Free Read [Sports Book] ✓ Pretend I'm Dead - by Jen Beagin á


  • Title: Pretend I'm Dead
  • Author: Jen Beagin
  • ISBN: Pretend I'm Dead
  • ISBN
  • Page: 135
  • Format: Hardcover

  • ISBN
    ">NAMED A BEST BOOK of the YEAR by O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE, REFINERY 29, and KIRKUS REVIEWS SHORTLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE Miranda July meets Mary Karr in this brilliant debut novel from Jen Beagin, Whiting Award winner and one of the freshest voices I ve read in years funny, wise, whip smart and compassionate Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlest NAMED A BEST BOOK of the YEAR by O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE, REFINERY 29, and KIRKUS REVIEWS SHORTLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE Miranda July meets Mary Karr in this brilliant debut novel from Jen Beagin, Whiting Award winner and one of the freshest voices I ve read in years funny, wise, whip smart and compassionate Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins , about a cleaning lady on a quest for self acceptance after her relationship with a loveable junkie goes awry.Jen Beagin s quirky, moving, frank and unflinching Josh Ferris debut novel introduces an unforgettable character, Mona almost twenty four, emotionally adrift, and cleaning houses to get by Handing out clean needles to drug addicts, she falls for a recipient she calls Mr Disgusting, who proceeds to break her heart in unimaginable ways In search of healing, Mona decamps to Taos, New Mexico, for a fresh start, where she finds a community of seekers and cast offs, all of whom have one or two things to teach her the pajama wearing, blissed out New Agers, the slightly creepy client with peculiar tastes in controlled substances, the psychic who might really be psychic But always lurking just beneath the surface are her memories of growing up in a chaotic, destructive family from which she s trying to disentangle herself, and the larger legacy of the past she left behind The story of Mona s journey to find her place in this working class American world is at once hilarious and wonderfully strange, true to life and boldly human, and introduces a stunningly one of a kind new voice in American fiction Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 240 pages Published May 15th 2018 by Scribner first published October 1st 2015 More Details Original Title Pretend I m Dead ISBN 1501183931 ISBN13 9781501183935 Edition Language English URL Other Editions 16 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Pretend Im Dead, please sign up Recent Questions When I started reading Pretend Im Dead, I right away was drawn to a character narrator with mental health issues As a writer myself, I recognized the unreliable narrator that they teach you about in English classes But as I read the book which I loved I realized that Mona really wasnt unreliable She was narrating her world as she experienced it Was the narrator unreliable like one year ago Add your answer See 1 question about Pretend Im Dead Lists with This Book Fiction of 2018 End of Year Lists 72 books 5 voters Most Anticipated Books of 2018 481 books 842 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Nov 29, 2018 Kelly and the Book Boar rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves crunken love, it s all in the name, liburrrrrry book, loveable losers, pretty on the outside, read in 2018, you had me at hello Find all of my reviews at book review 437 I read this IN JUNE I suck so hard at posting shit this year Good news is I kind of remember this one better news is it kind of meanders a little bit of everywhere so there s no reason to get wrapped up in the details Basically, if your idea of a good time is reading about a 20 something housekeeper with a side hobby of taking bizarro selfies in her employers homes who volunteers at the local methadone Find all of my reviews at book review 437 I read this IN JUNE I suck so hard at posting shit this year Good news is I kind of remember this one better news is it kind of meanders a little bit of everywhere so there s no reason to get wrapped up in the details Basically, if your idea of a good time is reading about a 20 something housekeeper with a side hobby of taking bizarro selfies in her employers homes who volunteers at the local methadone clinic handing out clean needles with a side of looking for love in all the wrong places who moves across country to find herself with a side of hippie dippie neighbors and a commune in New Mexico then this might be the book for you It earns every single one of its Stars from me for being unique well, maybe an extra one for that title and cover because that s the only reason I picked this up in the first place Originality is something that has become almost extinct but Jen Beagin delivers it in spades flag 44 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Jul 11, 2018 Diane S added it I think I ve dnf d books in the last month than I have in the last year Started out promising, very different, quirky main character who volunteers with a needle exchange program She falls for one of the users that she calls Me Disgusting, who ends up breaking her heart She goes to Taos, which was a big draw for me, in an attempt to reclaim her life She shares a house with two strange characters Yoko and Yoko and we ll this is where it lost me Half way no less It turns a bit crude, l I think I ve dnf d books in the last month than I have in the last year Started out promising, very different, quirky main character who volunteers with a needle exchange program She falls for one of the users that she calls Me Disgusting, who ends up breaking her heart She goes to Taos, which was a big draw for me, in an attempt to reclaim her life She shares a house with two strange characters Yoko and Yoko and we ll this is where it lost me Half way no less It turns a bit crude, lewd, and I m a bit of a prude Well kind of, but only when I feel it is unnecessary Anyway, I