Customer Reviews for

Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2014

    This book is laugh out loud funny. The cartoons with captions

    This book is laugh out loud funny. The cartoons with captions only add to hilarity. Been there and done that and know humor is sometimes the only thing to get you through.

    True feeling and efforts at doing right for parents comes through loud and strong.


    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    An absolutely brilliant book, sometimes hilarious and often hear

    An absolutely brilliant book, sometimes hilarious and often heartbreaking and frightening. Chast tells (mostly with her characteristic cartoons, though there are also short sections of handwritten text) of the aging and inexorable decline of her parents, who both lived to over 90, but along the way she reveals much about her own childhood and the kookiness of her household. Her WHEEL OF DOOM--a diagram showing dire parental warnings that progress, for instance, from "Sitting directly on the ground" to "A cold in your kidneys" to, of course, DEATH--is classic Chast and had me laughing uncontrollably for about 10 minutes. As the book progresses, there is less humor as Chast details the brutal task of dealing with her parents' infirmities, and she is incredibly honest about all her conflicted feelings. She in unsparing when depicting the indignities that come with old age and the many difficulties that come along with trying to help the elderly at the end of their lives. Chast has put together something that is wildly humorous while also being unspeakably sad--an amazing feat.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2014

    A great book for anyone who has mortal parents -- I read the boo

    A great book for anyone who has mortal parents -- I read the book and then read it again.  I wish she had written it two years ago when I was going through a lot of the same experiences.  And now I'm going to throw some stuff away, so my children don't have to.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2014

    Required reading for anyone who suddenly finds herself handling

    Required reading for anyone who suddenly finds herself handling business of  frail elderly parents. Beautiful humor and loving respect.
    Thank you Roz Chast for talking about the unpleasant. This gorgeous book will grace our coffee table for years. Thinking of giving it to my sons 
    When I reach a certain age! 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    Worth the read

    I heard Roz Chast on NPR talking about her book. I have a dear friend who recently had to move her mother into care, and my father-in-law is in hospice at home. My own mom died at 58,but my dad is going strong at 83. There are so many parallels and yet so many differences between my experience and Ms. Chast's, that I found a lot comfort and empathy in this book. We will all take the journey one way or another, and we will all deal with the same stuff. This was an excellent way to process and share their troubled story. I say read and enjoy while you grieve.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2014

    I really enjoyed this book. I sometimes thought she over shared,

    I really enjoyed this book. I sometimes thought she over shared, not in her experience but her own personal thought processes ( ex. inheritance running out). That's more something I would confide in a good friend, then write down for the world to see. On the other hand, that same fresh honesty in other areas was really very informative. I loved her stories she shared, old photos, etc.
    I thought it was a really beautiful book. It kept my interest, and I finished in one day. I will be passing this to my own mother who is currently caring for my aging grandmother.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Good Book

    Being a baby boomer and having had parents who survived to almost ninety, this book takes a rather unfortunate subject, and makes it enlightening through humor. The author has great observational skills, which she employs to depict her aging parents circumstances as they age from the "golden" years, to the more difficult "survival" years. The book is written in a comic book style, which allows the reader to digest and enjoy a difficult subject. When you are caring for aging parents, you sometimes wonder if you are alone, but reading this book made me realize I was not. My sister read it as well, and we both agreed that this is one of the most accurate portrayals of aging that we have ever come across.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Wow Roz Chast is on point with this graphic memoir that traces h

    Wow Roz Chast is on point with this graphic memoir that traces her parents elder years to  their deaths in their mid to late 90s.
    My parents are in their nineties and still living "independantly" so this is exactly what my sister and I are going thru now..amazingly acurate, informationa; and sometimes sad a must read if your in the situation!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2015

    As a long time fan of Roz Chast, I looked forward to reading her

    As a long time fan of Roz Chast, I looked forward to reading her new memoir.  Having gone through similar experiences with aging parents, her material is relatable to me.  However, I found her memoir to be full of self-pity and whining. Her domineering mother was "always right" and Ms. Chast certainly got her revenge by including incredibly unsympathetic drawings of her dying mother and stories of her Mother's fecal incontinence. Her depiction of their relationship was aimed to prove that her Mother was a horror while Ms. Chast was an innocent victim who just wanted her parents to hurry up and die before they ran out of money so life could return to normal for her in the Connecticut suburbs. Sympathy, empathy and any sense that yes we too one day may need care from others and also will physically deteriorate and die is totally lacking from this book. Ms. Chast tried to resolve her conflicted feelings about her parents through this uncensored memoir, but merely ends up blaming all her own problems on her parents.

