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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

In the land of Lapvona, the lord of the land Villiam is cheating the local villagers of their food, their water, their livelihoods. Grotesque and ridiculous, he marries the pregnant and tongueless ex-nun Agata, whom he believes will make him God, and his son will be the second Christ.

It's a land of murder, cannibalism, incest and rape. Despite all of the characters' individual inadequacies and madness, you find yourself completely engrossed in each character's fate, be it Marek, Jude, Agata, Villiam, Lispeth, Ina, Father Barnabas. It's an anti-fairytale within a fairytale—maybe this is what hell on earth looks like? Is it an indictment of humanity, of religion, of grotesque despots?

An original work of brilliance—singular, funny, horrifying and entertaining in equal measure.

©2022 Ottessa Moshfegh (P)2022 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Lapvona

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The right kind of twisted!

It dives into perversions of humans, the reality of the social classes and religions along side magical events. The narrator is just what the story needs, she did write it after all!

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Too ambitious. Takes bleak to a whole new level.

As a huge fan of Ottesssa Moshfegh, I couldn't wait to read this book! In previous novels I adored her fascination with the macabre & gruesome. Her characters, whilst flawed are always captivating.

However, Lapvona is too ambitious (for me), although I challenge even the most depraved person to enjoy it.

All of the characters in this novel are debauched & evil (for want of a better word). Which might be intriguing, except it completely distracts from any source of plot. Rather than entertaining, the novel is incredibly bleak & at times uncomfortable - in one chapter a character is made to eat a grape that's been up another characters arse - in another, a man graphically sexually assaults his 'wife,' a woman who previously lost her tongue to abuse & was impregnated by her brother.
The whole thing is packed with extreme, religious dogma, which although gives characters an 'excuse' for their actions... doesn't make it easier to read.

I grew so weary of reading about endless abuse (without any obvious purpose, except to shock), that I gave up 60% of the way through.

If you're giving this novel a go, brace yourself!

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Great book

I feel a slight pacing issue in the ending half but it's great otherwise

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Very disturbing on just about every level

I listen this on a recommendation from historian Dan Jones

Strap in - because it is quite a ride!

From the initial chapters you may think it is a gritty rendering of medieval misery but it quickly develops into a horrific nightmare that is as bizarre as it is disturbing

Great performance from the narrator and author who delivers the horror as if she is serving up Sunday lunch

If memorable/unforgettable is the mark of a great story Ms Moshfegh certainly delivers

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A disappointment

Struggled to finish this. Had heard rave reviews so was very much looking forward to it. Graphic violence and grotesque imagery throughout which wasn't my cup of tea. I don't mind gritty but I physically winced at times when listening to this which made it unenjoyable.

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Mixed feelings

The first half of this book had me hooked but then it just fell apart for me. It even felt as though the dialogue style completely changed. Maybe that was intentional. Narration was great though.