Book Review: Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast

 So this is the book I have been reading for class. I'm so happy to be reviewing this book for you. This is definitely a different type of book, one that I have never read. I bought this book at half price and I was pleasantly surprised when I found a note on the inside. This was originally a gift from a son to a mother. This book does deal with children and parents, so I'm kinda curious if I could actually trace the original owner of this book. Anyways, on to the review!

A Little Bit of Background
Roz Chast came out with this book in 2013. Before his book, she illustrated many other books and has had her cartoons appear in the New Yorker since 1978. She continues to write and illustrate to this day. This whole book centers around Roz and her parents before there death, the passing of one and then the other. Throughout this book, there is writing, but it creatively drawn as if her own handwriting, which may be the case. There are also comic strips that go along with the writing and give it more depth and more of a relateable feeling. 

What was pleasant

The whole story is kind of sad, because you know what is going to happen. That's the whole topic of the story though, death is inevitable and no one likes to talk or think about them or their loved ones dying. Chast has a great way of telling her parents story of death and it makes the reader feel, which is what all good writers want there audience to feel. I laughed, I got sad and I thought about my own parents and grandparents. 

Another thing that is pleasant about this unpleasant topic book is that it's real and it's relate able. Chast doesn't cover up her feelings with these false feeling, they're true. She says what she is feeling at the time and a lot of people can really appreciate that. 

Chast makes the reader feel like she is reading a piece of history. She uses poems that her mother wrote, along with pictures of objects that her dad had lying around and black and white pictures of her and her parents. This aspect also makes the story feel more real than it already is.

"He and I sometimes walked to the local candy store for a malted or a grilled cheese. Even though I knew he couldn't really defend me against my mother's rages, I sensed that at least he felt some sympathy, and that he liked me as a person, not just becuase I was his daughter" (Chast 32). 

What wasn't pleasant

Other than the  unpleasant topic, the whole book was pretty much very pleasant to read. One might wish, though, that Chast would update us on whether she's come to peace with her mom and if she's moved her parents ashes from the closet. She might to keep that private though, which is completely understandable.


This was a pretty good book overall. This is not a hard read, but it does revolve around a hard topic. The reader will be able to feel different emotions throughout the story and will not want to put it down. There is heart, heartache and a flow of emotions that you can relate to in your own way.


Popular posts from this blog

Manga Review: Rurouni Kenshin

Manga Review: Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma

Book Review: River, Sing Out