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by Joan Didion
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Contemporary
  • Author:
    Joan Didion
  • ISBN:
    0671248464
  • ISBN13:
    978-0671248468
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Simon and Schuster; First Paperback Edition edition (1979)
  • Pages:
    214 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Contemporary
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1176 kb
  • ePUB format
    1976 kb
  • DJVU format
    1464 kb
  • Rating:
    4.8
  • Votes:
    482
  • Formats:
    doc azw txt mobi


Play It as It Lays is a 1970 novel by the American writer Joan Didion.

Play It as It Lays is a 1970 novel by the American writer Joan Didion. The book was made into a 1972 movie starring Tuesday Weld as Maria and Anthony Perkins as BZ. Didion co-wrote the screenplay with her husband, John Gregory Dunne.

Joan Didion is the author of five novels, ten works of nonfiction, and a play. Her books include Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It as It Lays, The White Album, The Year of Magical Thinking, and, most recently, South and West: From a Notebook

Joan Didion is the author of five novels, ten works of nonfiction, and a play. Her books include Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It as It Lays, The White Album, The Year of Magical Thinking, and, most recently, South and West: From a Notebook. Born in Sacramento, California, she lives in New York City.

Joan Didion Lear he had borrowed from a client. Freddy had done everything. Freddy had driven out to the Malibu ranch where the actor was shooting a Western and had told the actor whom to call to retract the complaint.

Электронная книга "Play It as It Lays: A Novel", Joan Didion. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Play It as It Lays: A Novel" для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

Joan Didion's 1970 novella Play It As It Lays doesn't try to expose the dark side of life in the fast lane with salacious melodrama or thinly veiled celebrities acting out soap opera; she let Jacqueline Susann do that. Didion implodes that live fast/die young lifestyle into a numbing entropy.

Didion's classic book that takes the reader into the life of Maria Wyeth, actress, mother, daughter, divorced wife, a woman who has grown tired and desensitized to the fakeness and pain caused by the Hollywood and Las Vegas establishment. It is a life filled to the brim with movie premiers, booze, pills, suicide, casual, empty sex, abortions and nothing else.

Capturing the mood of an entire generation, Didion chose Hollywood to serve as her microcosm of contemporary society and exposed a culture characterized by emptiness and ennui. Two decades after its original publication, it remains a profoundly disturbing novel, an immaculately wrought portrait of a world (California on the cusp of the 70s) where too much freedom made a lot of people ill. Fiction. One fee. Stacks of books.

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Read unlimited books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. A scathing novel of one woman’s path of self-destruction in 1960s Hollywood-by the New York Times–bestselling author of The White Album (The Washington Post Book World). Spare, elegant, and terrifying, Play It as It Lays is the unforgettable story of a woman and a society come undone. Raised in the ghost town of Silver Wells, Nevada, Maria Wyeth is an ex-model and the star of two films directed by her estranged husband, Carter Lang. But in the spiritual desert of 1960s Los Angeles, Maria has lost the plot of her own life.

I told myself it was because I didn't want Benny to see the kind of man I was with, I was with a man who was playing baccarat with hundred-dollar bills behind the rope, but that wasn't all of it. I might as well lay it on the line, I have trouble with as it was. I mean it leads nowhere.

A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, from the author of The Last Thing He Wanted and A Book of Common Prayer. Somewhere out beyond Hollywood, resting actress Maria Wyeth drifts along the freeway in perpetual motion, anaesthetized to pain and pleasure, seemingly untainted by her personal history. She finds herself, in her early thirties, radically divorced from husband, lovers, friends, her own past and her own future. 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 the arid soul. Capturing the mood of an entire generation, Didion chose Hollywood to serve as her microcosm of contemporary society and exposed a culture characterized by emptiness and ennui. Two decades after its original publication, it remains a profoundly disturbing novel, an immaculately wrought portrait of a world (California on the cusp of the 70s) where too much freedom made a lot of people ill.