will leave Taos and start another, with which I hope I have better luck flag 29 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Mar 17, 2016 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves contemporary, dark, subversive, funny, hipster, personal favorite Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally Any book that starts with a young volunteer at a needle exchange developing a crush on one of her junkie clients, deducing from his refusal of sterilizing equipment that he s not sharing his needles and is therefore single and eligible, is definitely a book for me and that s merely page 1 of Jen Beagin s Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally Any book that starts with a young volunteer at a needle exchange developing a crush on one of her junkie clients, deducing from his refusal of sterilizing equipment that he s not sharing his needles and is therefore single and eligible, is definitely a book for me and that s merely page 1 of Jen Beagin s remarkably subversive Pretend I m Dead, all the astounding for coming out from the esteemed academic publisher Triquarterly Books at Northwestern University A nearly perfect combination of character, plot and dialogue, this short novel in stories tells the engaging tale of super messed up protagonist Mona, a twentysomething slacker in a pre iPhone world who starts the book as the only young white house cleaner in the entirety of New England, where she engages in such art school flunky activities as taking photos of herself as a murder victim in clients homes just for her own amusement As Mona s world starts expanding, then including an actual romantic relationship with the junkie in question, trying heroin herself, then through a series of complicated circumstances ending up in Taos, New Mexico, now cleaning the trailer homes of burnt out New Agers , our trainwrecky hero stubbornly refuses to learn anything from it all, but nonetheless starts becoming just a little wiser about the world almost against her best intentions A feverish page flipper that I burned through from start to finish in only 24 hours, the only reason this isn t getting a perfect score is that the storyline loses track of itself for a large chunk of the second half, the result of this book originally being written as four long self contained stories and only afterwards being hooked together as one narrative other than that, though, I can confidently state that this is one of the most enjoyable and emotionally moving novels I ve read in the last year, a strong recommendation to one and all that will undoubtedly be making our best of lists at the end of the year.Out of 10 9.7 flag 18 likesLike see review View 1 comment Feb 19, 2018 Bandit rated it it was amazing review of another edition This was a strange sort of attraction at first sight the title alone is so intriguing negotiated down by reluctance to engage with a 24 year old protagonist Yes, I know, I m an ageist, but can you blame me This generation has been just all sorts of unattractive Although I m very glad to have finally decided to follow my initial instinct and check this book out, because a it s pretty terrific and b it s set judging by cultural clues in the mid 90s, entirely different, far tolerable ge This was a strange sort of attraction at first sight the title alone is so intriguing negotiated down by reluctance to engage with a 24 year old protagonist Yes, I know, I m an ageist, but can you blame me This generation has been just all sorts of unattractive Although I m very glad to have finally decided to follow my initial instinct and check this book out, because a it s pretty terrific and b it s set judging by cultural clues in the mid 90s, entirely different, far tolerable generation Also weirdly aimless and existential, but in much agreeable way And, despite her young years, the protagonist here is actually the real deal, someone who can carry an entire story by her idiosyncratic self In fact, she s a singular literary creation, stumbling through life to a very distinct and distinctly irregular beat, ghosts of her past shaping the shapeless contours of her present in a subtle and compelling way Not an easy book to describe, not particularly action driven, definitely of a personal journey discovery just sounds too new agey sort of thing, about a young woman and a variegated cast of supporting characters in her life But it s just so good, so well done, so original, darkly humorous in a perfectly understated manner, quirky in the best possible way, such an original perspective Not often can someone so unrelatable be so completely engaging and for this major kudos to the author, it s quite an accomplishment, particularly for a debut Strikingly odd, immensely readable and definitely memorable book Brief at only 208 pages and such a quick read, I actually didn t want it to end, but it was lovely while it lasted Thanks Netgalley flag 12 likesLike see review Oct 01, 2018 Rebecca rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves requested from publisher, mostly for the cover, addiction, unfinished I read the first 65 pages, which was one long chapter almost like a standalone novella called Hole Mona, a 23 year old art school dropout turned cleaner, was raised by a cousin after her addict parents death Like Beagin, who cleaned houses for five years to support her art, Mona collects vacuum cleaners and considers vacuuming her primary hobby She enjoys the repetition and inadvertent intimacy of her job it gives her glimpses into other people s inner lives In her spare time she volu I read the first 65 pages, which was one long chapter almost like a standalone novella called Hole Mona, a 23 year old art school dropout turned cleaner, was raised by a cousin after her addict parents death Like Beagin, who cleaned houses for five years to support her art, Mona collects vacuum cleaners and considers vacuuming her primary hobby She enjoys the repetition and inadvertent intimacy of her job it gives her glimpses into other