Read Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast Online


#1 New York Times Bestseller2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTIn her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for any#1 New York Times Bestseller2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTIn her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the "crazy closet"—with predictable results—the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed.While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies—an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades—the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant will show the full range of Roz Chast's talent as cartoonist and storyteller....

Title : Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781608198061
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 228 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? Reviews

  • Diane
    2019-04-23 06:29

    For years I have loved Roz Chast's cartoons in The New Yorker, which are a delightful mix of wordplay, schlumpy characters and anxious humor. (One of her clips about Errands is even on my bulletin board.) But this is the first Chast book I have read, and it was so personal and emotional and moving that it deserves the "amazing" five-star rating."Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" is a memoir about the last few years her elderly parents were alive, and how she handled their decline and death. Chast had a difficult relationship with her mother, who was bossy and had a fierce temper, and her father was always anxious and later became senile. Chast left her Brooklyn family home for college when she was 16, and as an adult she did not like to visit because of the awkward dynamic. "From 1990 to 2001, I had not set foot in Brooklyn ONCE. Denial, avoidance, selfishness, laziness, and the day-to-day busyness of my life (two little kids! cartoon deadlines! grocery shopping!) were all partly to blame. But really, I just didn't want to. Then, one day, out of the blue, I had an intense need to go out to Brooklyn, to visit my parents. It was easy to remember the day because of the events that followed -- September 9, 2001. A Sunday."What Chast found in her parents' home was a lot of grime, a cluttered mess and two frail parents. Chast started to visit more often to help her parents (even though they seemed to resent her interference) and after several falls and other health scares, she was finally able to convince them to go into assisted living. Her father passed in 2007, and her mother, tenacious to the end, followed in 2009."After my father died, I noticed that all of the things that had driven me bats about him -- his chronic worrying, his incessant chitchat, his almost suspect inability to deal with anything mechanical -- now seemed trivial. The only emotion that remained was one of deep affection and gratitude that he was my dad."As her parents would say, death is not a pleasant topic, but there is a good amount of humor in Chast's book. I especially like the clever details she includes in her drawings; for example, a depressing street in Brooklyn has storefronts with names like "Smelly Old Groceries" and Grim Dress Shoppe." And a page about Chast's childhood made me laugh out loud:"I had no nostalgia for the Carefree Days of Youth, because I never had them. The 'to-do' list of my childhood and adolescence would have looked like this:1) Do well in school.2) Practice piano.3) Avoid contact with other children.4) Be good.5) Look up symptom in Merck Manual.6) Do not die."If you have ever seen a Roz Chast cartoon, you know she has an unmistakable style, and I really like it. She is a master at drawing anxiety, anger, fear and sadness, all emotions one has when dealing with elderly parents. As someone who is currently dealing with an ailing parent and who lost my mother-in-law earlier this year, I found this book to be especially meaningful. It is not the kind of memoir I would recommend to everyone, and even someone going through those situations might not be ready to read it right away, but it's good to know it's there, like a comforting friend who is on call when you need her.Update October 2014I was thrilled that Chast was named as a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction. I'm hoping this will bring more recognition to this marvelous work, in addition to showing the merit that can be found in graphic storytelling.

  • Eve
    2019-05-18 02:18

    "Old age ain't no place for sissies." – Bette DavisMy grandparents celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. It was a festive, bittersweet occasion. My grandmother sat expressionless in her wheelchair, but for the mischievous glint of joy in her eyes. Now in the final stages of ALS, she's suddenly lost the ability to make facial expressions along with all forms of speech. We've been robbed of her beautiful smile.My grandfather, late in life, has become a gentle, patient and loving caregiver for my grandmother. I've rarely seen him shed a tear, but our conversations about funny anecdotes and memories from the past often leave us both misty eyed. He's trying to hang in there himself. Suffering from congestive heart failure and the beginning stages of dementia, I try my hardest to see the positive side of things. It's often he who encourages me on my visits to cheer him up! What a blessing and trial it must be to grow old with the spouse of your youth. How difficult it must also be for children to see their once capable and sturdy parents no longer able to care for themselves. Chast's graphic memoir was a wonderful treat! As an only child, she must shoulder full responsibility of her parents, who are well into their 90s when their health takes a turn for the worst. At times funny and at times ironically sad, she comments on the difficulty of growing old in this age in time. She also touches on the constant rollercoaster of emotions that plague providers: guilt, relief, anger, depression, anxiety about finances, mental fatigue. Old age isn't for the weak, as stated by the great Bette Davis, but taking care of your parents ain't for the faint of heart either. At any rate, this book hit really close to home at this stage of my life, and I so valued Chast's combination of honesty and comedy. Sometimes we have to laugh so we don't cry.

  • Jill
    2019-04-19 22:29

    “Do you and Roz Chast have the same mother?” That’s what my husband asked me as I read some of the passages out loud to him. Yes, we both grew up in Brooklyn and our mothers were both teachers. And yes, they each were hoarders and their trajectory followed erringly similar paths. But no, we are not sisters. It just so happens that New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast wrote a book that any Boomer with parents who have reached advanced old age can relate to. She captures the journey with precision and uncanny insight.So much of it rings true: the fear and avoidance of hospitals (“That’s where you go to DIE!!!) The hoarding of possessions and the days of clearing out items that make adult children shake their heads in wonder – horse head bookends, Indian pottery, jar lids, museum of old Schick shavers. The push-pull of emotions (“I can’t stay there. I HATE it there!...I’m sure they’ll be fine....I have no choice. I have to go.”) The advancing and retreating to the abyss (“Where, in the five stages of death, is EAT TUNA SANDWICH??!?) The drain-circling dementia. The chrysalis – or withdrawal – stage.Every Boomer – who expects her parent to live forever – eventually deals with all of this if her mother reaches 90 and beyond. It’s a surrealistic and lonely feeling and if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. For a few wonderful hours, Roz Chast made me feel as if someone else “got it” and I wasn’t so alone. I can’t wait to share this book with my sister, who is my companion on this journey…a journey that vacillates daily between love and guilt, despair and rage, laughter and tears.

