By bringing us so deeply into her characters' heads, Moshfegh transmutes disgust into love, or, if not love exactly, the next best thing to love'”understanding.
Why I love it
Though I try to fight it, at heart I’m a New England prude. So by all rights Ottessa Moshfegh’s writing should make me deeply uncomfortable: In her story collectionÂ Homesick for Another World, Moshfegh writes of seedy loners and proud creeps, giving us brilliant insight into the inner lives of some seriously unpleasant people.
And uncomfortable it did make me, but 1) honestly, that’s a good thing, and 2) the other feeling I experienced alongside discomfort was pure freaking pleasure. It’s the pleasure you feel when you discover a genuinely special voice, when just a few sentences into a story you know you’re reading a writer who could never be mistaken for anyone else'”a hilarious writer, a terrifying writer, a writer who’s keenly aware that the everyday is also the setting for the outrageous, the surreal. That’s Ottessa Moshfegh.
Even as the characters inÂ _Homesick for Another World_Â repelled me, they drew me in. Though they are perverted, delusional, even sometimes hateful'”you name it'”it was not as a car-crash rubbernecker that I avidly read about them. Rather, by bringing us so deeply into her character’s heads, unfiltered and honest, yet in prose that is cool and clean, Moshfegh transmutes disgust into love, or, if not love exactly, the next best thing to love in fiction'”understanding. Allowing these characters the gift of being seen clearly.
After all, when Moshfegh writes of the weird, disgusting, pointless things we do with our bodies when we’re alone, the horrifying thoughts we have in passing, of all the times we were bad or lazy instead of good and brave, she’s writing about essential aspects of humanity. It’s us. We’re not all heroes always; we all have moments where we’re not fit to be seen or heard.
And accordingly, the moments of grace, compassion, and connection inÂ _Homesick for Another World_Â feel all the more precious. In life we can only treasure what is good and try to make more of it. But, also, all we have is what we have. One of those things is this incredible collection of stories. Here you go.
Vignettes of unusual people— brief glimpses into bizarre lives and problems. Some, very solemn. Others, humorous. And then, those which impart only this profound feeling of complete, utter blankness.
I totally heart reading short story collections and Ottessa Moshfegh's stories were amazing to read. Such a strong collection...all the stories were memorable and I easily can say I've become a fan :)
Not only is it written beautifully, but Moshfegh's book is the kind of weird that makes you want to keep reading. I loved how some of her characters were amazingly dislikable but seemed so very real.
Rancho Cordova, CA
Hit all my high notes...deeply flawed characters, honest, raw storytelling, and slivers of hope throughout. One story in particular was so unexpectedly beautiful, it'll stick with me for a long time.
Silver Spring, MD
At first I wasn't sure this book would be of any interest to me as I started reading but I gave it a chance and as I read further I got more interested in it. It's only fragments of life but very cool
Pretty great, though slightly repetitive themes and ideas throughout each story - perhaps the point but felt more like an author's obsession, not deliberate. Read this in a day, which is rare for me.
Scottsdale , AZ
We all have known someone like the ones in the book which makes them relateable. We struggle to find places to fit in. The situations we find ourselves in can make life a struggle and wish elsewhere.
My honest thoughts: this book is like peeping through the window into a world you aren’t meant to be seeing. I love how there is a common theme to each story, but each is still their own. Read this!
OAK ISLAND, NC
Real LITERATURE. Best contemp fiction I've read in many years. Portrait gallery of displaced, weirdos, self-delusional, destitute, . . . but you pull for them. Tragic and hilarious. READ IT! Dr. Bob
The people in these stories are bad. Cruel, petty, shortsighted, dumb. But the writing is beautiful. Ottessa Moshfegh so effectively describes the secret inner minds of her terrible characters that y
Kings Park, NY
I am about 1/3 through this collection of short stories. Everything so far has made me laugh aloud. A quirky and off beat look into the lives of strange characters. Totally different - I love it.
Loved this book an interesting insight into the characters lives. I loved how you got to know he characters without knowing if you really knew then since it was only short stories. Very well written!
San Marcos, TX
These short stories are hilariously depressing. The characters hold mundane lives but the writing is anything but. It's interesting delving into their complex minds and seeing things in a new light.
Reading these stories are like channel surfing. You catch glimpses and before the end of a story, you change and see a portion of someone else's life. I like transgressive fiction and this satisfied.
Similar to Henry Rollins' Black Coffee Blues these short stories dive right into the ego. These stories take place in a world where everyone is blatantly honest and they all lack defense mechanisms.
Loved this book! Great character development and sketch of humanity via small vignettes. Very diverse themes and dark humor. Thought provoking events that usually left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Grand Ledge, MI
This book broke my heart, made me laughed, and haunted me at the same time. The writing is Palahniuk-esque and often explores the icky, grotesque aspects of life, so it may not be for all readers.
One of the best collections of short stories I have read recently. Intensely eccentric, extremely beautiful, and definitely off the beaten path. Echoes of Murakami, yet sincerely unique. Must read.
If you like relatively spare short stories that are unafraid of exploring the ugliness in all of us, you'll love this collection. Sharp writing and deeply-flawed characters that compel and disturb.
Los Angeles, CA
This book is full of wonderful, strange characters and stories. I love to read books where you experience a completely different perspective. Very well written! I would recommend this to friends!