7 CDs. 8:45 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2015. ISBN 9781490675824. $77.75. 1 MP3-CD, digital download. F
Eileen keeps a dead mouse in the glove compartment of her Dodge and refuses to clean, cook, or care for her abusive, alcoholic father, an ex-cop. Wishing him dead, yet still needing his approval, she keeps him supplied with gin while secretly planning her escape. At age 24, she works as a secretary for a boys prison, a job she hates until the arrival of Rebecca, a new employee, who offers Eileen friendship but at a price. Moshfegh's (McGlue) creepy thriller is full of strange, antisocial behavior that helps express the rage and low self-esteem of a damaged young woman with few options. We know escape is possible, however, since the story is told by a much older and contented Eileen, looking back to a Christmas week in 1964. Unfortunately, too much of the book is about Eileen's degradation, and the excitement, when it does come, seems contrived and unsatisfying. Alyssa Bresnahan narrates in a convincing voice that captures Eileen's painful self-absorption as well as her father's drunken paranoia.
VERDICT This book will appeal to listeners who appreciate beautiful language and don't mind a work that also explores the revolting side of being human. ["Readers of all kinds will relish this well-crafted fiction": LJ 6/1/15 review of the Penguin hc.]
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