  • Carol.
    2019-04-26 02:41

    Lots of pictures at my site:’t be misled; cartoons don’t make for easy reading. Roz Chast takes an unflinching look at her interactions with her aging parents in their very, very ‘golden years,’ and discovers there’s a lot that makes everyone uncomfortable. You know what happens? We get old. We get frail. And somehow, we’ve all forgotten this, from the 90 year-olds who insist on living alone, to the baby boomers who insist on believing their parents are eternal, to my own dear little latchkey generation who doesn’t really know what old people are even like (I have no clue what millennials think; but maybe, for the first time in generations, middle class Americans are returning to the multi-generational household, so they'll become more aware than all of us). As a nurse, this was an uncomfortable read, as it brought back so many memories of witnessing and trying to assist families in dealing with drastic life changes. On a personal level, it brought me back to the time where my great-aunt was insistent on living alone in her apartment, subsisting on cold-meat sandwiches and washing out her Depends, while we were powerless to change her behavior. We can’t all be Betty White, Clint Eastwood or Jane Fonda, growing into our 70s and 80s in silver-haired, politically active glory, jetting about the country and starting new projects.At any rate, Chast has written a moving, terrible book about the slow decline of her parents, with a father who has dementia and an aggressive mother who denies change, to Chast’s own attempts to appease them even as she tries to help them. She skips back and forth between the present and the past, with anecdotes from her childhood providing insight into Chast’s perception of her parents. A three page story about her mother’s anger issues and overconfidence sets the stage for later hesitancy. But there’s nothing comical about the oversized head shot of mom yelling at Chast and her father. The pictures are accurate, and perhaps the cartoon format cushions the blow of the emotion. Or perhaps it makes it more real, because emotion isn’t lost in a slew of purple prose. Concepts and stories are cleverly arranged, not just in strip format. The Wheel of Doom--one of my few laughs--reminds me a great deal of my own anxiety-ridden mother who is always offering advice on the ways the world can harm.As a hospital nurse, I absolutely recognize the sad story of a slow decline. Many elderly people are living precariously in their homes and apartments, one small incident from disaster. It becomes particularly challenging as some people slide down a slope of forgetfulness, progressing from losing keys and driving routes to forgetting about stoves and paying bills. They eke along in a precarious existence until a fall, or a wrong turn that confuses them, or any number of things that brings official attention. I don’t know what the solution is, but part of me suspects it will be found in the return to multiple generations living together. For me, because of the familiarity with the tale, I didn’t find it a particularly enjoyable read. To add to the sadness, Chast’s parents never particularly gained insight in their condition or reconnected with their daughter.Chast does offer an absolutely clever but incompletely conceived conception of “palliative” care that I could 100% get behind, ‘Extreme Palliative Care’:Yet another book that destroys the rating system. While I can’t say that I ‘liked’ it, it was extremely well done, and highlights many of the issues we have coping with aging and caring for aging parents. I quite recommend it, if you want to have some idea of what it means to take care of frail, fiercely independent people.

  • Debbie
    2019-05-21 00:36

    OMG fantastic!!! Wish I could give this book more than 5 stars! I sort of want to be a pushy bitch and talk everyone into reading this terrific graphic novel!I always swore I would never read a graphic novel (which goes to show, never say never). I’m a word person. I don’t do pictures. I especially don’t like cartoons. I can work in an office for years and suddenly notice a huge piece of art that’s been hanging on the wall for a decade. I hear words, but I often don’t see the writing on the wall.So imagine my HUGE surprise when I found myself a) buying an expensive hardback graphic novel, b) reading it, and c) LOVING it. It’s a memoir by Roz Chast (a New Yorker cartoonist) who suddenly finds herself tasked with taking care of her aging parents.I didn’t want to read a book with cartoons, I really didn’t. So I started this book, kicking and screaming, but in about a half a minute, I was sucked in (picture a huge vacuum cleaner….). See? See what this book has done to me? I see everything in pictures. My life is now one big cartoon book! Help! (Add picture of the famous “Scream” art piece here.) Okay, kill the sad attempt to push the graphic thing too far...Chast is a genius, plain and simple. She brilliantly uses cartoon people, lists, collages, labels, footnotes, pie charts, and photographs to tell her story. The prose is straightforward and conversational, but it packs a punch. This book will make you laugh (Chast injects humor wherever she can), but it will definitely sadden you, too. It’s cathartic to read such an honest, personal account. One of her mother’s comments, coated with fear, was that she didn’t want to become “a piece of pulsating protoplasm.” It was devastating to watch her eventually become just that.Chast illustrates with heart and soul the decisions we adult kids must make, the things we must witness, the worry, the guilt—she covers it all, pours it into these pages with colorful cartoons and anguished words. There are some gross details, but I know from experience she could have given us a lot more. Thank you for your restraint, dear author.This book will stop and make you think: what WILL I do when my parents can no longer take care of themselves?For the 20-, 30-, and 40-somethings who read this book: it will make you laugh but it will probably also scare the shit out of you. And you might think, hopefully, oh, this will never happen to me. And maybe it won’t. Maybe your parents won’t die of old age—maybe they’ll die suddenly of a heart attack, for instance. But believe me, if your parents make it to their late 80s, you will for sure be faced with some difficult decisions about their care.For you baby boomers who are about to go through it: Hold onto your hats! And read this book! You won’t believe what a cathartic experience it is. You’ll be nodding your head, yes, yes, yes, surprised that someone has been able to articulate it all so well. And you’ll be awed at how brave and candid Chast is to put it all out there, to tell it like it is.For those old orphans who have already suffered through the last torturous years of their parents’ lives: you might, like me, become acutely aware of your own mortality, and be rendered speechless by the realization that YOU’RE NEXT. You WILL now see the writing on the wall, in technicolor: if you live a long life, if you live to be older and wiser, your reward might well be a strange Place with a hundred old dying roommates. Your poor kids!—they now get to be the ones to gently make you abandon your old home and life, they’re the lucky ones who get to transport you into new, weird, and unfamiliar surroundings. There you are, with your quizzical, clueless, awkward, sad, and frustrated kids trying to take care of you. You, too, might well be the piece of pulsating protoplasm that Chast’s mother feared being. Damn, can’t we talk about something more pleasant?

