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Democracy

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,714 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Inez Victor è una donna bella e affascinante, rilascia interviste, organizza cocktail party e raccoglie fondi. Suo marito, Harry Victor, è un senatore degli Stati Uniti d’America, impegnato in una perenne campagna elettorale. Cosa faccia Jack Lovett, invece, nessuno lo sa con precisione. Forse il consulente per il governo, forse l’agente segreto, forse il trafficante d’arm ...more
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Published September 15th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1984)
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(showing 1-30)
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Greg
Mar 20, 2011 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Damn, so many of the reviews for this book are terrible. I kind of want to get a gazillion votes for this review just so that it will come before some of the nonsense in the other reviews. Any talk of post-modernism or meta-fiction or there being too many characters in this novel (there aren't that many, more than say the one in certain Beckett works, but less than in a Dickens or Pynchon novel), also plug the ears in your head that listen when you are reading to any of cries that the book is du ...more
orsodimondo
Sep 12, 2014 orsodimondo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
LA PAROLA PERFETTA
Pubblicato nel 1984, ‘Democracy' è il quarto romanzo di Joan Didion, da molti considerato il suo migliore.
Forse il migliore lo è davvero, ma è comunque una bella gara, sono uno più bello dell’altro.

Scrive Edoardo Nesi: Non sono mai stato capace di decidere se dell'opera narrativa di Joan Didion ammiro più l'esattezza chirurgica dello stile o il distante calore delle lievi, sospese trame; le esemplari descrizioni dei cieli e del sole e delle albe o la glaciale delicatezza con cu
...more
Eric
Apr 29, 2015 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficciones
The first meeting of Inez Christian and Jack Lovett at the ballet - the beginning of Lovett's "grave attraction" that would last over twenty years - is the sexiest scene I've read in a while:

Cissy Christian smoking a cigarette in her white jade holder. Inez, wearing dark glasses...pinning and repinning a gardenia in her damp hair. This is our niece, Inez, Dwight Christian said. Inez, Major Lovett. Jack. Inez, Mrs. Lovett. Carla. A breath of air, a cigarette. This champagne is lukewarm. One glass
...more
Mitchell
Sep 07, 2012 Mitchell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first read this book in 1984 I was absolutely staggered. Immediately, I flipped back to the beginning and read it again. I'm sure I've read it a couple of more times since, and this latest re-read has merely confirmed that this must be my all-time favorite book. Although I've been land-locked for the past number of years, I am -- in essence -- a person of the Pacific, and Didion's book IS the Pacific.

Still, it's a complicated little book and demands more from the reader than most. One mus
...more
Kyle
May 09, 2007 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Structurally this book sort of demolished my mind. I'm in awe.
Piperitapitta
Aloha oe

Sofisticata, enigmatica, esotica, raffinata.
Questa potrebbe essere la descrizione di Inez Victor, la protagonista di «Democracy».
Ma si potrebbe dire le stesso di Honolulu, teatro di gran parte della storia.
O di Saigon.
O di Giacarta.
O anche, per certi versi, di Joan Didion.
O della sua scrittura.
Affascinante, affascinanti.
Succede a Honolulu, dunque, ma non solo, e la sensazione predominante, quella che resta, quella che lascia un retrogusto amaro, è di aver assistito a una rappresentazione
...more
Kim Fay
Jan 28, 2012 Kim Fay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As much as I am a fan of "Slouching Toward Bethlehem," I think that this is my favorite Joan Didion book. It presumes so much on the part of the reader -- that we already know about the intricacies of the characters' lives and the underbelly of the Vietnam War, and more so, that we care about any of it. In this book, Didion does not seem to write at all for the reader. She seems to be writing to answer some question whispering to her inside her own thoughts. While the novel "The Descendants" (I ...more
Sara Mazzoni
Edizioni e/o ripropone il quarto romanzo di Joan Didion, pubblicato originariamente nel 1984. In Democracy si notano alcune somiglianze con il precedente Diglielo da parte mia. Viene ripreso il setting esotico (questa volta Kuala Lumpur e Honolulu), ma soprattutto la rappresentazione di una protagonista femminile, Inez, che si dibatte tra le maglie di una famiglia soffocante nella sua imponenza.
Joan Didion è voce narrante e personaggio del romanzo, con l’ipotetico intento di dare all’opera il s
...more
Patrick McCoy
I am slowly making my way through Joan Didion's oeuvre and Democracy (1984) is easily one of her best works of fiction. I think it incorporates many of her interests and themes. For example, Inez victory is unhappily married to a politician and gets involved with a former lover, a behind-the-scenes fixer in faraway locales, Jack Lovett. She shuttles from Honolulu (Hawaii is special place for Didion), California, to distant capitals in SE Asia: Manila, Jakarta, and Kula Lumpur. The novel is set i ...more
Nicola
Apr 07, 2015 Nicola rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
This was a pleasant surprise, I went into it not expecting very much and found myself hooked by the very first words.

