Whoops! I bought this this morning in a rush as it was a quid in a wh smith sale and from the cover looked like a lovely little christmas book I couldWhoops! I bought this this morning in a rush as it was a quid in a wh smith sale and from the cover looked like a lovely little christmas book I could add to my not yet 3 year old nieces gift.
Glad I bothered having a read as it's actually a gloomy piece of poetry haha, which if I had bothered looking that it was Carol Ann Duffy I'd never have picked it up. So yeah, I'm a idiot.
But 2 stars because the illustrations are beautiful:
Starting a 4 hour train trip back to London I idiotically left my kindle on my Dad's sofa, so what was going to be a easy and pleasant journey finishiStarting a 4 hour train trip back to London I idiotically left my kindle on my Dad's sofa, so what was going to be a easy and pleasant journey finishing off the final 100 pages or so of Jonathan Safran Foer's Here I Am turned into quickly grabbing something from the disappointing 'top 40' selection of the stations WH Smith (not even a 'Classics' section, come on!?).
I went for Eileen frankly cause it's the only thing I'd seen pop-up in my Goodreads feed due to a few friends reviews on here and it being Booker longlisted. Otherwise I pretty much went into it blank, but it soon turned into a quick, enjoyably dark read.
It's marketed on the cover with a quote from The Times as a psychological thriller but I'd strongly argue that. This is a completely character driven novel, deep-diving into the psyche of a broken 24 year old woman; and broken is the right word, every facet of Eileen's life is either hideously messy or destructively underdeveloped, it really is one of the best portrayals of bleakness and self-loathing I've ever read, made even more special because it barely resorts to any type of shock violent actions or sexual abuse happening during the story.
It does slightly fall down from being a all time favourite due to the plot and what I'd consider some odd pacing. For most of this book not a lot actually happens. If you need a story pushed along by big key events this isn't for you, but I'd much rather get into a characters head so saw it only as a minor flaw, in fact personally I wanted more. This novel could be double the length and gone into more backstory of Eileen's parents, more happen in the relationship between Eileen and Rebecca and other areas I won't mention in case of spoilers, and I'd have been very happy. But the sparseness works; probably even adds to it's beauty, and makes it dark in a way that reminds of Ron Rash's best short stories.
Ultimately a big hit and a wonderfully gritty surprise for me, and a realisation that not everything on the 'buy one get one half price' shelf is utter crap! I will be checking out everything Moshfegh does in future (apparently her short stories are incredible so her collection coming out Jan '17 is going to the top of my list.)...more
Unfortunately the story is very much in third place behind the bang up to date satire and so-funny-you-will-snort-out-your-nose-on-a-packed-commuter-tUnfortunately the story is very much in third place behind the bang up to date satire and so-funny-you-will-snort-out-your-nose-on-a-packed-commuter-train moments, otherwise this could have been something very special.
Still, enjoyable but messy, I also think it didn't help that it was packed full of American references a brit just can't get in as deep or funny way....more