I must confess it was with some skepticism I approached CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? It was my first graphic novel, one I had to read for book group, and I didn’t know what to expect. I shouldn’t have had doubts. From the start, I was totally absorbed by author Roz Chast’s memoir which follows her experiences with her aging parents during the last years of their lives. Many color cartoons, family photos, and documents add to Chast’s clever narration—making it all the more real and poignant. The book deals with a difficult topic and one that’s relevant for many who face the challenge of coping with elderly parents and end-of-life decisions. This is an honest, personal account full of wit, wisdom, tears, and ultimately acceptance. Roz Chast has gained a new fan!
Laugh-out-loud hilarious, heartbreaking, raw and relatable, I couldn't put it down. There's something about this memoir that really speaks to the soul in all its layers.
An important read for anyone facing the process of caring for elderly parents. I was fascinated with Ms. Chast's story and identified with her anger, guilt and sorrow. It actually relieved some of the guilt I have when dealing with my own parents. It made me laugh and cry.
Who doesn't love Roz Chast? Her cartoons hit the mark and often say what we're thinking but might be too polite to say ourselves. This is her hand-written memoir through drawings and comments about her aging parents accompanied by thoughts about her relationship with them over the years. It is sure to hit home with many of us who have had to deal with the same thing. Her poignant photographs of 48 years accumulation of stuff in their apartment brought back memories of trying to figure out how to deal with the same thing in my own parents' home. Each item is fraught with personal history.
There are many things that parents (and others) don't want to talk about. I'm glad that Roz Chast chose to share those things with us.
Okay this story was depressing, even though I knew that going in. It made me examine the dynamics of death and what happens when your parents grow old. It was a fascinating, raw, honest look into such relationships as well as the struggles. Roz was honest with her feelings, both positive and negative, about the whole journey. I found it fascinating and interesting about something we all have to go through at one point or another.
Recommended for anyone with aging parents, or for all of us who are getting on in years and will soon find ourselves in this situation. Good companion book: "They Left Us Everything" by Plum Johnson. Both tell the gritty details of aging and the changes it brings, when the aldut and child roles are reversed
Humor will lighten the heart-rending subject of dealing with aging parents. How wonderful it was to read that I was not alone in my thoughts. Ms. Chast bravely put into words and pictures what most of us only think. A masterpiece.
Ms. Chast steps over the usual taboos and speaks up about the unspoken facts as she arrives at the unbearable final stop of her aging parents. Humor and all, Ms. Chase gives you an unforgettable lesson in life in her serious undertone.
Essential read for anyone who is a caregiver wondering how to handle the next steps. Her down to earth sense of humor lightens up a scarey and emotional subject that many of us are or will face.
Such a great read, but especially for anyone with an aging parent or parents. Roz Chast's observations are spot-on. You may not recognize your own specific situation, but some of the feelings and attitudes will likely be familiar.... The cartoons are wonderful and the story well-told.
Sadly funny, familiar for many, a nicely illustrated guide with sweet and bitter humour to help you what most will have to deal with. Recommended to everyone over 25.
Honest, funny, amazing, enlightening, heart-rending, frightening, thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
Required reading for anyone with living parents. I borrowed this because I love Roz Chast. Learned a lot of things I need to know. Nuff said.
This book is truly sublime; a heart-warming and honest memoir of a woman's relationship with her parents. Lovely illustrations go hand-in-hand with the unsanitised commentary about the complex life she experienced with her mother, and the acquiescence of her father towards his wife. Lovely.
Sad, funny, depressing, uplifting, honest, touching, frightening.....a good read.
Ann Patchett mentioned this book during her keynote speech at the March 2015 Literary Lions. Since I also like Roz Chast, I knew that I wanted to read it. It is an candid & honest depiction of Chast watching her parents decline in health and eventually die. Feeling torn between wanting to be with her family but also feeling guilty about not being there for her parents is evident as is the never really resolved tension between her & her mother. A must-read for the "sandwich" generation
It's something that we're all probably going to have to deal with it at some point and the discussion sucks. It's morbid, it's awful, and it makes you want to shove your head in the sand and pretend it's a non issue. Eventually though, whether you get to deal with just your parents or you get the preview of watching your parents deal with their parents, it comes around. Roz Chast here takes us through her experiences with Elizabeth (her dynamic and strong willed mother) and George (her more mild mannered father who is slowly becoming senile). There's lots of painfully relatable experiences and feelings that anyone who has been in this position, or observed it, can identify and empathize with. The style of art is even very familiar, looking like something you've probably seen everyday in the newspaper. It's a timely read for me due to current events at home and it's also timely given the aging population.
This graphic novel with its hand-written script and cartoons packs a wallop. The immediacy and intensity of emotions couldn't have been conveyed as effectively in any other form. At times funny as well as sad - the author had a complicated and painful relationship with her mother - this memoir provides insights into dealing with the vicissitudes of old age.
I laughed, I cried while I read this memoir by Roz Chast as she struggled with caring for her aging parents. This is a book that is difficult to read at times but just might strike a chord if you are helping parents navigate through decisions about independent and assisted living and ultimately hospice care. Have your tissues ready. Recommended by C.H., Brunswick Library, MCDL
So much emotional territory is covered in Roz Chast’s graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? This isn’t just another book about death and dying, and certainly not just another book about dealing with ageing parents. Nor is it “just” another graphic memoir. It is much more than this. It’s to Chast’s credit that she is able to convey so honestly and humorously the psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical roller coaster of watching her parents’ health slowly decline and the ensuing aftermath. An essential read.
Initially concerned about the "cartoon" drawings, I really loved this book. Who can't relate? I enjoyed the humor, empathized with the sadness and appreciated Roz Chast's honesty.