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  • Posted January 8, 2015

          I am so very moved by this little book filled with picture

          I am so very moved by this little book filled with pictures. Simple yet so complex, Roz Chast explores a section of our lives we never wish to truly discuss; the end of life preparation and care of our parents. It’s a unique experience few of us think too much about but will all experience to some level.
         Roz shares her experiences with elderly parents and the inevitable problems of getting older. As an only child, Roz is tasked with taking care of her 90+ year old father and mother who live in New York. She discusses illnesses, child guilt, elder care and ultimately death in a serious yet comedic style. Told through pictures and words, Roz’s story is one we all can relate to, even if we aren’t at that point in our lives. Well written, you can’t help but empathize and giggle as Roz shares her experiences. 
          Considered one of the best books of 2014, I can easily see why it would deserve the honor. Balancing comedy, kindness, and real life situations and feelings, Chast ultimately asks, can’t we talk about something a little more pleasant?

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  • Posted January 4, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com Can¿t We Ta

    See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com

    Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? : A Memoir, Is a graphic novel by Roz Chast that tells the story of her experiences caring for her elderly parents as they make their way through the least popular stage of life; the last one. Chast uses her unique and candid voice and eccentric drawing style to illuminate a very dark topic in society. What she creates is a story that is equal parts hilarious, heartwarming and downright depressing. 

    Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant gives a brutally honest account of the author’s life and the lives of her parents from childhood to the inevitable conclusion. Chast pulls no punches when describing the challenges of caring for an aging parent. She manages to distill every moment of heartache and comedy out of everything from senility to generational differences to just plain stubbornness. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant is part biography, part memoir, part new Yorker comic, except it’s actually funny. The comedic portions are extremely funny but the dark aspect to the humor had me wondering if I should be laughing at times. The idiosyncrasies of Chast and her family make for some truly funny moments until they are put against the backdrop of the hurt that bore them. In that sense, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant is a perfect slice of the human experience; funny on the surface, dig a bit deeper and it is morbidly depressing, see the big picture and everything kind of turns out all right. 

    The entire book feels like a therapeutic exercise on the part of the author. She really delves into the problems she had with her parents, especially her mother and how those problems affected their dynamic later in life. Extremely complex feelings are unearthed and captured in comic form. The medium of the comic lends a lighthearted air to what is a very uncomfortable subject, but Chast also uses it to profound effect to plumb the depths of familial relations. Her brutal honesty for her portrayal of events is only matched by her brutal honesty about herself. For every strip about an annoying quirk of her father or the brash overbearing nature of her mother, there is one about her own guilt over her impatience with her parents or selfish thoughts. It all goes a long way toward chronicling the unceasingly arduous, mercilessly expensive, insanity inducing and at times extremely funny experience of taking care of the people who once took care of you. 

    Calvin and Hobbes holds the same kind of importance for young, only children as Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant will hold for those in the sandwich generation. It is the quintessential dark comedy for anyone with aging parents but should by no means be limited to that. Within hours of reading it, I had already recommended it to everyone close to me. I would recommend it to anyone who is in need of a laugh, a cry, or both at the same time. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant is incredibly evocative and charming and is well worth a read.

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  • Posted January 3, 2015

    If You Have Elderly Parents....You Must Read This Book!

    In this graphic memoir, Roz Chast confronts the reality of adult children caring for geriatric parents. She is so blatantly honest about her own coping skills (and lack thereof) that if not for her touching and amazing sense of humor, it would almost be unbearable to read. This is especially so if you are currently in the midst of caring for your own beloved, but wretchedly declining, mom or dad - an experience that can be gratifying, horrific, frightening, frustrating and guilt-inducing. She lets us know that we are not alone in this maze and that we will, eventually, find our way out of it.

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  • Posted December 30, 2014

    I loved this book, having recently been through much of the same

    I loved this book, having recently been through much of the same things. It was so true but also humorous. I recommend it highly for anyone who has or is dealing with elderly parent issues.

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  • Posted December 26, 2014

    This is required reading for the children of the Greatest Generation.

    Roz Chast has captured every end of life decision, issue and struggle of our parents' lives. With words and pictures that support and comfort us - the caregivers - we are not alone. We are encouraged to cry, laugh and be thoughtful, and there was nothing missing. Cleaning out my mother's house to sell it was an archaeological dig into my life as well as hers. Making legal, medical and financial decisions were made thoughtfully. I have bought several copies of this memoir and given them to my attorney, therapist, financial adviser and sibling; and may gift them to others as time and circumstance arise. Roz Chast was my constant and reliable companion through the last six months of my mother's life, and I could not have asked for better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2014

    Hard to read

    This looks like a very entertaining book but I must say the words are so hard to read because the letters are so small. The format is not the usual font but made to look handprinted in little tiny letters because of the cartoons. I make the pages as big as possible but still have to strain to read it. Very annoying, wish I would have known this before I bought it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2014

    Great read

    This book hit home, caring for my elderly mom. The author sounded like me. :)

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  • Posted August 25, 2014

    Cute story. 

    Cute story. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2014

    Never added to my library

    I cannot review this book because even now, about 1 week later, B&N has not added it to my library.

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Good book

    Realy goot try it

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
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