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-04-25 04:43

    Here I am with the 94th 5 star rating for this book on Goodreads. The postman brought me it this very morning but I had to finish the Joyce book first. I had one of those great Saturdays where I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING, it's like my reward for being good or something, so all I did was finish one book, start AND finish another, and start to watch a really stupid movie for which life is too short.This book is about dealing with the last few years of your very very old and more than somewhat difficult parents. Its mode of transport is black black black black humour and it was absolutely spot on.LIZ'S DAD GOES INTO "ASSISTED LIVING": Without lapsing into the confessional style of Goodreads reviewing I can confirm that all the stuff in this book is true. EXAMPLE OF FAMILY DYNAMICS OF THE CHASTSMom : George, how many olives do you want?Dad : I'll have four.Mom : FOUR??? Are you trying to commit SUICIDE???Dad: You're right, I'll have one.Mom: Have two.Dad: No, one is fine. Why rock the boat?Mom: Why don't you start with one, see how it's sitting, and then have another in two minutes?Dad: You are a GENIUS, Elizabeth!Liz (can't keep her mouth shut any longer): Excuse me. Do you mind if I say something? If you let dad choose his own olives, all of this would be a non-issue.Both parents together: WHO ASKED YOU????

  • Glenn Sumi
    2019-04-26 02:19

    I’ve always been a big fan of Roz Chast’s New Yorker cartoons – featuring irritable-looking characters and savage social satire – and even own a couple of her early collections. But nothing prepared me for the power and emotional resonance of her graphic memoir about taking care of her parents as their health declines in their 90s.Chast, an only child whose parents were always older than her friends’, has mixed feelings about them, especially her mother, a retired assistant principal who bullied everyone around her (her response to people getting in her way would be to give them “a blast from Chast!”).Now the tables are turned and Chast finds herself in a parental role as her weakened but irascible parents deal with dementia (father), injury (mother, after a fall), moving them out of their cluttered Brooklyn home and finding a suitable “assisted living” facility, which adds more problems, not the least of them financial.She keeps the focus tight on the three of them. There’s mention of Chast’s husband (she’s married to writer Bill Franzen), but he never makes an appearance, even in the scenes set in their Connecticut home; and their adult children crop up later only during their grandmother's birthday party. Neither does Chast include any scenes talking to friends about what she’s going through. But these are probably editorial decisions in a book that has enough life, drama and conflict as it is.Despite the subject matter, the book is often riotously funny. Early on there’s a stand-alone panel about the “Depressing Aisle” in the supermarket (adult diapers, liquid food). Chast uses a variety of techniques as the book progresses: family snapshots; photographs of all the clutter her parents amassed over more than half a century in their home (including something called a “cheese-tainer” (!) in the refrigerator); and, most poignantly, drawings of her bedridden mother in the final weeks of her life.And sometimes simply words suffice. It’s telling that for one of the more disturbing scenes in the book (human waste is involved), Chast chooses – I’m sure intentionally – not to illustrate any part of it. Tasteful.This should be required reading for anyone with aging parents. Staying true to her own, often harrowing experiences, Chast covers off all the things you probably don’t want to deal with but likely will. That title – Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? – captures society’s deep-rooted fears and avoidances about growing older.Chast makes us look at them head-on, not with fear but with honesty and humour. Aging and death are a part of life. This is an unforgettable book.

  • Elyse
    2019-05-13 00:28

    5+++++++++ 5+++++++++ 5+++++++++ 5+++++++++ This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (as in TOP 10 favorite books)Its Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I've procrastinated long enough in writing a review. I keep returning to the book ---[thinking, reading, touching it...and wanting MORE]. I've already read it TWICE ---(more than twice if you count the 'extra' times --I've read specific pages over and over). The first time I read it alone. I kept being blown away by the magnitude of this cartoon-illustrated-memoir. The second time I read it to my husband. [note: this 2nd reading OUT LOUD was a very rich-laughing-crying--ROLLING-on-the carpet- LAUGHING=crying-peeing-my-pants-type-laughing .....sooooooooo hard, that I could not finish sentences. My husband would start to laugh BEFORE I got to the REALLY funny part ---[which only made me laugh more]. I am moved beyond words by Roz Chast. I'm not only in complete 'aw' of what she created, but her book has transformed me. (and I don't want to share my thoughts or feelings -or give comments --because I just think this book is best read by having your OWN FIRST experience.Later: I would love to be part of a book discussion ----(AFTER everyone has read it) I strongly urge ***ALL***my friends read this book ---then read it again --(read it OUT LOUD to your wife/husband/life partner if you have one. (or share talking about it with a close friend)--- This is one of those VERY SPECIAL books!!!! My suggestion: Treat yourself to the HARD COPY. It cost me $28.00 at my local book store. I hesitated over the full price for a few minutes. Its worth EVERY penny you will spend! You 'will' want to own it!!!I can't imagine having read this on my Paper-White Kindle. NO WAY!!! Some books ****MUST**** be read in BOOK FORM. Roz Chast: I'm deeply grateful to you!

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-05-11 23:39

    (Nearly 4.5) Memoir + graphic novel = graphic memoir. This one’s about her parents’ aging, senility and death yet still manages to be laugh-out-loud funny. It also includes photos of her parents’ apartment filled with ancient belongings they’d hoarded and a touching series of sketches she made of her mother while she was dying. This and Fun Home are the two best graphic memoirs I’ve read.Some favorite lines:Dealing with her father’s obsession with their finances: “Instead of screaming at him, or unconsciousing him with a cast-iron pan, I made a sign: ‘No bankbook talk.’”Looking at her parents’ hoarded possessions: “Once you go through that, you can never look at YOUR stuff in the same way. You start to look at your stuff a little … postmortemistically.”When her mother bounces back temporarily from hospice care: “Where, in the five Stages of Death, is EAT TUNA SANDWICH?!?!?”Her mother’s delusions: “There was a break-in at the Place! All the men were moved over to the women’s side. I shot the intruder with my BB gun. I gave him an ass full of buckshot!”

