Alls Well By Mona Awad

this author is just not for me 😅 all the main character did was complain and the book is advertised as a dark comedy but like... wasn’t shit funny? the main character complained so much to the point where it just felt depressing instead of funny. i also was extremely bored half the book and it almost put me in a reading slump

didn’t think i had to specify this but when i say she complain a lot i do NOT mean in regards to her chronic illness, i mean she complain in general.. about people and everything else in her life. Alls Well this was a ride and i’m glad it’s over. very repetitive and lucid in a way that was confusing, rather than compelling. there were a few passages about the dismissal of Miranda’s pain (by her male doctors, but more interestingly her female colleagues) that resonated but i struggled to find the comedy to balance this one out. Alls Well What did I just read? I’m still trying to figure this one out.
Miranda suffers from chronic pain and it consumes the first part of the book. Her friends have finally had enough, and she is finding herself more and more alone. She combines pills that weren’t meant to be combined and adds alcohol on top. She's seen doctor after doctor, tried a multitude of physical therapists. No one has helped. Is it in her head, like some seem to think? She’s a hot mess. On top of that, she works as a theatre professor at some no name college and is directing All’s Well That Ends Well, a play her students have no interest in.
I’ll warn you, at first I didn’t see any humor in the story. Miranda made me cringe more than laugh. For everyone who has an ailment that isn’t visible to the naked eye, it will ring true.
But then she meets up with three strange men. And one shows her “a trick”. And that’s when things start to get really interesting. I’m not sure what I was expecting. The magic realism here almost turns into a horror show. It’s a very strange book. Very dark, surreal, almost hallucinatory. I veered all over the place, trying to wrap my head around this story. What was going on here? At the end, I was no less confused. But it was so interesting, I enjoyed it. It would make an interesting book club selection as it gives you lots to think about.
My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this book. Alls Well ⭐️3.5⭐️

Mona Awad is a fuckin weirdo, writing books for other fuckin weirdos. And I love her for it. Alls Well I had such high hopes for this and it started off so strong, but the ending really lost me. Awad is an amazing writer, that’s for sure. This book is so well written, and it was like I could feel Miranda’s pain and frustration, it was so descriptive. I really enjoyed the first two thirds of this, but the last 100 pages or so were so confusing and I just had no idea what was happening. Also, this is getting put under the horror genre for some reason, but I don’t think it’s horror it’s more dark magical realism. And I think I went in with slightly false expectations.

Reading vlog with more thoughts: Alls Well


Mona Awad à 8 review

From the critically acclaimed author of Bunny, a darkly funny novel about a theater professor suffering chronic pain, who in the process of staging a troubled production of Shakespeare’s most maligned play, suddenly and miraculously recovers.

Miranda Fitch’s life is a waking nightmare. The accident that ended her burgeoning acting career left her with excruciating, chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers. And now she’s on the verge of losing her job as a college theater director. Determined to put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised, and cost, her everything, she faces a mutinous cast hellbent on staging Macbeth instead. Miranda sees her chance at redemption slip through her fingers.

That’s when she meets three strange benefactors who have an eerie knowledge of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing promise for her future: one where the show goes on, her rebellious students get what’s coming to them, and the invisible, doubted pain that’s kept her from the spotlight is made known.

With prose Margaret Atwood has described as “no punches pulled, no hilarities dodged...genius,” Mona Awad has concocted her most potent, subversive novel yet. All’s Well is the story of a woman at her breaking point and a formidable, piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain. Alls Well

his is categorized as horror, fiction, contemporary, thriller, magical realism, fantasy, literary fiction, and mystery.

even crazier: it actually IS all of those things.

this is a wild and weird and one of a kind book that's as repulsive as it is immersive. i would have read it no matter what because it's by the author of the strange and unforgettable bunny and also that cover, but what a pleasant surprise to have found it so worthy of the legacy of its predecessor.

academia, huh?

bottom line: i love a freak!

(thanks to the publisher for the copy) Alls Well this book will consume my every thought now. thanks for coming to my ted talk. Alls Well **3.5-stars**

Miranda Fitch is a Theater Professor at a small New England college. Due to chronic pain stemming from the accident that ended her once promising acting career, Miranda isn't currently in a good spot emotionally.

Doctors and Physical Therapists have been unable to make any progress with her. It all feels like a sick joke; nothing she's tries helps.

Therefore, she takes way more painkillers than she probably should.