people s inner lives In her spare time she volunteers for a needle exchange program and thus falls in with Mr Disgusting, the nickname she gives to a thief and Dumpster diver 21 years her senior.It s all super quirky and unnecessarily crass The closest comparison I can make is with Miranda July s The First Bad Man Throughout I kept thinking to myself, this should really be written in the first person This is a strong character who can describe things for herself The style is readable I could have forced myself through the last two thirds as Mona lights out for New Mexico But with so many other books waiting for me, I decided I didn t want or need to keep going flag 10 likesLike see review View 1 comment Apr 05, 2018 MisterHobgoblin rated it it was amazing review of another edition Pretend I m Dead is a really unusual, psychedelic gem of a novel Mona is a twenty something volunteer in a needle exchange programme Her dad, Mickey, is a deadbeat and the only stability she has in her life is the sole trader house cleaner she works for Mona has a brain but no particular drive She works hard, but without direction When she tells people she is a cleaner, they assume she must have something else she is working towards white girls don t clean houses The novel follows Mona o Pretend I m Dead is a really unusual, psychedelic gem of a novel Mona is a twenty something volunteer in a needle exchange programme Her dad, Mickey, is a deadbeat and the only stability she has in her life is the sole trader house cleaner she works for Mona has a brain but no particular drive She works hard, but without direction When she tells people she is a cleaner, they assume she must have something else she is working towards white girls don t clean houses The novel follows Mona over a couple of years, focusing in turn on four relationships and how they change the direction of her life First up, there s Mr Disgusting, a middle aged junkie to whom Mona supplies needles She begins a friendship because why not Apart from the junk, he s a decent guy He tells Mona to move from her Massachusetts dead end to Taos, some kind of hippy Mecca in New Mexico So off she goes, with the remaining three sections focusing in turn on her relationship with her neighbours Nigel and Shiori English and Japanese then a rather sick businessman called Henry who seems to have lost his inhibitions, and finally a psychic called Betty Each of the relationships allows Mona to grow in unexpected directions And always, behind everything, there is the fractured relationship Mona has with her father What makes the novel is Mona s charm She is utterly guileless, but not stupid She is aware of people s failings and deviousness she simply chooses not to get involved As a cleaner, she sees people s secrets She could use them for good or for evil, but mostly she just dwells on them in a brain that seems to be perpetually half tripping She has a strong personal morality and will happily do things that are against her best interests if she thinks they are the right things to do, yet her morality is unlikely to coincide with those of 90% of the population She looks at the world with a mixture of astonishment and resignation.And for the lack of direction, she dreams Idle dreams, not always nice dreams a bit like Jenny in the Threepenny Opera where something will change and she will be the lynchpin around which the action revolves There s quirkiness too Mona likes photography, taking selfies in compromising positions in clients houses Just to mix things up a little.Looking back on this, it all sounds a bit whimsical It really isn t It is gritty, it is real, it is funny and it is sad If it were a film, it would be Amelie flag 7 likesLike see review View 1 comment May 24, 2017 Chrisolu rated it it was amazing review of another edition The book ended like a French movie 4.5 stars flag 7 likesLike see review View 1 comment May 30, 2018 Abbie ab_reads rated it liked it 3.5 stars strange, quirky, funny, off beat, dark flag 7 likesLike see review Jul 23, 2018 Mel rated it really liked it I m at a loss as to how to best describe what I just read, but if you like snarky black sheep characters, cynicism, and the writing of Alexandra Kleeman this is for you I couldn t help but toss my head back and laugh at the absurdity Mona is a 24 year old cleaning lady and an artist She sometimes calls her somewhat estranged father for random conversations despite her complicated history with the one armed man who handed off to another family member when she became too difficult and her mom I m at a loss as to how to best describe what I just read, but if you like snarky black sheep characters, cynicism, and the writing of Alexandra Kleeman this is for you I couldn t help but toss my head back and laugh at the absurdity Mona is a 24 year old cleaning lady and an artist She sometimes calls her somewhat estranged father for random conversations despite her complicated history with the one armed man who handed off to another family member when she became too difficult and her mom had left, but otherwise she has no friends or social life apart from the minor interactions she has when caught snooping on the job or is accepting her meager pay.The droll 3rd person narration really uplifted her subtleties and odd ball ness At the beginning of the book she is in a relationship with a man she names Mr Disgusting, an ex addict whom she met while volunteering at a needle exchange She stops hearing from him and assumes he s dead after their last meeting involved her momentary death after he shot her up with the heroin coke concoction he d assembled for himself Mona is soon laid off from her cleaning company and takes advice from the voice in her head Mr Disgusting and moves to New Mexico where she can insert herself into a small cast of bizarre locals Henry, her first regular client her new neighbors Yoko and Yoko Betty, the psychic Johnny the bouncer Jesus the closeted gay man Quite entertaining Will look out for from Beagin flag 6 likesLike