  • HFK
    2019-05-01 03:22

    Peer support.That is the most simplistic way I can describe this fairly interesting cartoon look at the time when a person realizes his or hers parents aren't getting any younger but older, and with older age there hardly ever comes anything that would not require a child to step in and start to take care of his or hers parents personal business... also known as life.That journey can be as much joyful than it can be devastating, it is a roller coaster of emotions, positive and negative, it is a great time to make amends of your own choices as much as it can be a good time to step inside the memories made out of many, many years.Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? is not a guidebook, but it can work as an comforting read to a person who is facing a similar time in their personal life. It is an bittersweet read with humor and reality, and most importantly a read that gives a permission to go through all the various levels of emotions that comes within. It is always valuable to know that what ever comes on your way, you hardly ever are the only one experiencing the same, and sometimes it is quite good to dwell inside someone else's life for awhile... just to get a perspective of any kind.I genuinely enjoyed this, it is something I would definitely recommend to people, but because I am not facing this situation, and because I had little to no interest for the mood this read required from me, it did not really hit home with me.But it would, it has and will, hit home to many, many others before and after me.

  • Carmen
    2019-04-27 00:22

    The painful realization that your father no longer knows who you are.The agony of having to explain over and over again to your mom that her husband is dead and watching her cry every single time.Getting those 3AM calls from the nursing home, and having to listen to your mother plead with you to let you come live at home with you, even though you know that's impossible - she's incontinent, never sleeps, and you're married with four children.Your heart breaking as you listen to your father pray for death and ask you "Why doesn't God take me?" every time you see him.Your parents aging and their minds and bodies failing and all the heartache that comes with it - Chast takes a cold, hard look at the reality while also managing to inject some humor into a devastating subject.This is a hard book to read - especially if you've experienced the subject matter firsthand - but it's an important book and definitely a great one.

  • Deborah Markus
    2019-05-07 01:25

    For as far back as I can remember, I felt far outside my parents' duo. There were many times, from when I was a little girl until just a couple of weeks ago, that I was sure I was adopted. ...Adoptees or not, they were my one and only set of parents, and now they are gone, a fact that feels indescribably strange, even four and six years after their deaths.This is the story of the end of three lives: Roz Chast's mother, her father, and her hope that either of them can be the parents she needs. That last one took the longest to die.There is a great deal of humor here, and none of it feels forced. There is also much unflinching honesty, and none of it feels TMI -- although if you don't feel up to the unpretty details of extreme old age and end-of-life existence, you shouldn't read this book.Chast is as straightforward about her own flaws as she is about those of her parents, which makes this portrait of all three of them morally acceptable. She also can't help viewing the lives and deaths presented here through the lens of art and humor, which makes this book brilliant.I'm surprised and a little disappointed that she didn't reflect upon her own life as a parent -- not in a way that would betray her children's privacy, but simply to wonder what their journey will be like when she dies. But, as she seems to imply in the quote above, she's still too stunned by what she's been through to do anything but look back at it in blank amazement. Well, not quite blank. There's this book, after all. But it's the story of an uncompleted voyage. Her parents' cremains sit unpoetically in her closet. Partly because she likes having them there -- she says so:I like having my parents in my closet. (Even in context, this is a rather terrifying quote.)Partly for practical reasons -- where else would they go?The thought of burying their cremains in an arbitrary hole in the ground does not appeal to me. We don't have a family plot, so choosing one cemetery over another seems random. Throwing their ashes off the side of a boat makes as much sense to me as tossing them in a wastebasket at Starbucks. And decanting them into a decorative urn placed on the mantelpiece in the living room is just...ugh.But mostly because she's simply not done with her parents yet. She remembers her father "with great affection," but is "still working things out" with her mother. Her mother was a talented, humorous woman who loved her daughter but loved being right more. She did not "pick her battles," as parents are advised to do now. She pushed having her own way, always, and she always won. But in doing so, she lost her daughter's trust.She probably wanted things to be otherwise between them. Chast certainly did -- and still does. And there's the rub. Her mother is dead, and time travel is impossible, so there's nothing to be done but try to let go of the past. And how many of us are able to do that?Maybe when I completely give up this desire to make it right with my mother, I'll know what to do with their cremains. Or, maybe not.Quite aside from loving Roz Chast and feeling honored by this chance to know more about an artist I've admired for so long, I was glad to learn a bit about what living a long life might really mean, both to me and to my offspring. Part of me still wants to shoot for 100. The rest is a lot more reconciled to checking out early.Read this book. Time it carefully so you don't ruin a splendid mood, but read it.

  • Carol
    2019-04-26 05:42

    A book is the experience of the reader. I very much wanted to read Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? after hearing several good reviews and an interview with the author. My perception of it from what I heard was that it was a memoir about Roz Chast's elderly parents and her struggle to prepare for their death and getting to a point of honest conversation with them about this inevitability. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is a graphic memoir, the perfect vehicle for Chast's talents as a cartoonist. It is funny as only real life can be. I found it less about the parents, more about an adult daughter coming to terms with all the baggage of her childhood, particularly Chast's relationship with her overbearing and critical mother. I hope that it was cathartic for her. It made me sad. I felt a bit let down that it focused less on end of life issues than I had expected. Still give it a read as I might has misinterpreted Roz Chast's goals.

