Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Anyone who’s picked up Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen because they’ve heard that it’s ‘the next Gone Girl‘ should chill. It’s not Gone Girl. In fact, it’s nothing like Gone Girl. I imagine that the reference was made because both books have a female character that is not very nice. The similarities end there.

Eileen is a character study, written in the first person. The reader is quickly exposed to Eileen’s dark, repulsive and disconcerting thoughts.

Although very little happens for the first three-quarters of the book, Moshfegh manages to create exquisite tension – you know that Eileen will become unhinged and she doesn’t disappoint. When glamorous Rebecca Saint John arrives at Eileen’s workplace (Eileen is a secretary at a juvenile correctional facility for boys), Eileen is infatuated and unable to resist anything Rebecca asks of her.

Moshfegh has created a remarkable character in Eileen. Her bitterness, resentment, and her self-obsessed monologue doesn’t waver for an instant. She’s judgmental, seething, and filthy, and I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Gone Girl to A Room With a View

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It’s time again for my favourite meme. Based on the concept of six degrees of separation, Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith have created #6DEGREES, where bloggers share links between books in six moves. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

This month’s starting point is Gillian Flynn’s bestselling psychological thriller, Gone Girl. I only read this book a few months ago, long after hearing all the hype and having friends recommend it. Unfortunately it didn’t meet my expectations (but I didn’t hate it, either). Continue reading

A few short reviews

I’m back from London and The Continent. I really like the term ‘The Continent’ – far more Henry James than ‘Europe’ and it also reminds me of the eighties when people in Australia talked extensively about their ‘Continental holidays’ – they sounded so glamorous. Note that my two week trip included two visits to The Continent – a day-trip to Paris (as you do) and a few days in Berlin. As a result, I can now talk about ‘my most recent trip to The Continent’ (Berlin) and ‘my previous trip to The Continent’ (Paris). This makes me very happy indeed.

I’m sure I’ll bore you with holiday details in my next Bookish Thoughts post but in the meantime, I’ll share some quick thoughts on the books I read while I was away.

quick-reviews Continue reading

My TBR Stack – You Decide

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I wasn’t going to participate in Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) this week simply because talking about what books are at the top of my TBR list is ludicrous given this…. The situation is made all the more ridiculous by the fact that I have 40-something unread ARCs in my NetGalley queue and let’s not even get started on the ‘virtual’ TBR stack on my Kindle.

But then I read Bookshelf Fantasies ace post on choosing vacation reading – there was a poll! I loved it! I voted! I stole Lisa’s idea! Here it is!

 

Please vote – it will decide the order of (some) of my TBR stack.

Note that it may not be the freshest, shiniest bunch of new releases but all of the books I’ve listed have been sitting on my shelf since last year and all qualify for my Off the Shelf reading challenge… And if I complete this challenge I’ll feel justified in spending up big on new books at the end of the year. Yay!