As we meet Miranda, she is just about at her rock bottom, suffering through life in a sort of drug-induced haze. The Reader gets a glimpse inside her mind, as she tries to direct her students in this year's big production.

Although Miranda is hellbent on All's Well That Ends Well, her students want to do the Scottish play. Ha! Can you even imagine? Miranda will not let that happen. How pedestrian!

The students are relentless. Worse, they're mutinous and her colleagues, in the faltering Theater Department, are no better. Just when she begins to believe all is lost, Miranda meets three mysterious strangers at her local watering hole. They're somehow able to turn the tides of fate, but at what cost?

I really, really enjoyed the first half of this novel. There's no denying how fantastic the writing is. It's cutting, funny, socially-relevant, dark and quirky.

However, somewhere around 70%, it took a sharp turn, from which it never recovered.

There are a lot of elements included that generally work for me. It's weird, it's biting, it has a touch of the fantastical, but unfortunately, it just got too confusing. You can have solid weird, without confusing. I just feel like in this case, it missed that mark.

I'm sure there will be a lot of Readers that will get it; I'm just not one of them. During the first half of the story, even when things got a little strange, you could still tell the events that were happening in Miranda's reality; you could tell she was having interactions with her students, with her colleagues, what were memories, musings, wishes, etc.

When it got closer to the end, it changed. I couldn't tell what was real. I couldn't tell where Miranda was in time, space, what was happening to her? Was she dreaming? Hallucinating? And it never revealed itself, at least not in my opinion. So, I got to the end and felt like I didn't have a conclusion.

Theoretically, I understand the ideas behind what was happening, but I just wanted more decisive closure. I was really disappointed with the last 25%. In a way, it made me feel like I had wasted my time. Never a good feeling.

I'm mainly bummed because I expected to enjoy this a lot more than I did. It happens. All's well, I suppose.

I did bump my rating up from 3-stars to 3.5, based solely on the author's creativity and writing quality. The story for me is a solid 3-stars. It was a good story, but not necessarily my cup of tea.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to share my opinions.

**For any of Stephen King's Constant Readers: if you have read this, did the three mystery men at the bar remind you at all of the little doctors in Insomnia?

Because, same. Alls Well shakespeare whomst? i only know mona awad. Alls Well This was... oh boy... I’m so overwhelmed right now... I don’t know what words will be appropriate to express my feelings about this reading experience...

Strange... extraordinary...frustrating...blurry... illusionary...disturbing...sad...delirious...wild...different ...original...exhausting...dark...depressing ...weird...complex...conflicted...

I can keep writing those words for several more pages but it is so hard for me to put them in proper sentences because this book extracts the opposite feelings from you at the same time. You love it, you hate it, you love to hate it, you hate to love it! But for a long time I haven’t been book-drunk or suffered from intense book-gover ( which is terrible version of hungover! The meaningless words poured out of my mind at the same time! )

I have to admit: my heart ached for Miranda who suffers from chronic back pain, an invisible pain that cannot be treatable, costed her career, forced her to be an assistant professor at academia for theater program.

She’s in pain. Her pain is contagious. You can feel it in your guts. Your soul feels it! She’s crying for help! She’s absolutely unreliable narrator, taking awkward hallucinatory baths and popping pills like candies to heal herself! Of course she cannot get proper result! When you stuck with her mind, you feel like you found soulmate of Raoul Duke’s drug induced, hallucinatory vision at Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, taking long tour at her distorted realities.

She’s teaching Shakespeare as her life turns into a Shakespearean tragedy: an actress who’s dying to perform but a traffic accident already sealed her faith so she resents the young actresses-her own students who already replaced her. The play they work on All’s Well that Ends Well. An ironic name for her unresolved issues, incessant suffering, delusional mind trips.

At some part, I felt like I was walking in the foggy road, losing my path throughout my reading journey. The book’s abrupt direction to fantasyland dragging you to the witch craft, more illusionary baths, awkward strangers in the bar changing your vision kind of more mind numbing experiences leave you at a strange zone.

Conclusion is full of unanswered questions. Some blanks you fill with your own imagination!

Overall: the author’s different, interesting, extremely direct and realistic to the chronic illness was the best thing about this novel. I loved her choice to build the story at small New England liberal arts college like she did at her previous marvelous work “Bunny”.

Miranda was powerful, connectable character you truly care about. The thin line between fantasy and fiction was a little intense and confusing for me. I skip some parts because it was truly exhausting experience for me but writing is uniquely creative and original which I absolutely enjoyed a lot!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Simon& Schuster for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts. Alls Well