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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 (79 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Entertainment Weekly’s number-one book of 2018.

“One of the most compelling protagonists modern fiction has offered in years: a loopy, quietly furious pillhead whose Ambien ramblings and Xanaxed b*tcheries somehow wend their way through sad and funny and strange toward something genuinely profound.” (Entertainment Weekly)

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 listeners say about My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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A waste of your time

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

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Good listen

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

1 person found this helpful

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Seven hours of very little plot

Very little plot and it didn’t seem to get better. I skipped to the end to see if it changed but it didn’t.

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amazing book

loved it and the person reading it! very dark, but smart and witty and very engaging.

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  • Miss Lisa
  • 2019-04-23

You haven't heard this story before.

I can honestly say I've never read a story like this before. I can also say I didn't really like it, and I thought the protagonist was a pretty terrible human being. I think that's the point, the point the author was trying to make, but that doesn't mean it's easy to listen to her being terrible to everyone around her. It was a interesting story though and quite unique. I can appreciate it even if it's not something I would recommend to other people! So, if you want a fairly odd book about an unpleasant individual sedating themselves through the year 2000-2002, go for it!

22 people found this helpful

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  • Madeline
  • 2019-01-11

Unbearable

I never but never fail to finish a book. Could not give this one a chance past the first several hours of listening. The characters are so artificial and uninteresting and the premise so nihilistic that I could find no reason to punish myself further. I am certain I am missing the point after reading such rave reviews. So be it.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Faith Smith
  • 2018-12-04

Entertained by sarcasm and pessimism?

Struggled with the characters smug and callous attitude. She's entitled and privileged and vain. She hates herself and every one else. As the story progressed I could sympathize with her feelings and issues. Self loathing, irritation at just existing some days. Not being a good friend to yourself or anyone else. Toxic inner thoughts overriding a normal life. Overall the story is about average people trying to deal with average stress and loss. It was entertaining to see what would happen next since it involved drug induced black outs. The only real epiphany seemed to be in the very last paragraphs of the story.

12 people found this 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!

46 people found this 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.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Kayla
  • 2019-09-15

Found this title by searching for narrator

I love Julia Whelan! I was looking for more books she narrated when I came across My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I'm not sure why I stuck with it until the end, but it was pretty terrible. My worst listen in years. It's about a self destructive woman fixated on her own ennui. drugs, drugs more drugs. all downers. she should be dead. she isn't. the end.

15 people found this 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!

47 people found this 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.

25 people found this 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.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Megan Gee
  • 2019-08-22

was this supposed to be commentary on art?

my friends and I read this for book club, and nobody liked it. we spent the whole time trying to find hidden meaning in the story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Marion B.
  • 2020-08-11

What did I just read ?

I don't really know what i was expecting listening to this book but clearly not this abyssal boredom. Some people find it deep with an important message and satyre of the early 2000's american society. I found it shallow and repetitive : we get it the main character is pretty and rich but rest assured she is "not like other girls" she has a purpose in life (sleep and watch VHS). Livre d'un abyssal ennui. Je m'attendais à quelque chose de piquant avec de l'humour noir. Rien du tout. Le personnage principal une jeune femme éduquée riche et très très très belle (sérieusement on aura compris au bout de la 42ème fois) décide de passer une année de sa vie à dormir à l'aide de drogue diverses et variée parce que non "elle n'est pas comme les autres filles" Ugh !. C'est d'ailleurs la seule impression que me laisse ce livre : la drogue. Mention non stop des différents produits et dosages...

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  • an phan
  • 2020-02-11

A trash existentialist Sleeping Beauty 2.0

A very original and deep book, the depth of emptiness and absurdity of modern life. Not a book for positive thought fans.