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Sorry to Disrupt the Peace

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  2,573 ratings  ·  477 reviews
Helen Moran is thirty-two years old, single, childless, college-educated, and partially employed as a guardian of troubled young people in New York. She’s accepting a delivery from IKEA in her shared studio apartment when her uncle calls to break the news: Helen’s adoptive brother is dead.

According to the internet, there are six possible reasons why her brother might have
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by McSweeney's
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Carol I'm only 1/3 into the book but YES I would call her a bit crazy! I usually love books about quirky people but she's starting to get on my nerves.…moreI'm only 1/3 into the book but YES I would call her a bit crazy! I usually love books about quirky people but she's starting to get on my nerves.(less)

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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,573 ratings  ·  477 reviews

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Justin Tate
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A highly memorable narrator goes through stages of grief via intriguing, bizarre methods. Compact and brilliantly written, even hilarious at times, but loses a star because it wasn’t particularly entertaining.
Joce (squibblesreads)
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Part of the purpose of my investigation was to shed some light in the holes and the crevices and the parts of his life that didn't line up, the odd details, etc. It reminded me of shining the flashlight into the crevices of my once-bedbug-infested bed, except instead of bedbugs, I was searching for the odd, and the surprising details of someone's life, the strangeness. What was the primary driving force for his life? I wondered."

Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is a book that allows the reader to div
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Add Patty Yumi Cottrell to my list of favorite writers right now! Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is so engrossing and well-balanced, the way it blends the dark world of private depression and alarming humor reminds me of Miriam Toews or the films of Noah Baumbach. I'm sort of at a loss for words on how much I love this book and the narrator's prickly investigation of her brother's suicide. I don't want to say too much or too little, but I doubt I'll read a better book next year (this novel comes out ...more
Jessica Sullivan
When Helen Moran learns of her adoptive brother's suicide, she returns home to her adoptive parents for the first time in years and launches her own metaphysical investigation into his suicide.

What you need to understand here is that Helen is one of the oddest characters you will ever encounter. No amount of explanation could properly convey just how strange and quirky she is. To be inside her brain for 263 pages is an experience—an experience that I happened to love, though not all readers will
Paul Fulcher
Reposted in acknowledgement of Patty Yumi Cottrell's Whiting award

The Committee's nomination reads:
Patty Yumi Cottrell’s Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is a giddy, furious wallop of a novel. Casting the reader into the tense space between humor and horror, Cottrell engages deeply with repulsion, disgust, antipathy, and grief; she refuses entirely to resort to false transcendence. The bravery of this is astounding. Her work opens up fresh lines of questioning in the old interrogations of identity, th
Aug 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2018-rofc

I imagine this book will divide opinion. I think that those who loved last year’s Man Booker listed Eileen will also love this. And those who hated Eileen (that includes me) will also hate this. I didn’t like it at all, I’m afraid. In fact, apart from the two protagonists being different nationalities, this book is almost Eileen 2. And that is not a good thing.

Let’s start with the title. Unfortunately, "Sorry To D
Helen Moran introduces herself as a thirty-two-year-old woman, single, childless, irregularly menstruating, college-educated, and partially employed. When I looked in the mirror, I saw something upright and plain. She wears clothes she finds in bins or left in the street, and her favourite word seems to be 'disgusting'. In her own opinion, she is a genius at being ethical. Her internal monologue is peppered with exclamation marks and swear words; she frequently announces things aloud to empty ro ...more
Christopher Howard
These are all still notes:

The day before I started reading this book, I was at Peet’s coffee with my friends who work there, whom I think of as my “adoptive family”. I think of them as an adoptive family because I am able to just be in front of them without worrying they might be thinking of asking something of me or accusing me of something—which might happen elsewhere. Infer as you please.
I think your family is the people who don’t hurt you. If your family hurt you to the extent that you don’t
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I never read reviews before I start a book. I usually glance at the rating just to make sure a book isn't total crap, but I like to make up my own mind about a book as I read it. Were I to see the reviews, I feel I would be unduly influenced by others' thoughts.

