Charlaralotte's Reviews > Play It as It Lays

Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion
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's review
Feb 13, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2006
Recommended to Charlaralotte by: Found it on house bookshelves
Read in December, 2006

Yeah, I know I read this right before Xmas last year, because I was raving about it, and then my dad and Brother Ben had a conversation about who wants to read a woman's point of view & my brother blogged that the book was like a Lifetime Movie of the Week.

Anyway, I loved this book. It was so much like life in LA, and so much like life when you're f-ing depressed as all get out. I loved it also because it was written not by someone in my generation, but by someone in an older generation & it is affirming to find out that someone else from a completely different time period has the same problems with the shit as you do.

Also has highly accurate description of a morose, useless sexual encounter, such as is to be had in LA on regular basis.

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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-2 of 2) </span> <span class="smallText">(2 new)</span>

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message 1: by Ben (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ben Loory i cannot help but feel that you are misrepresenting me. first of all, i would never have said "who wants to read a woman's point of view?" as many of my all-time favorite books are by women and from a woman's point of view: voyage in the dark by jean rhys, jane eyre by that one lady, rebecca by daphne du maurier, everything shirley jackson and alice munro ever wrote, lots of patricia highsmith and carson mccullers and flannery o'connor, etc. what i probably said was something along the lines of "who wants to read a book from the point of view of a lady who doesn't do anything and who doesn't give a shit about anybody or anything?"

also, what i said in my blog was "it was very short and made me feel like i was watching a made for tv movie from 1964." now, see, a made for tv movie from 1964 is very different from "a lifetime movie of the week." a made for tv movie from 1964 means that it was low-budget and grainy and skipped around a lot and was in black and white and yet ultra-hip and stylish and swinging' but had an aura of existential angst about it, like camus comes to hollywood, or the parts in that bob dylan movie where cate blanchett is all drugged out in the club and all those dancers are twisting about and nothing matters but it's all really groovy. see what i mean? i didn't think it was a bad book, it was very well-written sentence by sentence, it was just that nothing happened and it left me feeling empty, hopeless, angry, and suicidal when it was over.

Charlaralotte OH. that's what you meant. so it was kind of a positive review. well goodness, I stand corrected. but lots did happen. in that gaseous, slow-motion LA sort of way. which does leave one feeling empty, hopeless, angry, and suicidal.

oh, and actually it was the father who said, "Who wants to read that [a book from a woman's point of view]?, when he was sitting at the table with you.

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