see review Apr 26, 2018 Geoff rated it it was amazing God, I loved this book The narrator s voice is so compelling So much so that I just had to go back and check that it was in fact in the third person, not the first person And hilarious I genuinely burst out laughing at several points Everything about Mona feels real and immediate and believable And it s not just her the characters she interacts with feel real, too Sometimes in a book like this, with a main character like this, the main character is the only one who seems to get it God, I loved this book The narrator s voice is so compelling So much so that I just had to go back and check that it was in fact in the third person, not the first person And hilarious I genuinely burst out laughing at several points Everything about Mona feels real and immediate and believable And it s not just her the characters she interacts with feel real, too Sometimes in a book like this, with a main character like this, the main character is the only one who seems to get it who recognizes the world as it really is, while everyone else is blindly stumbling But the people Mona talks to pick up on her little comments and respond as other intelligent, real people might which is delightfully refreshing I wish this book had been two, three times longer I would have loved to spend time with Mona And I m definitely going to read whatever else Beagin writes flag 6 likesLike see review Sep 06, 2015 Gianna Mosser rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves fiction Disclaimer NUP book This author is daring and brutally honest Though her narrative became painfully personal and self deprecating, I thought the strength of the ending gave the reader some hope that Mona might yet come out the other side flag 6 likesLike see review May 29, 2017 Jenny Dunning rated it it was amazing review of another edition Even as a kid, I didn t read favorite books over Or watch favorite movies again But I just finished rereading Jen Beagin s debut novel Pretend I m Dead a few weeks after reading it for the first time I d been recommending it to my book group and couldn t call up enough details to be convincing So I started over And two days later, well, it was just as satisfying a read as the first time through.Driveway moments, or their reading analogue That s another measure of how good a book is For me Even as a kid, I didn t read favorite books over Or watch favorite movies again But I just finished rereading Jen Beagin s debut novel Pretend I m Dead a few weeks after reading it for the first time I d been recommending it to my book group and couldn t call up enough details to be convincing So I started over And two days later, well, it was just as satisfying a read as the first time through.Driveway moments, or their reading analogue That s another measure of how good a book is For me, those are the passages I can t help myself from reading aloud to my husband, lying in bed before going to sleep I didn t actually count them but there were than any other book I can remember, and it s a short novel, just under 200 pages Before you read any further, I should warn you that I won t be able to help myself from quoting passages here either This isn t a spoiler alert so much as a heads up that some of the language is, well, explicit The c word, etc What do you expect from a novel that opens in a needle exchange clinic So the novel is gritty lots of using and abusing of all sorts Hilarious and hilariously clever, it tells the story of Mona belatedly in her mid twenties coming of age Maybe that s a time worn plot but Beagin tells it whacky and makes it new A loner as her name suggests , Mona cleans houses for a living, the activity providing her a kind of intimacy fix She also takes liberties with and sometimes drugs and talismans from, as well as photographs in her clients homes She s on a journey, an odyssey, if you will yes, the reference is made directly but Beagin does literary allusions better than anyone, turns somersaults with them, actually Mona s road map is laid out in a goodbye letter from a boyfriend she refers to as Mr Disgusting he s older, an addict in recovery, and has lost his teeth in an industrial accident He tells her to get out of Hole, aka Lowell, Massachusetts, to move to New Mexico and start over Rent an adobe casita Paint some pictures Join a healthy cult of some kind Get a guru Surround yourself with illegible I really want you to be Which is or less what she does Her gurus include an actual guru of the British Buddhist sort and his wife, a dying man, and a psychic who might actually be, um, psychic Along the way, Mona has frequent conversations with a God she calls Bob as in thank Bob , as well as imaginary conversations with her clients and others, often running in parallel to actual conversations Novels tend to be either or character and story driven or language driven Pretend I m Dead nails both There s plenty of narrative momentum the questions and allegiances that keep a reader turning the pages But it s Beagin s language that provides the wild ride She puns and funs but somehow manages stunning descriptions at the same time Describing the light in New Mexico, she writes, The light had a quality of being everywhere at once, even in the shadows, and she felt suspended by it as if by an enormous hand The Hand of Bob When the sun was out, the hand held its sweaty palm wide open, and she often imagined she was traveling along the dust in one of its creases How about eyes a shade of blue she associates with Ukrainians and hummingbirds Or her evocation of grief when Mona learns of Mr Disgusting s suicide She was struck with a sudden awareness of her nipples They felt chafed, as if she d been nursing a bearded man for the past thirty minutes Then she realized it was loneliness Or how she characterizes Mona not telling her mother about her father s actions Not telling her mother was essentially like tossing the secret into an abandoned well without nourishment and in spite of its hoarse