The light at dawn during those Pacific tests was something to see.

Something to behold.

Something that could almost make you think you saw God, he said.

He said to her.

Jack Lovett said to Inez Victor.


Joan Didion uses her short sentences rather like short machine gun bursts, and it works well. It gives a sense of intimacy and longing, which echoes throughout the rest of the book even
...more
LauraLou
Inez Victor knows that the major casualty of the political life is memory. But the people around Inez have made careers out of losing track. Her senator husband wants to forget the failure of his bid for the presidency. Her husband's handler would like the press to forget that Inez's father is a murderer. And, in 1975, the year in which this bitterly funny over is set, America is doing its best to lose track of its one-time client, the the lethally hemorrhaging republic of south Vietnam. As conc ...more
Rita
Nov 07, 2016 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Na minha opinião as "heroínas" da Joan Didion podem ser facilmente resumidas com uma quote de J.D.Salinger, da qual eu sou grande fã.

“She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing. She looked as if her phone had been ringing continually ever since she had reached puberty.”

Quando penso na Inez Victor penso nessa quote, e de facto há uma passagem no final do próprio livro em que Inez mantem-se impávida e serena enquanto o telefone toca. E em parte é esta característica da personag
...more
Jessica
Sep 12, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: zan
I'm slowly making my way through Didion's novels, and this one was a surprise. In her non-fiction, she has a way of writing about things and inserting herself into subjects like "Hawaii" and "water sources in southern California" - always interesting; however, I've never seen her do it in her fiction until this novel.

She acts as another character nearly, at first just as the writer and divulges in how she means to introduce these characters and their tragedy. In this way, it almost reads like a
...more
Elaine
This was an odd book. It was a meta-fiction, fake memoir/biography, mystery with little substance behind it. There were a lot of characters and I found it difficult to keep them all straight, especially when there wasn't much interaction between them. The characters were extremely well developed, but the plot was not at all, and I didn't see the point of the author's inserting herself into the story. I didn't really see the point of the novel, actually. However, let it be known that I pretty muc ...more
Aaron Clark
Mar 11, 2015 Aaron Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually mind when writers insert themselves into their own work. I generally like postmodern fiction/metafiction. I also appreciate it when an author intentionally plays with the traditional "linear" narrative, when "plot" is not "beginning, middle, and end", in that order. Didion does all of those things in Democracy, and she is obviously a talented writer, yet Democracy just doesn't "do" it for me. In Democracy, she comes off as an egotist in her intrusions and ramblings, and she isn't ...more
John
Jun 05, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel-us
Warning! Metafiction ahead. A fascinating novel of rich people behaving badly during a dark time in US History (the fall of Saigon). As usual, Didion is an excellent prose stylist, and is even a character in the novel (hence my metafiction warning). The first 2 chapters of the book are very difficult to understand, but mercifully short. After that the book picks up.

