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Words of a Bibliophile

"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

My Year of Rest and Relaxation - Ottessa Moshfegh

Possibly one of the weirdest books I've ever read. The novel's unnamed narrator tries to cure her depression by mostly sleeping for a year with the aid of psychotropic drugs prescribed by an absurdly bad psychiatrist. How her doctor manages to get a license is beyond me. The doctor's parts are rather funny in a bizarre kind of way.

The main character has a love/hate relationship with her only friend Reva, whom she enjoys looking down on, and an on/off relationship with her older boyfriend Trevor, whom she basically allows to walk all over her. Despite the myriad of drugs she recklessly puts into her body and the lack of nourishment and physical activity, she keeps going on about how beautiful she still is, while simultaneously treating Reva with condescension for being preoccupied with wanting to be pretty and thin.

The saving grace of this book, that which stopped me from giving it a 1-star rating, is the parts about the narrator's unloving parents. Here lies the crux of the story, the raw core and source of her misery. It managed to make me feel a bit sorry for her, but her off-putting personality and behavior throughout the novel work against her favor. The anticlimactic ending and the unnecessarily tacked-on final chapter don't help either.