screaming, it would eventually die But of course, it doesn t, hence the novel though Beagin is too good a writer to make whatever happened the centerpiece let alone explicitly tell it Beagin s gift is to hit multiple registers in the same passage lyric, comedic, emotionally hard hitting.But what s even remarkable about her prose is the way she piles up and weaves in and out of chains of associations, all them completely grounded in character and world Here s an example of what I m referring to One night, Mona hooks up with an architect from out of town an architect who actually designs fire escapes and elevators a tidbit we get in scene, when she meets him in a bar later, she remembers the encounter He was handling her cunt deftly, as if he d designed it himself recalling their conversation in the bar, she imagines him saying instead that he designs vaginas for office buildings Which sets her on a pell mell metaphorical dash In fact, for many months now, her body had felt like an office building neutered, utilitarian, without ornament but he seemed to be remodeling it His left hand cradled her fire escape, and the fingers of his right hand were inside her elevator shaft His tongue or was it his thumb kept grazing the elevator button, over and over and over Talk about an original erotic metaphor The pace picks up at the end of the novel, moving toward some kind of epiphany in which Mona expunges her demons, or at least hammers them to pieces Again, Beagin uses her associative pile up technique Mona has not actually read The Odyssey, but the British Buddhist gave her a copy and told her that she s on the boat, heading home, and it s time for her to sit orderly upon the bench and smite the gray sea with her oars But I have to interrupt myself Earlier I described Beagin s literary allusions as the best, and I realize now I never got around to expanding on that No two allusions are brought in the same way and all are treated with irreverence Though a book lover, Mona hasn t had much in the way of formal education The literature she knows, however, she knows well So when the psychic demands she say whatever comes into her head when she looks at a photo, she quotes part of Sylvia Plath s Daddy, to hilarious effect Then there s the problem of her books with white spines She s stashed them in the closet because they don t fit in with the colored spines Finally, she gives them their own shelf and arranges them so they form sentences Man walks into a room with the pharmacist s mate as I lay dying of accidental blindness and assorted fire events, of white noise and housekeeping and You get the idea Now back to The Odyssey.At the end of the novel, Mona tells her new friend Jesus about being on that boat, smiting the gray sea with her oars, yada yada Jesus jumps from smiting the oars to smiting the doll she s taken from the psychic s house, a doll that stands in for the childhood dolls who terrified her she was convinced they had cameras behind their eyes, and witnessed the secret she keeps from her mother And so she smites that doll, or precisely, pulverizes her porcelain head, hands, feet I haven t said anything about the title of this book It s intriguing, right But I ve told you enough already You ll just have to read it for yourself flag 5 likesLike see review Sep 20, 2018 Jaclyn Crupi rated it really liked it review of another edition Not at all what I was expecting, this was funny and dark in a Miranda July Ottessa Moshfegh kind of way I was unsure about it at first but the voice won me over completely flag 5 likesLike see review Aug 05, 2018 Sheryl rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018, fiction, netgalley Wow, this was different I ve not read anything quite like it before or at least in a while I m not sure really how to write the review, the protagonist, Mona kept me on my toes that s for sure Mona seems to be a tortured soul who is a cleaning lady by choice, she takes great pride in her work She goes from volunteering in Lowell, MA by handing out clean needles to addicts one evening a week to ending up in Taos, New Mexico starting her own cleaning service.I have to admit this is was a fast Wow, this was different I ve not read anything quite like it before or at least in a while I m not sure really how to write the review, the protagonist, Mona kept me on my toes that s for sure Mona seems to be a tortured soul who is a cleaning lady by choice, she takes great pride in her work She goes from volunteering in Lowell, MA by handing out clean needles to addicts one evening a week to ending up in Taos, New Mexico starting her own cleaning service.I have to admit this is was a fast read and it held my interest as I stated earlier Mona kept me guessing throughout the entire book It did have an odd ending, I had read that in other reviews before I reading this novel.I would like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this e galley in exchange for an honest opinion flag 4 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Jun 27, 2018 jordan rated it it was amazing review of another edition Lucid and smart, without a hint of self consciousness Induced laughter, tears, and a few PTSD panic attacks Well worth the heart palpitations, though I wish I d written it flag 4 likesLike see review Jan 22, 2019 Hizatul Akmah rated it it was ok review of another edition actual rating 2.4 5 triggers warning incest, child molestation, erotica, suicide, drugs abuse You weren t really living You were just coasting along like a zombie i had pretty high expectation for this book but i guess it was my own fault after all it wasn t necessarily, poorly written but the thing about fiction is you need the readers to imagine the things you put into words as you hope they would the plot was okay but pretty slow paced i didn t care about any of the characters even actual rating 2.4 5 triggers warning incest, child molestation, erotica, suicide, drugs abuse You weren t really living You were just coasting along like a zombie i had