Patti's Reviews > Play It As It Lays

Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
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Jul 28, 09

bookshelves: classics, summer-2009
Read in July, 2009

Joan Didion could write an instruction manual and I would love it - her prose is just so beautiful. That said, Play It As It Lays feels more like a short story, or even a prose poem, than a novel. Very short and told in fragments, atmosphere and emotion take precedence over plot or character development. I read Didion for her evocation the feeling of a specific place and time, rather than her storytelling; here, the pettiness and despair of 1960s Hollywood is tangibly oppressive.

This is the first I've read of Didion's fiction, and while I didn't find it quite as thought-provoking as Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It As It Lays reaffirmed that she can put more emotion in less words than any other prose author I've yet encountered.
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Reading Progress

07/26/2009 page 115
53.74%

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