  • Jenna
    2019-04-24 23:19

    To a culture that is generally fraught with fear of and disdain for aging and avoidant when it comes to talking about death, Roz Chast has here given the wonderful gift of being exceedingly honest, open, and frank in disclosing her experience of her parents' deaths and the preceding years she spent as their caregiver while they were suffering various and sundry sorts of challenging physical and mental decline.As a social worker who used to work in a medical setting with seniors, I observed so many caregivers struggling to balance the responsibilities (work, family) of their everyday, ongoing lives with the intense responsibility of looking after their ill and dying family members. So many caregivers seemed so lonely, hopeless, exhausted, and isolated - an irony considering dying is the one thing we all eventually do to the people around us, so presumably there are lots of fellow subject matter experts out there to provide support. However, from what I observed, it seemed that there were not too many forthright conversations taking place around the many costs (literal and otherwise) of caregiving and of being a front-row-seat observer (perhaps even an usher) at the grim sideshow of age-related decline and approaching death. It seems to me that one obstacle preventing these needed conversations from occurring was that people felt incredibly guilty about the (reasonable and human) feelings and thoughts they were having while doing the incredibly strenuous and often prolonged work of caregiving. Out of fear of being perceived, by self or others, as a selfish or bad person, it seemed that people were afraid to admit aloud that while the work of caregiving for loved ones is certainly rewarding and meaningful, it can also be many other things as well: confusing, depressing, boring, stressful, resentment-provoking, frustrating, silly, infuriating, bewildering, disillusioning (for starters). In this book, Chast basically commits to honestly feeling her feelings and thus presents a healthy psychological and emotional alternative to negative self-judgment and self-suppression: mindfulness. Chast observes in a frank and neutral way her various thoughts and associated feelings throughout the ups and downs of her caregiving experience. As they die, Chast reflects back on her relationships with her parents, and their relationship to one another, and clearly arrives at a place of loving her parents for who they are and accepting and appreciating them despite their human flaws -- I'd have trouble seeing how anyone could come away from this thinking otherwise. Yet she does not censor, idealize, or sentimentalize any aspect of this monumental experience of caring for them through illness and death. In so doing, she does us an enormous favor of documenting and depicting what it really looks like to be a real human person trying her very best to do something that none of us want to do and few of us feel equipped to do. And because Chast is so skillfully observant as well as honest, she is able to share not only the low moments we might expect, but also the little everyday miracles that happen along the way, those incredibly touching, perplexing, or humorous moments that get us through hardship and that her style of writing and illustration captures so plainly and well.This one is to keep, gift, and reread. I'm sure I will be relying on it at some point in the future. It's truly magical how Chast's sketchy little drawings and candid little scrawl can bring to such vivid life such an intimate, rich, complex experience; there were so many times when I felt I was actually in the room with her. It's also just a plain amazing feat that her worse-than-warts-and-all depiction of loss ironically ends up making the whole dreaded, inevitable experience seem more approachable, survivable--something we can get through, and will get through, and from which we can gain wisdom and peace. The book is like a little lifeline tossed back over from someone who's already made it to the other side.

  • Trish
    2019-04-28 05:25

    One imagines the word “cartoonist” should be paired with “funny,” and certainly I am accustomed to think “funny” when hearing the name Roz Chast. But not any more. The only thing I thought was funny enough to laugh at in this book-length cartoon about the decline of her parents was the part she did not draw out: the photographs of her parents’ apartment after they left it one day for a ‘trial run’ at an assisted living facility. For some reason, the 1950’s vintage ammonia inhalants placed prominently in the small bathroom medicine cabinet struck me as very funny.But for the first time I felt Roz Chast and I could be friends in some alternate universe where our circles intersected. We are nothing alike, but she opened up her world and her thinking and her motivations in this piece and made herself very vulnerable. And I cannot help but find her experience and explanations interesting and worthy of respect. It is so different from my own way of thinking that I feel sure I could learn something—a new way to look at the world, perhaps. I have never understood the distance that adult children have toward their parents’ needs though I honestly think that is the norm, and this book went some way to giving me one person’s explanation. In an interview with Terry Tazioli for the TV segment Well Read, Chast said she used her parents’ decline and death as a subject and she would encourage her own kids to do the same when her time comes because “it is all material.” She spent a couple of years agonizing over this stuff, and it is the agonizing stuff that makes the best material, for cartoons, for literature, for music or film. That this book made so many of the “Best Of” lists shows how it resonated with the public at large.But it wasn’t funny, really. What kept me reading was not “wondering how it would turn out,” since I already had an idea about that, but how Roz was managing it. When Elizabeth Chast, Roz’s mother, was diagnosed with an intestinal fistula at 96, her sister, a retired R.N., recommended she “have the operation” to remove it. In my experience, this devil-may-care attitude towards the actual hands-on nursing care required in such a situation (even if it goes well!) is typical of the R.N.s I have known…it’s almost as though they have no idea, or so devalued is the day-in and day-out effort of recovery and of care in their eyes that they don’t even see it. How can that be? Anyway, Chast's description of the assisted-living facility caught many of the weirdnesses therein very well. I always thought the door art was helpful for those folks who were looking for their rooms, though I suppose if you’ve forgotten your room number and floor, you’ve probably also forgotten what was decorating your door. But Chast caught the dinner-table cliquishness, the empty game rooms, the choking and falling over very well. That is not so funny for me. It is more awful than anything. I am not sure how things will go for my loved ones and me, but I’m not looking forward to that. I admire Chast for putting together this book. She spent a few years with this problem and was able to digest it enough to share her experience. It wasn’t the “waste of time” so many of us fear. I argue that it is the point. A lingering death is what we may face and it is infinitely preferable to know what it can look like, so that we can make modifications to that outcome that if we can. I am sorry for folks that don’t have the chance to see what the future can hold. My great aunt wanted to live to 102, and darn it, she did. But I know now I’m not going to set my goal like that. I’m sure it gives some folks the impetus to carry on, but I am not sure that carrying on is the point, exactly. Chast provokes strong feelings in this book, and many of us that face these issues may very well handle them differently. The book began to resonate when Roz talked about her mother’s emotional distance, denial, and lack of empathy. It will be important to remember when we get to that place: the mental strength and indomitable will that keeps us independent may not be the same skill we need when we can no longer cope on our own. We need to start thinking again about others—what they are experiencing, and how best we can fit in a changed world. If you want others to care, you must care also, and show it.