pretty high expectation for this book but i guess it was my own fault after all it wasn t necessarily, poorly written but the thing about fiction is you need the readers to imagine the things you put into words as you hope they would the plot was okay but pretty slow paced i didn t care about any of the characters even for the main character, Mona if i were being totally honest, she was really annoying and mundane i literally couldn t emotionally connect with the story at all flag 3 likesLike see review Jul 22, 2018 Cassie rated it liked it review of another edition By the end of this story, I was totally smitten by the main character and wanted to know of her story There are aspects of her life and choices that are brutal, dark and frustrating to read but there is also a humor and a totally different way of looking at life that s peculiar and fascinating My compassion for her and those in similar circumstances to hers grew as I read on At times I wanted to give up on it but I m glad I didn t flag 3 likesLike see review Jul 06, 2018 Andreia rated it it was ok review of another edition I don t know why I was expecting so much from this book and I think I m going to blame it on the person who said this book is Eleanor Oliphant on acid The truth is no one is like my Eleanor Oliphant and I really should stop trusting people who compare characters to other characters You don t go around saying My friend is like my other friend on acid But I m also going to blame myself for trusting other people s comparisons.Pretend I m Dead is nothing like Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely F I don t know why I was expecting so much from this book and I think I m going to blame it on the person who said this book is Eleanor Oliphant on acid The truth is no one is like my Eleanor Oliphant and I really should stop trusting people who compare characters to other characters You don t go around saying My friend is like my other friend on acid But I m also going to blame myself for trusting other people s comparisons.Pretend I m Dead is nothing like Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Yes, the main character is witty and funny and has a destructive family and traumas Yes, the plot is odd, quirky, and dark But they are two different books that shouldn t even be compared.Pretend I m Dead is about a 23 year old woman who cleans houses for a living and volunteers for a needle exchange programme She meets an older man who she ends up calling Mr Disgusting which I thought was completely unnecessary and childish because he looks nasty all the time and breaks her heart as quickly as he makes her fall for him She then moves to another city and attempts to start a new life while still cleaning houses and meets many different people who teach her about herself than she had ever tried to understand Read my full review here flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 13, 2018 Alexis rated it it was amazing Sometimes you meet a character and slowly come to realize she could be the personification of a strange little part of yourself, one that you never even paid much attention to or maybe weren t even aware of Mona grew on me like this Initially, like most people she meets, I thought she was a terrible mess She desultorily attends college, majoring in Art while realizing that the whole enterprise isn t going to get her anywhere She has mental health issues but doesn t consistently take her medi Sometimes you meet a character and slowly come to realize she could be the personification of a strange little part of yourself, one that you never even paid much attention to or maybe weren t even aware of Mona grew on me like this Initially, like most people she meets, I thought she was a terrible mess She desultorily attends college, majoring in Art while realizing that the whole enterprise isn t going to get her anywhere She has mental health issues but doesn t consistently take her medication, so she has odd thoughts, low self regard, and a strange way of looking at the world What she really thrives on is cleaning people s houses She loves making dirt disappear, impressing her clients with her thoroughness often cleaning things they didn t even know were filthy It calms her Getting to nose about in people s houses and make up stories about their lives is another of her great job derived pleasures, but that can get out of hand if she finds things she doesn t like in people s not so secret hiding spots Mona s other main activity besides cleaning is volunteering at a needle exchange program One regular client, a slightly weather beaten but charismatic man about twice her age who she refers to in her mind as Mr Disgusting makes her feel weird when he comes around Weird in a good way, and the feeling is mutual, but after he stops coming to the exchange for a while she figures he vanished into some sad drug addict scenario But he shows up again to ask her out, rehabbed and sober, and they begin a relationship She knows he is all red flags an ex junkie, much older than her, no specific job, living in a sleazy residence hotel, but she casts her doubts aside, and they have a wonderful, peculiar time together Their first date is what made me think there s a little Mona in me she s impressed by his books, and they have a charming conversation about their favorite and least favorite words His favorite is cleave, her least favorite is mucus It was rare for her to find someone attractive physically and also to like what came out of their mouth Me too, Mona But, the red flags start flapping, and the rest of the book is Mona s quest to get over Mr Disgusting, and over the horrific confusing things that happened to her in childhood, and to just get comfortable in her own skin This involves a cross country move, and the welcome discovery that people are just as bizarre in the deserts of New Mexico as they are in tranquil Massachusetts towns Creepy, sad, lonely, kind of perverse, really funny, and ultimately hopeful, this book, and Mona, will