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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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Play It As It Lays

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Play It As It Lays Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It as It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader. Set in a place beyond good and evil — literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul — it remains more than three decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.

Review:

"There hasn't been another American writer of Joan Didion's quality since Nathanel West....A terrifying book." New York Times

Review:

"Simple, restrained, intelligent, well-structured, witty, irresistibly relentless, forthright in diction, and untainted by the sensational, Play It As It Lays is a book of outstanding literary quality." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] scathing novel, distilling venom in tiny drops, revealing devastation in a sneer and fear in a handful of atomic dust." Book World

Synopsis:

A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It as It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader. Set in a place beyond good and evil-literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul-it remains more than three decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.

Synopsis:

A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It as It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader. Set in a place beyond good and evil-literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul-it remains more than three decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.

Joan Didion is the author of five novels as well as several works of nonfiction, including Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Miami, Salvador, After Henry, and Political Fictions. She lives in New York City.
A dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It As It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation. Joan Didion chose Hollywood to serve as her microcosm of contemporary society and exposed a culture characterized by emptiness and ennui.

Maria Wyeth is an emotional drifter who has become almost anesthetized against pain and pleasure. She finds herself, in her early thirties, radically divorced from husband, lovers, friends, her own past and her own future. Actress, daughter, wife, mother, woman: she has played each role to the sound of one hand clapping.

Play It As It Lays is set in a place beyond good and evil, literally in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and the barren wastes of the Mojave, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul. Two decades after its original publication, it remains a profoundly disturbing novel.

"There hasn't been another American writer of Joan Didion's quality since Nathanel West . . . A terrifying book."—John Leonard, The New York Times

"Simple, restrained, intelligent, well-structured, witty, irresistibly relentless, forthright in diction, and untainted by the sensational, Play It As It Lays is a book of outstanding literary quality."—Library Journal

"[A] scathing novel, distilling venom in tiny drops, revealing devastation in a sneer and fear in a handful of atomic dust."—J. R. Frakes, Book World

About the Author

Joan Didion is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, as well as several screenplays written with her late husband, John Gregory Dunne. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374529949
Introduction:
Thomson, David
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Introduction by:
Thomson, David
Introduction:
Thomson, David
Author:
Didion, Joan
Author:
Thomson, David
Subject:
General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Motion picture industry
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Second Edition, Revised Edition
Publication Date:
20051131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.28 x 5.52 x 0.635 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Play It As It Lays New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374529949 Reviews:
"Review" by , "There hasn't been another American writer of Joan Didion's quality since Nathanel West....A terrifying book."
"Review" by , "Simple, restrained, intelligent, well-structured, witty, irresistibly relentless, forthright in diction, and untainted by the sensational, Play It As It Lays is a book of outstanding literary quality."
"Review" by , "[A] scathing novel, distilling venom in tiny drops, revealing devastation in a sneer and fear in a handful of atomic dust."
"Synopsis" by ,
A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It as It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader. Set in a place beyond good and evil-literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul-it remains more than three decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.

"Synopsis" by ,
A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It as It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader. Set in a place beyond good and evil-literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul-it remains more than three decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.

Joan Didion is the author of five novels as well as several works of nonfiction, including Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Miami, Salvador, After Henry, and Political Fictions. She lives in New York City.
A dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It As It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation. Joan Didion chose Hollywood to serve as her microcosm of contemporary society and exposed a culture characterized by emptiness and ennui.

Maria Wyeth is an emotional drifter who has become almost anesthetized against pain and pleasure. She finds herself, in her early thirties, radically divorced from husband, lovers, friends, her own past and her own future. Actress, daughter, wife, mother, woman: she has played each role to the sound of one hand clapping.

Play It As It Lays is set in a place beyond good and evil, literally in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and the barren wastes of the Mojave, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul. Two decades after its original publication, it remains a profoundly disturbing novel.

"There hasn't been another American writer of Joan Didion's quality since Nathanel West . . . A terrifying book."—John Leonard, The New York Times

"Simple, restrained, intelligent, well-structured, witty, irresistibly relentless, forthright in diction, and untainted by the sensational, Play It As It Lays is a book of outstanding literary quality."—Library Journal

"[A] scathing novel, distilling venom in tiny drops, revealing devastation in a sneer and fear in a handful of atomic dust."—J. R. Frakes, Book World

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