Thursday, December 31, 2015

Play It As It Lays - Book Review

Play It As It Lays - Joan Didion C

Published in 1970
In January 2010 critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo released their list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923. Joan Didion's Play It as It Lays was on that list. By all accounts, Didion is a literary legend. However, I was underwhelmed by her critically acclaimed memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking (it won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2005), and I just couldn't digest Play It as It Lays. Stylistically, it is an unflinching and cool novel about a woman's descent into nothingness. Yet, I never felt an emotional connection with the protagonist and the other characters were forgettable. I wonder if I would like the film adaptation starring Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins any better?

Here's a clip from the film adaptation

Here's The New York Times review circa 1970

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