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My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Written by: Ottessa Moshfegh
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Entertainment Weekly’s number-one book of 2018.

A New York Times notable book and Times critics' top books of 2018.

The New York Times best-seller. 

From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman's efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate; she works an easy job at a hip art gallery and lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?

My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary alienation can be. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers. 

Named a best book of the year by: The Washington Post, Time, NPR, Amazon, Vice, Bustle, The New York Times, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Entertainment Weekly, The AV Club, and Audible.

©2018 Ottessa Moshfegh (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A waste of your time

Boring superficial lacking focus or a plot. Don’t bother with this one. Worthless book but great performance

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Narcotic Commentary on America before 9/11

I recommend this book for the millenial questioning the world we are inheriting and the priorities we place on the identities we think we are conveying through dissociative social media.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good listen

This was a good one. Great narration. Interesting story and characters. Worth a listen. Highly enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Claudia Gallegos
  • 2018-07-12

I love it...

Very few times I become obsessed with a book, and this one made the trick!
I was engaged at all times, expectant with what was coming and sad that it ended.
The style is quick, anxious, serene, well constructed.
R for Recommended!

39 of 41 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • j phillips
  • 2018-12-12

4.66 stars

There's rumors that Moshfegh's My Year of Rest and Relaxation could win the Pulitzer Prize, or at least be on The List. It is really good and probably should be considered for the Pulitzer. It is, at least to me, better than last year's winner, Less by Andrew Sean Greer.. As usual, Julia Whelan narrates the story to perfection. Moshfegh's writing and Whelan's narration kept me engaged for the entire story. The characters are really well developed and interesting, and there's just enough comic relief to keep the story from becoming bleak or depressing. All things considered, My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a high quality audiobook.

Overall rating: 4.66 stars

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Naina Ahluwalia
  • 2018-07-26

Loved it!!

A really weird tale of a strangely relatable narcissistic young woman with first world pains and deep denial. Fascinating.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Chchchelo
  • 2018-08-07

Excellent, thoughtful read

This is the second book by Ottessa Moshfegh I’ve read. Her books have a unique voice, and unusual characters. I enjoyed this books quite a lot, but I liked it more once I stopped waiting for something (anything!) to happen. This book is about the journey, there is no destination.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Juan Enrique Toro
  • 2018-08-07

A fantastic journey into nothing

The story has one on the edge of something that never happens. Yet there is a depth that inspired the heart. We all have own way to navigate this crazy world.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Kat - Audible
  • 2018-07-10

Who doesn’t want to sleep through life sometimes?

Strong, world-conquering heroines are everywhere these days. I admire them, which might be why I’m also a bit bored of them. Thank God for Ottessa Moshfegh, who has a knack for making miserable characters eerily seductive (I see you and I love you, Eileen). At the center of My Year of Rest and Relaxation is another disdain-able type: a beautiful, privileged twentysomething who tries to escape her angst—aided by enough pharmaceuticals to make Hunter S. Thompson bat an eye—by sleeping all. The. Time. It’s a simple, ingenious plot that yields more narrative tension than you might think (I was reminded at times of The Girl on the Train’s blackout-induced mysteries), made all the juicier by Oshfegh’s razor-sharp insights, a send-up of the New York art scene, odes to Whoopi Goldberg, and world-weary narration by the amazing Julia Whelan. A lavish ending caps off this wholly original novel. Don’t sleep on it!

44 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • Natalie Budde
  • 2018-07-22

Couldnt stop listening!

What a great premise for a book! I binge listened to this book and finished it in a day. A different story line than I’m used to choosing, but I’m glad I did. How does this woman survive the combination of medications she takes!!

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Gigi76
  • 2018-08-06

Surprising good!

I didn't think I was going to like this book, but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I love this narrator, and she reads this oddball story as superbly as I knew she would.
Why do I like this book? I don't know. I just do.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-12-03

story of depression and drugs

How many times do we need to hear about her drug cocktail of the hour? How could anyone survive what she injested? Yes, depression is tedious and so is this book. Rich people can afford to be self-indulgent when they are depressed, got it.

30 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • J.C.
  • 2018-08-03

Quite unusual

This is a unique story. There were times I was mesmerized by it and times I skipped forward a bit. The ending was a surprise and the very ending a shock. It kind of made the whole book worth it. Try it if you enjoy something different and told artistically in many ways. Narration was spot on. JC

3 of 3 people found this review helpful