Mazuzahn
Spare, elegant, and terrifying, Play It as It Lays is the unforgettable story of a woman and a society come undone.

Raised in the ghost town of Silver Wells, Nevada, Maria Wyeth is an ex-model and the star of two films directed by her estranged husband, Carter Lang. But in the spiritual desert of 1960s Los Angeles, Maria has lost the plot of her own life. Her daughter, Kate, was born with an “aberrant chemical in her brain.” Her long-troubled marriage has slipped beyond repair, and her disastrous love affairs and strained friendships provide little comfort. Her only escape is to get in her car and drive the freeway—in the fast lane with the radio turned up high—until it runs out “somewhere no place at all where the flawless burning concrete just stopped.” But every ride to nowhere, every sleepless night numbed by pills and booze and sex, makes it harder for Maria to find the meaning in another day.

My Thoughts: Joining the journey of Maria Wyeth in Play It as It Lays: A Novel felt like a descent. A slow unraveling of a woman who has found no meaning in her life, and who will end up with nothing left.

Mariah has finally come full circle and is under the care of psychiatrists, in a place where she can turn her life over to others.

In a non-linear narrative, we watch Mariah’s life in flashbacks. Anything she sees in the world around her can send her back to moments in another time or place. Some happy moments, and as she grasps for feelings of connection, she can hang on a little longer. Images of her daughter Kate feel the most poignant, and sometimes she seems to be grasping for time with her again, but she also realizes that these hopes are impossible.

Watching a young woman destroy herself slowly, and seeing those around her enable her, felt like an insidious train wreck. Self-destruction takes time, but when it finally happens, you almost feel relieved. A beautifully written story that literally depressed me. 4.5 stars.
Fararala
Joan Didion removes the rose-colored glasses through which we view the mystique of Hollywood in her 1970 retrospective on the underbelly of the California Dream in the 1960’s. It is a novel of decay; of sex, drugs, and booze passed around as carelessly as sticks of gum; of dispassionate divorce; of forced abortion; of casual suicide; of being eaten alive by a band of coyotes. It follows the delirious journey from silver screen to psych ward of Maria Wyeth (a name whose pronunciation, when spoken with slurred speech, can almost be heard to ask, “Then why am I?”), a girl from the small town of Silver Wells, Nevada who slept her way into the big city disillusionment of Los Angeles – a place whose insidious influence travels like tainted blood through veins across the vast California highway system over which she absentmindedly speeds. Through Maria’s jaded, tear-stained eyes we are presented with a culture built upon open secrets and self-destruction – a circlejerk of exploitation. In a Shakespearean world of players, the burnt-out actress struggles to find her part.

Didion’s searing take on Hollywood is as unforgiving as the biz itself. Its vapidity is juxtaposed with the opulent rituals of its self-important players, and with the desperation of those who will only ever hope to play such a role. It dismantles the assumption that ‘the life’ is all luxurious leisure, gratifying glamour, and a promise of endless possibilities for a more finely lit tomorrow. When recalling the words of her gambling-addicted father in the opening monologue, a glimpse of reason is given as to what now compels her to open up like never before: “I was raised to believe that what came in on the next roll would always be better than what went out on the last. I no longer believe that, but I am telling you how it was.” This is a warning à la “The Emperor’s New Clothes;” the city is like a model whom photographers only shoot from a certain angle, but Maria has grown weary of false pretenses.

After this brief first-person narrative chapter of Maria’s (followed by even briefer ones by her (ex)husband and who we can only assume is the closest she can get to a female friend), a cold and eerily detached third-person takes over, casting an unnerving fog over the story as if to mirror the drug-induced haze in which she keeps herself to quell the nightmares. “By the end of the week she was thinking constantly about where her body stopped and the air began, about the exact point in space and time that was the difference between Maria and other.” And there is indeed a distinction between Maria and these other players: nothing, or more precisely an understanding of nothingness – an understanding of the cosmic cruelty that dictates our interlaced fates.

