Interesting read and short too. Hooked me towards the start and just kept me going. Still not sure exactly what I read but it was good all the same.
Happy 85th Birthday to Joan Didion!
🎶 I lost my memory in Hollywood
I've had a million visions
Bad and good🎶
Set in a place beyond good and evil-literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, Didion‘s novel explores a troubled woman and a society in crisis. Published in 1970; adapted to film in 1972
Just watching the excellent documentary about Joan Didion that I found on Netflix - no idea how new it is I just know that I found it today. She‘s one of my absolute heroes and I‘m so grateful to be learning more about her, it‘s incredibly well made with so many interviews and archive material. if I wasn‘t in the middle of the booker longlist I‘d be having a big Joan Didion kick right now. Really recommend the film
This was my first Didion, so I don‘t know if this is consistent of her style. The Questions without question marks throughout got annoying real fast. Definitely felt like a relic of the 1970s. (It was published in 1970)
Read this for #1001Books
Still in a huge reading slump! But that didn‘t stop me from taking these home from the used bookstore after I dropped off several there 😊. $7 total. Tagged book is a #1001Books, as are a couple others here — including Franny and Zooey which I read many years ago but don‘t remember much.
Not hot and/or green outside yet but spring is in the air 😊🌱🌱🌳🌳🌱🌱
The characters in this novel are far from being likable. The writing style is very detached, which in this case goes well with the main character's personality. Did I like the book? Yes, but only to a certain extent. I didn't feel close to any of the characters, I didn't get passionate by the setting of the story, or by the story itself. It's only my second book by Didion, but for now I haven't been seduced by her writing...
I tried to like "Play It as It Lays" and at times I did think that it was picking up, but I think I've come to the conclusion that Joan Didion is just not for me and I'll be donating my third and final book rather than struggling through another! Another 1 star review from me.
My full review is up on my blog now ?
The blurb said something like: "this book captures the soul of a generation in the 60s", but I have to disagree. In my view it captures excellently the life of seemingly enviable (in this case, part of a Hollywood elite) affluent women adrift in their thirties.
Disturbing, but compulsively readable. Highly recommended. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Image: David Hockney "A Bigger Splash" 1967
I hate to give Didion a so-so because I do love her sparse, yet sharply observant, prose. I just found it very hard to become absorbed in or connected to a book that is essentially about meaninglessness. Perhaps I should stick to her essays and memoirs. I think Sandy agrees.
Just watched the Netflix documentary "The Center Will Not Hold," about the life and work of Joan Didion. A brilliant film directed by Griffin Dunne. So fascinating. Turbulent times, turbulent words. Highly recommended.
She never puts on any weight, you'll notice that's often true of selfish women. [...]. She was always a very selfish girl, it was first last and always Maria.
This book is Depressing. But I really like the writing
Didion's prose is hypnotic and she is unflinching in her depiction of a narcissistic world where everything is surface and there seem to be no meaningful connections between people and no value put on family relationships. To the modern reader the misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia are jarring, but it's good to be reminded that we have made some progress.
It‘s been a great year for reading! I‘m quite a slow reader, so for me to surpass my goal AND read ten more books than I did last year is huge! Most of them were four star awesome as well! I read two Didion books and two books by Roxane Gay and lots of incredible ladies and I‘m gonna do it all again next year
Didion's sparse, yet relentless, prose captures the empty & violent lives of her characters. Just as the opulence of casinos & hotels is the perfect setting for their narcissistic & hedonistic lives, the empty highways & Mojave Desert is perfect for their ruined relationships & purposelessness. Although this is about filmmakers & actresses, it is not sensationalism. A simmering tale of destruction, subtle yet frequently chilling.
Maria Wyeth is one of the more #fragile characters I can remember. Her story is a quiet kind of tragedy of a life built on empty accomplishments (fame & beauty) and no happiness. There is an underlying tension throughout the book as you wonder which moment is going to be the one to break Maria. And yet she continues to float through her life in a cloud of detached melancholy.
"I know what "nothing" means, and keep on playing."
Obtuse and disjointed at times, the story is about Maria Wyeth in 1960s Hollywood and Las Vegas. Though her life has its tragedies, she chooses to cope by abusing drugs and booze, driving long distances under the influence, and essentially self destructing. Bleak.
This is a fierce, sordid novel about a woman in crisis in 1960s LA. Maria is the kind of apathetic, amoral, detached person you could picture hanging out with Patrick Bateman. In fact, this reminded me quite a bit of Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero or even JG Ballard's Crash. There's a pervasive sense of detachment, emptiness and ennui verging on destruction. I imagine it packed a punch upon release, but by today's standards is relatively tame.
Maria: "Why do you say those things. Why do you fight?"
Carter: "To find out if you're alive."
This was my first experience with Joan Didion's fiction. The prose is sparse, but it packs a big punch. The story is dark, but moving. Maria is empty, but alive. It reminds me of Yate's Revolutionary Road in some ways. Read it...it could be read in one sitting!
Being laid up in bed has been fantastic for my #toberead books. Working my way through the #litsyAtoZ challenge on my Kindle since I can't really get to the books on my shelves. Finally got a around to reading this. It was a fairly quick read but it was a really good read. I am so glad I finally took the time to read it. #joandidion can write the hell out of some dialogue.
There's something about this story I mean nothing actually happens and yet it's riveting... I don't mean that as an insult btw stories don't have to have a ton of action to be good! The story will hit you especially if you have depression. The nothing and emptiness that depression can create is captured very well here. This book made me feel that I need to read more Joan Didion.
Well, here is my #bookhaul from The Bookworm today. The Galbraith books are for hubs (at least until I want to read them), and the rest are for me 😃
Scored a signed copy of The Book of Speculation along with a couple of books I've seen recommended a lot!
Also I suppose this counts as my #FunFridayPhoto because it's the beginning of my 2017 TBR!
He would say something and she would say something and before either of them knew it they would be playing out a dialogue so familiar that it drained the imagination, blocked the will, allowed them to drop words and whole sentences and still arrive at the cold conclusion.
This book was unexpectedly compelling and heartbreaking. I identified so strongly with Maria Wyeth despite us having very little in common, which is, I think, a testament to Didion's extraordinary narrative skills.