  • Jan Rice
    2019-04-29 06:17

    (Originally reviewed on July 6, 2015.)I could see that they were slowly leaving the sphere of TV-commercial old age--∙Spry!∙Totally independent!!∙Just like a normal adult, but with SILVER HAIR!!!--and moving into the part of old age that was scarier, hard to talk about, and not a part of this culture. (my italics) (p. 20)This memoir is about decline and death: about the author's assuming the care of her parents and the role reversal that ensued. ...Or, in her case, perhaps "role reversal" doesn't exactly fit.The author goes into specific detail that makes her parents (and her experiences) real to the reader and also very weird. But whatever the idiosyncrasies involved, her parents are portrayed as en route to a common destination, that of the very old. As such there is no meme for their situation. After all, according to the opening quote, how could there be, if they are "not a part of this culture"?Let us also not forget how weird any intimate relationship can appear when viewed from the outside: remember Camillagate? Sticking to the subject at hand, though, we see ourselves in contrast to the "very old." When we are in the caretaker situation, we appear "normal," as we attempt to maintain (enforce?) the norm for those who are preparing to leave this world. Of course, in a related stage, they can try to enforce it on themselves:"I told Daddy he was coming with me to 100 if I had to drag him KICKING AND SCREAMING!" (p. 150) At a certain point, a double perspective is possible:I've looked at life from both sides now.During the last decade, I took care of my parents. During the next, I'm in the running to become the "caree." (The author's parents remained essentially independent until their nineties. Although that occurs, I'd say she--and they--were lucky.)In the very middle of this book are actual photos the author snapped of "collections" she found in the process of shutting down her parents' apartment, for example, drawers full of odd pencils, and collections of "random art supplies." That had an impact on me. As a result, I now have tossed all the aging potions and lotions in the front bathroom that had been the province of my children, who moved out more than a decade ago. It took ten minutes, but there are multiple other "collections" to be addressed. Still,there's one gone that my children may have been tempted to photograph for their memoir.It's good to have a road map here. It's good that others have gone before and reported back.I tried out the first part of this book a while ago, and now have returned and finished it. In the interim I had read one graphic novel, so figured I could handle this graphic memoir. I think I've gotten the hang of this "graphic" thing now!July 21, 2016 This startling and moving postscript appeared in the current issue of The New Yorker, July 25, 2016:

  • Carol
    2019-04-29 05:22

    One thing that bothered me about this memoir is the way that it continuously shows the author entirely alone with her parents. We are told that the author has a husband and children but they are absent. She seems to have for herself no helpful support system. Her self-revelation clearly falters when she fails to tell us why a married mother is nevertheless so isolated.She had a difficult relationship with her overbearing mother, who dominated her and her father. She felt close to him; he was a sweet man, yet his increasing dementia seemed a great ordeal to her.She never quite resolved her distance from her mother; she did seem to draw some closeness to her father.Yes, this book was humorous in many instances and, yes, this cartoon image form was a very clever way to tell this story; but even as I laughed on occasion, I was terribly bothered by its callousness throughout. I kept wondering what Ms. Chast's parents would have thought about having their most intimate embarrassments (and they truly are dreadful) broadcast to the world for all time. And the related question is: however therapeutic it is -- and funny, and touching, and innocent -- for Ms. Chast to expose her parents in this way, is it really ... entirely and indisputably honorable? Not only does she discuss their distressing (and revolting) bowel-control problems in detail, but the author also shows us photos of their bedroom as they left it after moving into a Help Home. Viewing this was interesting enough, but this and other photos and details felt to me a bit like trespassing.I kept trying to understand how the author felt. I get that she didn't like her parents very much, but to write such a book? I was and still am devastated by the loss of my parents and the road to each of their deaths was so sad, so consuming that I wanted to spend every moment I could with them. My tears are still only a thought away, even after many years. The author drew pictures of her dead mother! Me? I held onto my mother's hands. I begged for more time because I knew I would never hold her hand ever again. And, I know, without a doubt, that I would never write of her daily miseries prior to her death for the world to read and laugh.

  • Snotchocheez
    2019-05-02 23:41

    Gotta admit: despite the cavalcade of 4 and 5 star reviews from my GR friends, I was not looking forward to reading this, primarily because Roz Chast's New Yorker cartoons make me a little seasick. Her Dr. Katz-ish illustrations, her chicken-scratch cursive, her droll, occasionally snooty sense of humor (almost the the polar opposite of my own) left me quite dubious that I'd find any enjoyment from an illustrated memoir focusing on her aging parents.I succumbed to curiosity, and glad I did. Ms. Chast's look back on her life, tracing back the years from her humble beginnings in Brooklyn with her parsimonious non-practicing Jewish parents all the way up to the 2000s, when both parents were in their 90s and approaching senility (Dad) and infirmity (Mom) and needing an Assisted Living facility. Ms. Chast, with a blend of comedy and pathos, provides a go-to primer for anyone with parents in their advancing age. I couldn't quite relate to most of it (as both of my parents' mortal coils were snuffed out a long time ago: my mother died in her 50's, my father did die in a VA facility, but, alas, I wasn't super close to him.) Yet, the last few pages (the part with Ms. Chast's love-hate relationship with her mother) got me really teary with the recollection of my own relationship with Mom. I'm not sure how I would've held up if I was in Ms. Chast's shoes and witnessing the downward spiral of my parents in a facility, shouldering the psychic (and financial) struggles like she had to.Consistently entertaining, despite focusing on a subject anything but pleasant,Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is, I'm happy to report, a gem.

  • Esil
    2019-04-27 01:45

    Thank you to many GR friends for putting Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant on my radar. 4 1/2 stars. Lesson learned: Getting really old really sucks, and having really old parents can suck too. But Roz Chast teaches this lesson so eloquently through her illustrated book depicting her own parents' last few years when they were in their 90s that this is much more than a long whine about very old age. The strong and idiosyncratic love between her parents and her own complicated love for her parents shines through. And the self doubt and sense of guilt that plague Chast as she tries to figure out her role and what to do about and for her aging parents also comes through. It's a blessing to live so long -- especially in the company of your life long partner -- but as Chast bluntly points out it's a blessing that still inevitably leads to a steep precipice. Chast does a beautiful and moving job of portraying her parents and herself as her parents approach that precipice. And even while I understood from the beginning that the book was heading to the end of the precipice, the end of the book was still really sad. Especially as Chast lays bare her complicated feelings for her parents -- especially her mother -- and reproduces drawings she made of her mother in the very last few of her life. Be forewarned: if you've had the misfortune of sitting with someone sick and dying -- as I did a few years ago with my father -- these drawings and the last few pages are recognizable and gut wrenching. I highly recommend this book, but you should know what you're getting into because it's just plain sad.