The interplay between the choices we make, the choices of others, and how those two fatalistic forces combine to make up that which we cannot control is the heart of the novel’s nihilism. She cannot control her husband and the hospital staff who discourage her from visiting the only person she unselfishly and desperately seems to love, but who or what can Maria blame for her daughter’s mysterious cognitive malady? Is it her own misfiring mind? But if so, who or what is to blame for that? The book posits this quasi-religious quandary throughout, invoking an existential anxiety in the reader. “Carter and Helene still believe in cause-and-effect. Carter and Helene also believe that people are either sane or insane.” Maria’s sanity is called into question by nearly every player she exchanges words with, and the recurring disparity between her thoughts, feelings, and actions cause the reader to do the same. But perhaps her overwhelming sense that nothing and no one around her is meaningful is the more accurate perception of our shared reality.

In the ominous words of an ill-fated player, “If you can’t deal with the morning, get out of the game […] it’s play-or-pay.” Plays such as Shakespeare’s are predetermined – they have a set plot, prewritten dialogue, and a clearly-defined denouement which every iteration adheres to. But as Maria comes to find, life is much more like a game – the odds are ever-shifting, the misunderstandings constant and compounding, and any of its ends up until one’s final breath do not necessarily make sense or produce any semblance of significance. While the general reader may not care about or like Maria, they are kept in perpetual suspense as to where her story will end. And for the select few who identify with her, who have perhaps travelled the same roads, slept in the same hotels, shopped in the same stores, or suffered an analogous angst, her story is a terrifying reminder that you are not alone in your abject loneliness – but such knowledge might mean something to someone.

In this cinematically structured novel, with its dizzying scene shifts and fluctuating focus like that of uncertain cinematographer, Didion poignantly presents the plight of a woman swept away by the perpetual and indifferent waves of interest present in the patriarchal world of Hollywood. Though set nearly sixty years in the past, its players and themes are as immediate and real as the landscape she cleverly uses as a symbolic backdrop to her uniquely L.A. drama. Fans of postmodern literature will appreciate the craft and care with which she carves out Maria’s convoluted mind from the filthy pavement of Hollywood Boulevard, and those new to the movement will be thrown headfirst into the fragmented chaos of demolished identity and malleable meaning.

Why, BZ would say.
Why not, I say.
Just_paw
Harrowing but fascinating and beautifully written. Really gruesome abortion scene midway through the novel, while exquisitely written, was VERY hard to read, FYI. Nonetheless Joan Didion is an important writer and this dark tale is engrossing.
Topmen
This is a novel published in 1970 about a troubled young lady on the fringe of success as an actress. It is a very celebrated novel in some quarters. Personally, I found it a difficult and slow read.

I have seldom started a novel with such positive expectations and felt so disappointed. I loved Joan Didion's first novel, "Run, River". This novel, "Play It As It Lays" seems more celebrated. I relished the chance to read it. Honestly, what I liked most about it is that it was short, sort of the reading experience equivalent of euthanasia.

This occasionally happens to me. A writer, Thomas Pynchon comes to mind, is seemingly revered by some critics, writes a book that I can barely read; "V" as an example., although I did enjoy a different book of his, "The Crying of Lot 49". This has happened to me with other authors such as Toni Morrison. I have concluded that some readers simply have a greater ability to appreciate certain artistic aspects of literature that I lack.

"Play It As It Lays" is on the list of the best 100 American novels since the beginning of Time Magazine 1923. Frankly I find that bewildering. "Run, River" is not on that list.

In summary, I although I am positive some readers will enjoy this work, alas, I am not among them. I intend to keep reading Joan Didion's work, as I positively love "Run, River". Thank You...
Zulkishicage
In Joan Didion's classic, Play It as It Lays, Maria Wyeth resides in a psychiatric hospital. As the story unfolds we get a glimpse of what her life was like before she got there. Set in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the Mojave Desert, there isn't any glitz. It's bleak, harrowing, and fascinating.