Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Book - 2014
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#1 New York Times Bestseller

In 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.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2014.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781608198061
1608198065
Branch Call Number: GN COMICS CHAST R
Characteristics: 228 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm

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JCLStefanieE May 30, 2018

Somehow Chast makes it fun to read about a very serious and avoided subject - aging and dying parents. An important true story in graphic novel format. Larger written text makes it easy for large print readers to enjoy too.

c
cknightkc
Apr 30, 2018

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!

VaughanPLDaniela Apr 10, 2018

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.

JCLDebbieF Jul 06, 2017

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.

m
Mooseum
Apr 29, 2017

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.

p
PinesandPrejudice
Feb 11, 2017

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.

s
storygyrl
Sep 11, 2016

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

r
RachelB7
May 28, 2016

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.

antrakoka2 Apr 18, 2016

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.

h
heidiup1
Mar 15, 2016

Excellent--her best!

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cknightkc
Apr 30, 2018

It's no accident that most ads are pitched to people in their 20s and 30s. Not only are they so much cuter than their elders...but they are less likely to have gone through the transformative process of cleaning out their deceased parents' stuff. Once you go through that, you can never look at YOUR stuff in the same way.” - p. 122

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