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-04-24 03:32

    Anyone in New York or who reads The New Yorker knows Roz Chast and her cartoons. She's hilarious and insightful and makes you smile. She's also Jewish, and makes fun of her own and her family's idiosyncrasies. In this graphic memoir she deals with what a lot of people have to deal with, the dying and deaths of her parents, who died at 97. In a way it is sort of just straightforward, what we all must go through, and part of it is a reflection on her mean mom and nutso dad and her awkward life with them. Mainly, for most of it, she laughs and helps us laugh at them and some of the funnier and crazier aspects of them and the process they all have to go through, so maybe that could be useful to any readers. . . the laughter and the process. Chast sometimes directly addresses us as readers she imagines will be helped by her information. And though my parents are gone, I am an older Dad and husband…. maybe it would be useful as a guide for how my wife and kids can prepare. . . (no, stop thinking of that, Dave, you are going to live forever!), but sometimes this feels a little tmi at some points and also a little too straightforward. . . and she never had a great life with them, so why, at the end, should we care about them or come to believe she suddenly really cares for them at the end, and why turn so serious. . . Ah, but it's death, right. . . and it's (a little) poignant, finally, I guess, that she was never close to them. Regrets, she's had a few. I like Chast here for what she does best, making us laugh at the absurd and crazy.

  • Negin
    2019-05-08 05:36

    I’ll start off by saying that if I could, I would get this as a gift for almost all my friends, and even strangers also. Alas, my budget doesn't allow for that. This is a spectacular graphic memoir by a New York cartoonist telling the story of taking care of her aging parents. It made me laugh and it also brought tears to my eyes. She’s quite blunt throughout, but also very sensitive. One of my favorite pages is when she describes what happens to most when they get to be truly old: “Once you pass your physical peak - let's say 25 - the falling off is incremental. Every year - unless something ‘happens’ - you get a little slower, a little saggier, until you hit 90. At that point, things start to fall apart at a much faster rate. Which is why when I hear about people trying to figure out how to live until they're 120, I want to ask them: ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?”Reading this book now, when my parents are in their mid-70s and 80s, makes me thankful for all their love and for the fact that I am so blessed to have them around. It reminds me to appreciate the short amount of time we have together more than ever before.

  • Betsy Robinson
    2019-04-27 22:28

    What a wonderful book. Especially for people who had less than idyllic (heavy sarcasm) childhoods. I loved it!

  • Ken
    2019-05-20 01:26

    If you are of a certain age (getting old) and your parent(s) are of a more uncertain age (gotten there), New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast's memoir of her parents' final years will strike a chord. Some of her experiences are specific to her and the personalities of her mom and dad, but many of them are common to all of us. And I don't mean just our parents in their 80s or 90s, I mean us, too, for the writing is on the wall. We all say we don't want to be kept alive, but when you get there, no one's going to say, "Don't do anything for him or her. Just let him/her go naturally." It doesn't work that way. The way it works costs a fortune. And a lot of dignity. But we're all in the business of kidding ourselves before we get there. Until we're Depends customers, anyway (sigh). I think this is a variation of the Circle of Life, then. Funny, sad, pitiful, ironic, and mostly honest because, if nothing else, Chast is honest about her decided ambivalence and guilt. She wants to help her parents and she wants a life. Those two, alas, often work against each other. And so, this is her story of her Brooklyn-based parents' last years, from "the Beginning of the End" to "The End," in graphic novel form, and it is, in its way, all our stories.In the final analysis, getting reaped is a grim business. Scythe ahead. There's just no way around it.

  • Laura Leaney
    2019-04-21 01:38

    Although I currently have a subscription to The New Yorker, I usually get through one article and only sometimes read the fiction. I just can't keep up, so I put Post-It notes on the copies that I want to go back to read. I have a giant stack, like some kind of weird hoarder of New Yorkers. But I always read the cartoons. Sometimes I cut them out and keep them as bookmarks, and Roz Chast's cartoons are inevitably funny and angst-y, cutting to the point about human foibles and failings. This book is no exception; the narrative and the comics tell the story of her aging parents and expose her fears and not-so-pleasant thoughts about what to do about them. Reading the book came at a poignant time for me, since I'm still coming to terms with my own father's death this last April. But my father was only 74 - and Roz Chast's parents lived well into their 90s - so reading about the author's struggle in moving her parents to "the Place" and hiring hospice nurses and diapering and dementia did not mirror my own experience.Nevertheless, I couldn't believe how her words echoed my own thoughts about aging, then dying. Funny, accurate, bittersweet, and profoundly moving, this book should be required reading to understand what's coming for all of us.

  • Dianne
    2019-04-29 06:38

    An absolute gem - do *NOT* pass this up, especially if you are in a situation where you have aging parent considerations.Honest, bittersweet and heartrending. The sketches at the end will move you to tears. Bravo.

  • Diane Yannick
    2019-05-17 02:24

    OMG! Don't spend a minute reading reviews. Go find yourself a copy of this graphic memoir and start reading it. It's funny. It's sad. It allows you to ponder universal themes--if you're so inclined. Or you can just enjoy the cartoons and keep your emotional distance from the truths of aging. After all, these parents aren't just old; they're REALLY old. Roz Chast is freaking amazing. That's it.

