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I picked this up after reading my year of rest and relaxation. It's a collection of short stories, all of which are dark (in their own way) and sort of eerie. I really like ottessa moshfegh's writing, but did not necessarily connect with all the stories. Some of the stories were really well written and I admire her writing style. I would definitely recommend reading this for anyone who enjoys her work.
One reviewer described this author as being a 'marmite' writer - that is, you either like her or loathe her. I can see nothing to recommend these stories. They are, almost without exception, sordid tales concerning deeply unpleasant people who are wholly self-absorbed and thus never really interact with other characters in any meaningful way. Forcing myself to read through 9 of these 14 stories before finally giving up, I found I was unable to be interested in any of these characters largely because they appeared to be interested in nothing other than themselves. I could not care in the least what happened to any of them. As far as I am concerned, this was money wasted.
Moshfegh's stories are dark and sour, but never depressing. Her twisted sense of humour is refreshing. She refuses to satisfy our conventional need for resolution. The only epiphany that she offers is a confirmation of darkness.
In this fine first collection of stories, Moshfegh presents readers with a variety of damaged protagonists who invite our analysis. Some stories are in the vein of Flannery O'Connor, yet Moshfegh is perhaps a bit more subtle in her characterizations; she allows her characters' behavior to expose inner drives, conflicts, needs. Many stories have ambiguous endings that demand closer introspection from readers, and it is time well spent. Moshfegh is undoubtedly one of the finest writers we have seen in the last ten years. A highly recommend collection!