stay with me for a long time flag 3 likesLike see review Mar 03, 2018 Sara Oxton rated it really liked it Pretend I m dead by Jen Beagin a four star read that will leave you thinking This was not what I expected, I picked it up thinking it looked different and I was just in the mood for a palate cleanser and wow this really did cleanse the palate I ve seen this described as Frank and unflinching and it is in places It s also darkly comedic and filled with characters that you may not always like but you will always be behind and wanting to read the next line, page or chapter to find out what they Pretend I m dead by Jen Beagin a four star read that will leave you thinking This was not what I expected, I picked it up thinking it looked different and I was just in the mood for a palate cleanser and wow this really did cleanse the palate I ve seen this described as Frank and unflinching and it is in places It s also darkly comedic and filled with characters that you may not always like but you will always be behind and wanting to read the next line, page or chapter to find out what they get up to next Mona s journey is a fascinating one that takes her places I can only imagine Not everyone will like this book as some of the subjects aren t agreeable to all, but give it a go, it may just change the ways you think and feel flag 3 likesLike see review Aug 05, 2018 Richard rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves read in 18 A lot of my dissatisfaction with this book is the disconnect between how it s being sold a quirky tale of new beginnings and what it is a dark look at the scars of childhood abuse Most of the time, I d just shrug off the marketing and try to judge a book on its own merits, but this time I ended up with the opposite of what I wanted, so fair warning here not to trust the cover copy Pretend I m Dead is dark, episodic, and shallow Beagin has a vivid, visual style and the voice is spot on b A lot of my dissatisfaction with this book is the disconnect between how it s being sold a quirky tale of new beginnings and what it is a dark look at the scars of childhood abuse Most of the time, I d just shrug off the marketing and try to judge a book on its own merits, but this time I ended up with the opposite of what I wanted, so fair warning here not to trust the cover copy Pretend I m Dead is dark, episodic, and shallow Beagin has a vivid, visual style and the voice is spot on but the humor didn t work for me at all and the overall effect is dreary and depressing flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 06, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves read in 2016, perfect books What a great way to kick off 2016 I loved the main character, I loved everyone she interacted with, I loved this book flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 27, 2019 Laura Santoski rated it really liked it Wow I did not see the end of this book coming as in, literally didn t realize the book was about to end It s definitely the kind of book where nothing much happens, but the character is interesting and quirky enough that you re fine with being along for the ride It s crass and strange and unpredictable, and I wouldn t recommend it to everyone, but if weird meandering books are your thing, I liked this one flag 2 likesLike see review Mar 17, 2016 Sonia Reppe rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves fiction contemporary 24 yr old Mona is the anti heroine of this off beat slacker novel that explores daddy issues Is she an unlikable protagonist She appears to be a drifter, unambitious, working as a cleaning lady, no family except for an unstable, absent father She has a short lived relationship with a drug addict He leaves her a note I can easily picture you living in Taos New Mexico Why not move there and start over Rent an adobe casita Paint some pictures Join a healthy cult of some kind Get a guru 24 yr old Mona is the anti heroine of this off beat slacker novel that explores daddy issues Is she an unlikable protagonist She appears to be a drifter, unambitious, working as a cleaning lady, no family except for an unstable, absent father She has a short lived relationship with a drug addict He leaves her a note I can easily picture you living in Taos New Mexico Why not move there and start over Rent an adobe casita Paint some pictures Join a healthy cult of some kind Get a guru So she does this Mona surprises us by taking a turn off the dark path she was headed down, by showing some know how, by not wallowing too much in the unhappy past that was her chaotic childhood It wasn t that bad, actually, Mona said She starts her own cleaning business It turns out that cleaning houses is her chosen profession, she is good at it to some extent she even likes it and when the Freudian reason for this is acknowledged, it s a perfect revelation for this subversively funny novel Like Mona, this novel is not afraid to get its face in the toilet bowl of life We can be unhappy about it or we can get it cleaned up, is what it seems to say And it might need cleaning everyday, but that s life Some readers might find parts to be icky, but that is relieved by deadpan humor and the quirky cast of characters that Mona surrounds herself with The Come To Jesus moment at the end, where she is confronted with the past and comes to terms with some of her issues is done in an inventive, unexpected way in a different novel she would have found a mentor wise person to help steer her here it s a wacky psychic that helps her with the truth when they discovered that English wasn t her second language, they treated her warily, as if she were mentally ill, learning disabled, or an ex con They assumed she was sullied somehow Disgraced The fact that she was white, managed to graduate from a decent parochial high school, and yet chose to clean houses seemed beyond their comprehension. flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 03, 2015 Lindsay Heller rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2015 