Here's the problem: now that I've finished the book and I've scanned quite a few reviews, I have to wonder if we all read the same novel. Hilarious? Funny? Not even a whisper of a giggle escaped me as I read this. It's obvious that Helen
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I have this thing about McSweeney's, right. A lot of you know this about me. I do not like McSweeney's and Dave Eggers is to blame for it. But that's not really the point here other than to say that because of the McSweeney's connection, I almost didn't read this book at all. But my friend asked me to, and I am more than happy to oblige in any reading requests.

For a debut novel, this is pretty good, actually. I think we all know the smell of a lot of debut novels, and how they all read like they
Gumble's Yard

And Other Stories is a publisher set up as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, which aims to be a home for collaboration and “works on the principle that great new books will be heard about and read thanks to the combined intelligence of a number of people: editors, readers, translators, critics, literary promoters and academics”.

“Sorry to Disrupt the Peace” was first published in the US by Dave Eggers’s McSweeney pub
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I'm sad to have finished because I became so attached to the narrator, to her outlook and circumstances. Though it spans only the space of a few days, the reader gets so much. Helen Moran is awful and wonderful and completely relatable. This is a book everyone should read. ...more
Jaclyn Crupi
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
VOICE VOICE VOICE VOICE! Cottrell does many things right in this book but what completely blew my mind was the VOICE! Helen Moran is a uniquely fucked up and weird person and when her younger adoptive brother commits suicide she decides to investigate his death. Cottrell blends the darkly depressing with the humanely hilarious in this excellent book. So weird, so good!
Leia Penina
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some Thoughts & Tangents On Patty Yumi Cottrell’s Sorry to Disrupt the Peace

“Helen Moran, are you mad? I should have asked myself. Helen Moran, I should have cried out, are you an insane monster?” (16)

I laughed out loud like I was an insane monster after reading the above sentence. This novel is filled with such comically tragic moments I found myself laughing out loud a lot. I was so startled by Helen’s revelations, by her directness, by the fact that I found all her actions & inactions perfect
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it
A polarizing book among my GR cognoscenti, and nominated for the Republic of Consciousness prize - both of which impelled me to read it. Some have compared it to the Booker-nominated 'Eileen' which I loathed, but which I can also understand, since both are narrated by rather disturbed young women going through some rather harrowing experiences. But it reminded me more of 'The Vegetarian', perhaps because of the Korean connection, but also because of the emphasis on a rejection of the body and th ...more
Viv JM
I decided to read this book after its inclusion on the longlist for the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses.

Helen Moran is Korean by birth, the adopted daughter of a white family in Milwaukee. One day, she receives a telephone call telling her that her adoptive brother has committed suicide. She decides to return to her adoptive parents’ home to try to find out what drove her brother to this.

As the book unfolds, Helen reveals herself to be rather an odd and not especially likeabl
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell is one of the debut novels being highlighted by the Ink and Paper book club this year. The main character Helen Moran returns home after her brother's suicide in an attempt to figure out how he "fell into the abyss". It is clear early on that there is something not quite right with Helen leaving the reader curious as to how much this psychosis is responsible for the estrangement between her and her adoptive family. Dark humor abounds in this text ...more
David J
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anticipated-2017
Patty Yumi Cottrell is one to look out for.

Review to come.
Jonathan Pool
Helen Moran, the narrator and central character of this book is unremittingly acerbic, disdainful, unforgiving. She is a really well drawn character whose unapologetic approach to her own life hisses with vitriol and suspicion.
There's dollops of black humour too.
Literature isn't as well populated by narrators whose primary response to colleagues, and family, is one which has no sense of conformity with the norm, and manners.
So far, so good.
Helen Moran is an edgy, uncomfortable character who kep
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
There were certainly moments where I thought about setting the book down, because reading about bodily fluids and solids generally crosses a line for me. However, I have to say that I'm glad I kept reading. This book was certainly dark, disturbing and in poor taste at times, but it's also very funny and a fascinating read. What a surprise! ( I had to read this when I saw Paul and Neil at opposite ends of the spectrum. I think I ended up somewhere in the middle, but I couldn't put it down. Thanks ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stupendously good -- a weirdly comic novel about suicide, with pitch-black humor -- like a harowing story of grief and loss held up to a funhouse mirror. Addresses both suicide and adoption in singular, surprising ways; and with writing that is superb, daring, perverse, and highly enjoyable, reminds me of both Nabokov's Lolita and Otessa Moshfegh's Eileen. Seriously can't wait to read everything Patty Yumi Cottrell is going to write. ...more
Betsy Robinson
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A cover blurb by Amelia Gray says, "Beckett fans will find a familiar, but Patty Yumi Cottrell's voice is her very own."

