A lonely young woman working in a boys' prison outside Boston in the early 60s is pulled into a very strange crime, in a mordant, harrowing story of obsession and suspense, by one of the brightest new voices in fiction.
So here we are. My name was Eileen Dunlop. Now you know me. I was 24 years old then, and had a job that paid 57 dollars a week as a kind of secretary at a private juvenile correctional facility for teenage boys. I think of it now as what it really was for all intents and purposes - a prison for boys. I will call it Moorehead. Delvin Moorehead was a terrible landlord I had years later, and so to use his name for such a place feels appropriate. In a week, I would run away from home and never go back. This is the story of how I disappeared.
The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father's caretaker in a home whose squalor is the talk of the neighborhood and a day job as a secretary at the boys' prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a buff prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father's messes.
When the bright, beautiful, and cheery Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor at Moorehead, Eileen is enchanted and proves unable to resist what appears at first to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings. Creepy, mesmerizing, and sublimely funny, in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and early Vladimir Nabokov, this powerful debut novel enthralls and shocks, and introduces one of the most original new voices in contemporary literature.
©2015 Ottessa Moshfegh (P)2015 Recorded Books
So many reviews praised this author and commented on the darkness of the narrative. I found the writing monotonous, unimaginative, and just negative. The story itself is supposed to lead to a plot twist and it does. But that part of the story is so long in coming and so poorly constructed; it is left utterly unresolved and betrays the perseverance of the reader in slogging through this garbage. The narrators annoying tempo, tone, and articulation fits the content perfectly, only augmenting the unpleasantness of this book.
I was captivated by this deliciously dark psychological narrative. The narrator was perfect as Eileen. She became the character, someone who sounded unattractive, yet gave you ambivalent reasons to feel torn to empathize with her.
Yes, but probably not to everyone. It really is very strange and dark.
I had been reading about Ottessa Moshfegh in various places. I think she has a few awards already and I'm sure over time will get a lot of much deserved recognition. So, I finally gave in and dug into her work. She has been compared to Flannery O'Connor. Only after finishing the book and perhaps along with a few of her short stories do I see why. It's dark, grotesque, strange and beautifully crafted. As a writer I loved this book. I'm excited to read the rest of her stories. That being said, I probably would not recommend this to everyone. I would say the same thing about some of her short stories. If you're feeling adventurous though, read it! She really is a great writer!
I have literally a few thousand audible books, I have Parkinson's, always an avid reader. I tend toward horror, paranormal, love Vampires .
I thought Eileen was a bit of a wimp. If you're in such a situation that is so monotonous and joyless, change it.
I would not recommend this book to anyone. I read many positive reviews, and that prompted me to try this book. I think this was a very depressing book. Main character was annoying.
If someone who spoke with a less monotonous voice had narrated.
Maybe , many movies are made and not the type I enjoy. . Julian Moore is the only actress I've seen that can make such a character sympatheric.
Evidently many people liked this book. I found it like a diary of a very unsatisfied and sad person. As I mentioned I could not listen to the entire book. Perhaps the last part of the book changed the book immensely. I'll never know !.
The character development was so thorough, I Could nearly feel myself under those layers of skin and death mask. It's an amazing book and I would be shocked if someone doesn't pick up the movie rights to it
The main character is disturbing and normal. She feels and does things most of us do, but she acts on her creepy impulses. The narrative is wicked and character development is impeccable. I highly recommend this story.
Breathtakingly bleak! Don't listen if you are depressed. Forced myself to finish because it was a book club choice. Narrator did a fine job with awful content though.
"Things Magazine calls it the next big thing!"
The author created such a vivid picture, I felt like I could see, smell, touch every aspect of this story. It's dark, sometimes putrid. But utterly fascinating and kind of voyeuristic feeling. Would highly recommend.
I'm addicted to audiobooks, particularly thrillers and erotic reads. I'd love for you to follow my reviews!
I saw this book on a list of 9 great winter thrillers last year and added it to my library. I'm not sure it's really a thriller, and I'm not sure how it made that list. I knew it was going to be a character driven story, and it did entertain me to some degree, but I expected it to have a plot. By the time we got to any sort of action, what you got wasn't really enough to make the rest of it worthwhile. The action should have come earlier, and there was really no payoff for the reader at the end. Not sure I would recommend this one, but I can see how some people might enjoy it.
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