  • Roger Brunyate
    2019-05-13 03:45

    The Truth Behind the CartoonsA typical Roz Chast cartoon, such as you might see in the New Yorker: a group of savings bank advertisements from the fifties, offering rewards for new depositors. But this is not the humorist's imagination; these are real giveaways found in her parents' apartment after she had finally moved them to an assisted living facility. And there were bundles of bankbooks to go with them, treasures that had to be hidden from disguised Nazis who would break in and steal them.For this is something unique in my experience: not a cartoon collection (though many are very funny), not a graphic novel, but a memoir. A memoir by a daughter dealing with one of the most emotionally draining experiences of all: guiding her parents through the last years of their very long lives. The book is dedicated to George Chast (March 23, 1912 – October 17, 2009) and Elizabeth Chast (April 3, 1912 — September 30, 2009), her parents, children of Russian Jewish immigrants who has known each other almost all their lives, and lived in the same apartment in Brooklyn for almost all of their sixty-plus years of marriage.I have read reviews of this book from readers who have had the same experience, or who are still going through it. But I am missing that personal connection, because my mother died in her prime, and I was an ocean away and no longer responsible for my father when he became incapacitated. But what strikes me is what an intimate view this gives us of Roz Chast itself. People often tell jokes as an alternative to bursting into tears, and there are certainly jokes in plenty here. But they do not come between the author and her reality, they intensify that reality. And not merely in the context of this book; they act retrospectively to explain almost any Roz Chast cartoon one has ever seen. You look at them now with the shock of recognition: "So that's where that's coming from!"With so personal and real a subject, mere cartoons would not be enough. Chast includes photos of her parents and of herself as a child. In the middle of the book, after she has moved George and Elizabeth out to a facility near her own house in Connecticut, she includes a portfolio of photographs of all the things she found in cleaning out their apartment. Some, like the page illustrated above, are almost like photographic versions of her own cartoons. But in succeeding pages, the implied humor moves to a kind a horrible chaos—jumbled drawers, junk-strewn rooms—and finally to heartbreaking pathos: a row of hangers in a closet holding clothes that will never be worn again. At the very end of the book, after the photos and cartoons have served their purpose, Chast includes a portfolio of twelve pen and ink drawings of her mother on her deathbed. The humorist has gone; so has the family archivist; what is left is the daughter, using her primary medium, drawing, to record her dying mother with an objectivity that is more affecting than anything else in the book.Though this is not quite the end. There is an epilogue, with three pages of cartoons about the problem of what to do with her parents' cremains. Then two more pages, without a drawing in sight, simply hand-written text, as she struggles with the strangeness, not only of coping with their deaths, but of that whole complex relationship that is parents and children:For as far back as I can remember, I felt far outside my parents' duo. There were many times, from when I was a little girl until just a couple of weeks ago, that I was sure I was adopted. I have to admit, though: if they had adopted me, they had done a sensational job of covering their tracks. Adoptees or not, they were my one and only set of parents, and now they are gone, a fact that feel indescribably strange, even four and six years after their deaths.

  • Ferdy
    2019-05-16 01:31

    3.5 starsThe artwork wasn't all that impressive and some of the material included was a tad uncomfortable to see/read, but for the most part I enjoyed reading Roz's Chast's memoir on her elderly parents. Loved getting to know Roz's parents, I found it fascinating reading about their marriage, their personalities, their history together, and the dynamics they had with each other. Roz's mum and dad were such complete opposites, the mum was overbearing and quite scary and the dad was timid and anxious but they somehow really suited each other, their love and loyalty for the other was very sweet and moving. The decline of Roz's parents in their old age was quite sad and difficult to read about, I really felt for them as they slowly lost their independence and had to deal with all kinds of changes in their health and circumstances. It was comforting to know Roz's parents still had each other, and their daughter too (although she wasn't all that loving and caring). On the other hand it was kind of scary to think their fate was something that would happen to everyone in old age. I found Roz's treatment of her parents really harsh, her dad's dementia and constant worrying couldn't be helped and her mother's determination to remain independent was totally understandable. I felt Roz could have been more compassionate for what they were going through, but at the same time she reacted as a lot of people would in her situation. Who wouldn't be frustrated and stressed at having to deal with ailing parents and all the stresses and worries that come with them? It was just a difficult and sad situation all around.Really didn't like the drawings Roz drew of her dead mother, why did she need to include them? They were so distasteful. Also, including the photographs of her parents bedroom and flat for everyone to see was out of order and plain disrespectful. I'm sure they wouldn't have wanted their home and private life exposed to strangers like that.I really didn't get why Roz was so bitter and hateful about her parents, they loved and supported her all her life and they deserved her total respect. She acted like they were awful parents just because they weren't overly friendly with her and set ground rules for her when growing up. She needed to get over it, most people would kill to have parents like hers.All in all, an interesting, honest, and rather depressing and intrusive memoir about old age, family and death.

  • Mangrii
    2019-05-15 01:35

    Roz Chast dibuja y escribe esta novela gráfica en la que homenajea a sus padres, profundizando en sus raíces y mostrando de primera mano el paso a la decadencia de la vejez. A través de viñetas, la autora nos narra la historia de la llegada de sus abuelos a EEUU, de cómo nació y cómo fue su adolescencia, de en quien se convirtió, y de cómo vivió los últimos años de sus padres. El libro sobre todo se centra en el amor profundo entre sus padres, un par de seres co-dependientes hasta en sus peores momentos de decadencia tanto física como mental. Realmente me ha removido un poco por dentro y me ha hecho replantearme como viviremos esos años que tarde o temprano llegaran, tanto en la situación de hijo como en la de padre. Está claro que hablar de la muerte o el fin de la vida nunca es una temática agradable, y de ahí surgió el título de esta novela gráfica que sus propios padres le dieron; ya que los ancianos no querían hacerlo nunca. A través de cierta clave humorista en su relato, Roz Chast, dibujante e ilustradora de The New Yorker, se alzó en 2014 con el premio de la National Book Critics Circle Award, en la sección de Autobiografía por esta novela gráfica.Veremos reflejados nuestros miedos más genuinos, nuestras particulares ansiedades, algunos de nuestros sueños e inseguridades; o nuestros sentimientos de culpa por querer cambiar muchas cosas de nuestro pasado. Con un dibujo sencillo y de historieta, profundizaremos de una forma especial en estos temas, pero siempre desde una perspectiva divertida, amena y sobre todo, entrañable. Realismo puro y duro con toques de humor negro.Recomiendo la lectura para poner los pies en el suelo, para reflexionar sobre algo tan importante como que puede pasar cuando todo se venga abajo.

  • Roya
    2019-04-25 01:42

    My mom suggested I read this as she enjoyed it. I'm actually exhausted and don't want to bore anyone with a listless rant on euthanasia, masochism, and the slow and painful slaughter I wish upon narcissistic parents (which in this case was the mother). So I won't give this a proper review. Not my cup of tea, but what is these days? You can read my mom's review here.Another reason as to why I can't review this: I'd kill the word count.That's not a joke.