I couldn't put it better. I love Beckett, did find a familiar, and the voice is the reason to read this rather bleak novel.

After recently reading two bleak novels in a row, I blogged about this genre (Is a Loveless, Joyless, Purposeless Life Still Worth Living?). And I might easily add this book to the list of books I mention. Or maybe not.

The protagonist is a bit nuts, so that
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
While the protagonist was intriguing, I kept thinking, "Shut up, already" in response to her long winded thoughts, which had a frantic, chattering feel to them. The book put me on edge and as much as I wanted to like it, I couldn't. ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
At 32 Helen Moran is Korean born, American adoptee barely living in New York. She's inexplicably a counsellor for troubled youth where she may or may not be under investigation.

She gets a call that her non-biological, but also Korean, adopted brother has committed suicide. It's not her adoptive parents that make the call, and even when she arrives at her childhood home in Milwaukee her parents seem almost surprised by her arrival and are on edge the entire time. She hasn't talked to them in 5 y
Helen McClory
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book with its infestations of insects and grief.
This book with its distanced narrator and her unbearable forward progressions.
This book that seeps into you. coming on like a dry rotting.
This book that knocks you down in the end.
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4

Excellent, descriptive, and varied GR reviews of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace have been written by my GR friends Doug, Gumble’s Yard, Jonathan Pool, Neil, and Paul Fulcher. I urge you to read their fuller reviews, and I’m purposely keeping my comments brief.

Patty Yumi Cottrell’s Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is, simply, a stunning novel. It’s back cover blurbs could include Once read, never forgotten and Guaranteed to disrupt your peace. Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is hardly
this sad strange little book is about helen, a woman who must return to her childhood home for her adoptive brother's funeral. her brother has killed himself, and she is determined to find out how and why he disappeared into "the abyss" of death.

i was continually reminded of Threats, another novel about an uncomfortably odd character behaving inappropriately in the midst of grief. there is an isolating sense of distance between helen and her adoptive parents; helen and the grief counselor; helen
Jackie Law
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sorry To Disrupt The Peace, by Patty Yumi Cottrell, tells the story of a suicide and its effect on the family, particularly the sibling. It is told from the point of view of Helen, born in Korea and adopted when a baby by Paul and Mary Moran of Milwaukee, USA. Helen was raised in her adoptive parents’ large if frugal home alongside her younger brother, also born in Korea and adopted when a baby. Their upbringing was not a happy one for multiple reasons, poignantly portrayed.

Helen now lives in Ne
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love the narrators honesty and bluntness -- it feels like you're really in the characters head. The book is written as actual thoughts a real human could have, rather than thoughts an author would want a character in their book to have. The main character seems like the kind of character you might want to see in a more realistic, authentic portrayal of "Girls" -- incredibly self-centered, naive but funny and genuine. There are many thoughts I have had myself and many thoughts that put words to ...more
Helen Moran is 32, underemployed and sharing a tiny studio apartment in NYC. She is the adopted daughter of Catholic couple in Milwaukee. She and her younger brother are both adopted from Korea. Helen is a woman who is friendless and rootless. She experienced some success as an experimental artist in Milwaukee but that ended and she moved to NY leaving her brother behind. As depressed as Helen is, she is not immobilized by her state, but her brother is. One day she receives a call from an unknow ...more
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Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is a dark comedy that follows a woman back to her hometown to investigate why her brother killed himself. Cottrell talks...
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“I could kill a dog with a brick! I shouted to no one when I was done.” 0 likes
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