*KINDLE ↠ Cant We Talk about Something More Pleasant? ⇰ Ebook or Kindle ePUB free
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. 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 itand wanting MORE I ve already read it TWICE 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 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 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.
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 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 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. 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 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 OMG fantastic Wish I could give this book 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 farChast 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 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 pleasant 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 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 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 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 Pleasantcaptures 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. *KINDLE ⇘ Cant We Talk about Something More Pleasant? ☠ New York Times Bestseller 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 ParentsWhen 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 DeployedWhile 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 CareAn 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 UPDATE 06 21 2018I am bumping this up from three stars to five stars after a second reading Chast actually does an amazing job here The book is poignant but also funny Everyone will have to go through taking care of an elderly loved one at some point, so the book is universal and will let a lot of people know that they aren t alone.If you are fresh off the death of a parent grandparent spouse , this might be too painful to read Fair warning.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. Roz Chast relates the story of her 93 year old parents final years in her excellent comics memoir, Can t We Talk About Something More Pleasant I ve seen this book on shelves for years now and every time I ve looked at it I ve thought that I ll probably like reading it but never picked it up because I thought it d be a downer I was right I loved it but I was wrong in thinking it d be depressing It is in a way how could the story of two elderly people slowly dying not be but the book is much than that Once I started reading, I couldn t stop, despite knowing how it was going to end, which tells you how gifted a storyteller Chast is The book balances unexpectedly amusing moments with the unflinching realities of extreme old age Like her dad s weird obsession over his bankbooks or his strange diet counterbalanced with his sad senility and general helplessness, and her mother s surreal and funny stories being the product of her mind failing It s an odd blend of informative and humorous but it works perfectly It s also a poignant but not overly sentimental portrait of Chast s parents We get to know her nervous, technically incompetent and increasingly senile father and her authoritarian mother with whom she has a complex relationship with Chast jumps from her childhood to the present, telling anecdotes to illustrate their characters so that the reader gets a strong sense of who they were Chast is also very honest about her own feelings towards them she loves them but she also can t stand being around them, particularly as they have no interests in common and she has a family of her own to look after But despite the frustrations that her parents various illnesses bring, her deep love of both is always very clear and she honours them beautifully here And I m glad she didn t go overboard with the emotion not to make light of their passing but they were very old well into their 90s never suffered major illnesses until the end and had a happy marriage for decades They lived good, long lives and death awaits all of us It s not nearly as tragic as, say, a ten year old cancer patient, whose existence has only ever been pain, dying, y know The way Chast told her story was masterful After her father s death, her mother ends up losing control of her bowels and makes a mess of Chast s downstairs lounge and bathroom this episode is told through text only, no pictures, to give her mother some dignity over this undignified episode After her mother s death, there s a sequence of portraits Chast drew of her mother on her deathbed, no words, only pictures, which say than enough It s a very effective and tasteful use of the comics medium I put off reading this for so long because I suspected that I d see a lot of myself and my own parents in this book, and I did to a degree I m not gonna go into my own stuff because it s nothing compared to what Chast and her parents went through but I can see both of my folks already having problems in their late 60s early 70s and I can only imagine it ll get worse in the years to come And I know I ll be as neurotic as Chast was regarding my feelings towards them and the way they handle their health but I think I m a little better prepared for it all having read this It s hard for everyone to think about the end and the difficulties old age presents to us all but Roz Chast somehow grounds it all in a very accessible and, yes, entertaining way without sugarcoating any of it a helluva achievement It might be heavy going for anyone who s lost a parent recently but, as unlikely as it sounds, Can t We Talk About Something More Pleasant is an absolutely corking book that I d recommend to anyone looking for a great read.