A solid 3.5 This was one of those books that I just sort of picked off thr library shelf, even though I already had a pile of library books to make my way through before due date It s short, 200 pages, but that s not why I picked it up It was because it was called Pretend I m Dead Plain and simple It wasn t one that I would have ordinarily read, but I m glad I did This was a funny, entertaining first novel And I mention the last because it s very clearly a first novel, filled with so many A solid 3.5 This was one of those books that I just sort of picked off thr library shelf, even though I already had a pile of library books to make my way through before due date It s short, 200 pages, but that s not why I picked it up It was because it was called Pretend I m Dead Plain and simple It wasn t one that I would have ordinarily read, but I m glad I did This was a funny, entertaining first novel And I mention the last because it s very clearly a first novel, filled with so many quirks if they were in a canoe, it would capsize But I like quirks, they re funny and help characters stand out This was a good book, I d be interested to see what Beagin gets up to in the future flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 06, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves emilybooks, fiction This book is hilarious My first emilybooks read Great female protagonist I didn t exactly laugh out loud while reading, but I was definitely laughing very hard on the inside on every other page Highly recommended Plus it s short flag 2 likesLike see review Apr 14, 2018 Sara Wingfield rated it it was amazing review of another edition This book is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on acid Odd, funny, and doesn t go on longer than it needs to a bit like my review Just excellent Many thanks to Jen Beagin, Oneworld and Netgalley for the marvellous ARC flag 2 likesLike see review Feb 08, 2018 Leigh rated it it was amazing review of another edition read an ARC of the new Scribner edition coming May 2018 dark, hilarious, spellbinding Mona and her hero s journey won me over immediately and never let me down I ll say later flag 2 likesLike see review Jun 07, 2018 Constance rated it really liked it review of another edition I love this book flag 2 likesLike see review May 25, 2018 Tessa rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves prose 4.5 flag 2 likesLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to 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    Jen Beagin Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Pretend I'm Dead book, this is one of the most wanted Jen Beagin author readers around the world.

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    Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Find all of my reviews at book review 437 I read this IN JUNE I suck so hard at posting shit this year Good news is I kind of remember this one better news is it kind of meanders a little bit of everywhere so there s no reason to get wrapped up in the details Basically, if your idea of a good time is reading about a 20 something housekeeper with a side hobby of taking bizarro selfies in her employers homes who volunteers at the local methadone Find all of my reviews at book review 437 I read thi [...]

    Diane S ☔
    I think I ve dnf d books in the last month than I have in the last year Started out promising, very different, quirky main character who volunteers with a needle exchange program She falls for one of the users that she calls Me Disgusting, who ends up breaking her heart She goes to Taos, which was a big draw for me, in an attempt to reclaim her life She shares a house with two strange characters Yoko and Yoko and we ll this is where it lost me Half way no less It turns a bit crude, l I think I [...]

    Jason Pettus
    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally Any book that starts with a young volunteer at a needle exchange developing a crush on one of her junkie clients, deducing from his refusal of sterilizing equipment that he s not sharing his needles and is therefore single and eligible, is definitely a book for me and that s merely page 1 of Jen Beagin s Reprinted f [...]

    Bandit
    This was a strange sort of attraction at first sight the title alone is so intriguing negotiated down by reluctance to engage with a 24 year old protagonist Yes, I know, I m an ageist, but can you blame me This generation has been just all sorts of unattractive Although I m very glad to have finally decided to follow my initial instinct and check this book out, because a it s pretty terrific and b it s set judging by cultural clues in the mid 90s, entirely different, far tolerable ge This was a [...]

    Rebecca
    I read the first 65 pages, which was one long chapter almost like a standalone novella called Hole Mona, a 23 year old art school dropout turned cleaner, was raised by a cousin after her addict parents death Like Beagin, who cleaned houses for five years to support her art, Mona collects vacuum cleaners and considers vacuuming her primary hobby She enjoys the repetition and inadvertent intimacy of her job it gives her glimpses into other people s inner lives In her spare time she volu I read the [...]

    MisterHobgoblin
    Pretend I m Dead is a really unusual, psychedelic gem of a novel Mona is a twenty something volunteer in a needle exchange programme Her dad, Mickey, is a deadbeat and the only stability she has in her life is the sole trader house cleaner she works for Mona has a brain but no particular drive She works hard, but without direction When she tells people she is a cleaner, they assume she must have something else she is working towards white girls don t clean houses The novel follows Mona o Pretend [...]

    Chrisolu
    The book ended like a French movie 4.5 stars.

    • Free Read [Sports Book] ✓ Pretend I'm Dead - by Jen Beagin á
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      Published :2019-05-26T12:13:32+00:00