothing to say.

The only thing that will stick with you from this is just how unhappy it makes you feel - and for no good reason.

I would encourage the author to take a year of rest and relaxation herself. Hopefully, instead of writing further.

7 people found this helpful

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Not convinced

Found myself really struggling to manage to finish it and it took a lot of effort to continue you with it. I felt my thoughts wondering on a number occasions. Wasn’t for me.

5 people found this helpful

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It’s ok, not as good as TikTok made it out to be

I did wonder how the pace of the story would go when the main character’s main drive is to sleep.
I enjoyed some parts of the story, worth a listen if you’re keen to find out about it.

1 person found this helpful

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Frankness can cleanse the soul. Utterly original.

Although no one is likeable - actually I quite like that, occasionally - it is such a treat to get right into the mind of someone totally deranged, but still sane and so unbelievably calculating.

Most of the ending was predictable and there are no conclusions. May be I shouldn't mind that.

Just that life throws stuff at you, often at the worst time And yet, even that may trigger something good. I listened three times, and still got something extra each time. It's not on my top 10 books of the year, so far, but nearly.

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My 17 Yr old daughters fav book of all time. I didn’t get it

In fairness to the author no doubt original and talented, this is well written and keeps a steady pace . My daughter, an avid reader, has said this is her fav book of all time. I didn’t get the same out if it. Maybe it’s reflective of perceived norms for a younger generation - Casual crazy abuse of drugs to numb the mind, a horribly dysfunctional, degrading and depressing sexual relationship, a very articulate protagonist and a sweetly endearing best friend. A huge hit for some - it may or may not be your thing but I can’t dismiss it because my daughter loved it and found almost every page laugh out loud.

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a beautiful take on mental health

I was sceptical the whole time reading this but by the end it was worth it. the audible production was absolutely perfect. and I think i wouldn't have been able to get through the end if not for listening to it. I'd recommend it though

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Very Enjoyable

The voice acting was phenomenal and the intricacies of the main characters thoughts was a different but interesting perspective to delve into. My favorite audiobook so far!

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Very depressing

I know the story is about someone who is suffering from depression but this book was really just misery after misery.

The first half of the book was bearable, even relatable at times but in the second half of the book the main character became so unlikeable and mean. The ending also seemed to come out of nowhere and felt pretty unbelievable.

That said lots of people seem to love the book, I just prefer a happier story.

Narrator was very good, I liked her voice for Riva.

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It's a no from me

Annoying to get through. Narration is decent, the character is insufferable. I agree with people who think this is obnoxious.

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Banal

I struggled to finish this book. I couldn't empathise with the characters, even though I've suffered from depression/mourned... I just found the story banal and I couldn't understand the motives of the main character. I also think I tend to struggle empathising with North American characters, it's too different from the culture I grew up in. It's not the writer's fault, not every book is for everyone. Sorry but it is a pass for me.

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  • Karen McCarthy / Brenda Dass
  • 11-04-19

Bizarre but intoxicating and compelling

The performance is brilliant, and it matches the benignly self centered main character. I have never found this unsympathetic a character this compelling before.

1 person found this helpful

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  • gwyndolin
  • 24-10-21

Best audible experience in a while

Failure after failure, disappointment after disappointment, this book saved me from that slump. It's unique and compelling and nauseating and well-written, and the reader was great. If you think a good book hinges on the need for a female main character to be a puppy-saving baby-kissing tepid wash basin full of greywater then I wouldn't recommend this book, but if you like thinking critically then I would.