I love when writers like Lara Williams write an absurd novel like this, making you believe in this little world as if it made sense. We are dropped on a cruise ship with Ingrid, in her fifth year of working on sea to escape her life on land. We see her devotion to her wabi sabi boss, her game of Family with her coworkers, her overconsumption on her days off the ship in new locales. I was completely on board from the first page right up when she drops me off on the last.
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by The Millions, a Best Book to Read in April by Town & Country and The AV Club, and one of 2022's Best Beach Reads by Southern Living"Read if you like: Ottessa Moshfegh's My Year of Rest and Relaxation, artificial flavors, avoidant behavior, wondering what a 'lifestyle' is and whether you have one." --Molly Young, The New York Times "This book is a serious vibe . . .it's a slyly poignant satire on cruise ships, crappy jobs, and capitalism." --Cosmopolitan "Deliciously unpredictable" --Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck "Utterly sharp, slyly humorous . . . Startlingly unique and beautifully written." --Frances Cha, author of If I Had Your FaceFrom the prize-winning author of Supper Club--a debut novel that Vogue called "Stephanie Danler's Sweetbittermeets Donna Tartt's The Secret History"--comes The Odyssey, a fresh twist on the epic journey and an unapologetic takedown of capitalism that will appeal to fans of Melissa Broder and Ottessa Moshfegh. Ingrid works on a gargantuan luxury cruise liner where she spends her days reorganizing the gift-shop shelves and waiting for long-term guests to drop dead in the aisles. That is, until the day she is selected by the ship's enigmatic captain and self-appointed lifestyle guru, Keith, for his mentorship program. Encouraging her to reflect on past mistakes, Keith pushes Ingrid further than she ever thought possible. But it isn't long before Ingrid's unwavering devotion forces her to reckon with the dark underbelly of life on the sea, and the surrealist absurdity of work itself.