Contains an excellent description of a wealthy Hawaii (Oahu) family, so fans of Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants) will probably f
...more
Kerry
Apr 04, 2009 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost a roman a clef with Kennedy-esque characters. Didion's prose, the laconic dialogue, the detached, knowing narrator, the interviews with the characters, the wait and see lovers - I can't express how effectively Didion evokes the surrealism of Vietnam for "non-actors" At one point the narrator describes the implosion of time as the USA pulls out of Vietnam, that is timeless.
I've been trying to write a screen play of this for 10 years
Lisa
Jan 14, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I'm biased (ha), but this is just to freaking post-modern for me. Fractured & splintered I can handle. Boring I cannot. This one just didn't interest me, though, like DeLillo's Mao II, it raises some fine points about the media's function in our contemporary world.
Nikki
May 21, 2007 Nikki added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who enjoys rhythmic, though navel-gazing, writing styles
I adored this book for far too many reasons to list. Pretty much everyone else I know hates it and hates all that Didion writes. For whatever reason I am very much drawn to her writing style despite her obvious shortcomings
Carolyn
Jan 30, 2012 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
War, post-colonialism, presidential politics, murder, international intrigue, sibling rivalry, betrayal, parental failure, enduring love--all of this in just over 200 pages of Joan Didion's inimitable prose.
AC
What a fabulous book! Just loved it.... Witty, raw, humane... I really adore Didion....
Allison Berryhill
Apr 17, 2015 Allison Berryhill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
This was such a slog. I kept waiting for it to take form, to pick up its pace, to come together as a story. It never did.
Christine
Dec 14, 2007 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm still figuring out how I feel about this book. So three stars seems fair. I think I'm just too dumb to be reading Didion.
Sketchbook
Sep 18, 2015 Sketchbook rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Aw, Joan : tell us abt Streisand ! That might have reality.
Patrick
May 14, 2010 Patrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book a 2.5 because althought I thought it rather dull there were important lessons in the book about governmental inconsistencies which leads to fragmentation of governmental policies and the chaos the ensues that are mirrored by the characters who happen to be involve in government.

A book about a love affair between a senators's wife and a black-ops agent stationed abroad. At is very essense this book makes fun of America as an ideal and strives to show its inconsistencies be
...more
Keith Schnell
Dec 06, 2015 Keith Schnell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joan Didion’s ability to convey the essence of a character and a setting with a few quick words, amounting to only a sketch, or a telltale quote, is what makes this book so powerful. This is critical, given that the intersection of character and environment constitutes its main purpose. Otherwise, Democracy would be nothing more than an uncomplicated love story about a bored politician’s wife fleeing a stifling and accidental marriage for the real but extremely shifty affection of her first love ...more
Jane
Feb 19, 2017 Jane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know
Ron Mckinney
Jan 22, 2013 Ron Mckinney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recently-re-read
On DEMOCRACY, A NOVEL BY JOAN DIDION

The other day I was asked: “What are you currently reading?” I happened to have “Democracy” close to my elbow at that moment. So that was my answer, but it wasn’t true, because I was actually reading some drivel about Aldus Huxley on the monitor and wishing I hadn’t fired up the computer.

I’ve actually read Democracy four times, maybe five, and enjoy it more with each reading. Why? Because Joan Didion is not only a damn fine story teller, but she narrates the s
...more
Jesse Call
I'll have to admit I was initially put-off by Didion's narrative interjections -- it seemed kitschy at best, and for her to once again demurely mention the college textbook she was featured in for her essays seemed particularly self-aggrandizing -- but as I pushed through the novel, I came to find her impatience for traditional plot devices in what is a fundamentally boring story quite charming.

This is a book that isn't really about "the story" in the conventional sense; to be quite honest, the
...more
Tyler
Jul 20, 2009 Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The review I wrote the first time I read this is preserved below for my own archival purposes, not because any single sentence in it is worth a second of anyone's time. What the hell did 21-year-old Tyler know? This is a great fucking novel. Hail Didion.



ORIGINAL THREE-STAR REVIEW FROM JULY 2009 {aka THE THOUGHTS OF A 21-YEAR-OLD DINKUS} - As in the two other Joan Didion novels I have read, she works here with the idea of fragmentation in contemporary life, of 'losing the thread' (I only half-quo
...more
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Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York City. She's best known for her novels and her literary journalism.

Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation. A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work.
More about Joan Didion...

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“Some men (fewer women) are solitary, unattached to any particular place or institution, most comfortable not exactly alone but in the presence of strangers.” 1 likes
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