ePUB Play It As It Lays – Albawater.co

A ruthless dissection of American life in the late s, 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 Just so I am what I am To look for reasons is beside the point This is a cruel book populated by cruel characters whose hearts, for the most part, stay cold and brutish even in the desert s blistering heat I have enjoyed Didion s essays, so I was expecting some of the themes, but I had not prepared myself for something so delirious and fragmented I should admit that I was not always sure I knew what was going on It is nasty and brutish, and I loved it.The story plays out in the form of Just so I am what I am To look for reasons is beside the point This is a cruel book populated by cruel characters whose hearts, for the most part, stay cold and brutish even in the desert s blistering heat I have enjoyed Didion s essays, so I was expecting some of the themes, but I had not prepared myself for something so delirious and fragmented I should admit that I was not always sure I knew what was going on It is nasty and brutish, and I loved it.The story plays out in the form of 84 snapshots, most of which are nothan a few pages long A few are written in the first person, but most follow the tragic protagonist, Maria, in the third person, as she spins from trouble to trouble The snapshots jump around in time, and we rarely get a clear sense of chronology Maria spends a lot of time aimlessly driving around and the reader is likewise carted chaotically from location to location, from LA to Las Vegas to the Mojave Desert, from a psychiatric hospital to swanky bars and run down motel rooms A core set of characters slip in and out of Maria s life and they remain slippery it takes time to figure out who each of them are We get glimpses of their own lives, but we only really see them as they exist in relation to the increasingly solipsistic Maria mostly cajoling, commanding, bullying her Didion s prose is stunning So much remains so well unsaid Didion can pack so much into a single short sentence I love you, she whispered, but it wasa plea than a declaration and in any case he made no response The fragmentation of the narrative allows us to inhabit Maria s chaos and isolation The sparsity of details we get regarding the people in her life mostly via snatches of dialogue make us feel as isolated as she is While her destructive behaviour may frustrate us at times, it is easy to feel compassion when we see what she is up against This book was written before Roe v Wade That made much of what happens a big eye opener for me and I am sure that will stay with me always I was raised to believe that what came in on the next roll would always be better than what when out on the last I no longer believe thatJoan Didion, Play It As It Lays Warning This book is not to be read if suicidal, heavily medicated, driving, pregnant, or if you ever dream of walking out, alone, into the Nevada desert and not coming back This book is pure existential peril I remember when I was four being specifically afraid of our church s bathroom I remember thinking the church wI was raised to believe that what came in on the next roll would always be better than what when out on the last I no longer believe thatJoan Didion, Play It As It Lays Warning This book is not to be read if suicidal, heavily medicated, driving, pregnant, or if you ever dream of walking out, alone, into the Nevada desert and not coming back This book is pure existential peril I remember when I was four being specifically afraid of our church s bathroom I remember thinking the church was hallowed ground Protected by some benign force Nothing could get me in the church I was safe But I d sit alone, in a stall, in the bathroom, and look at the white tile, white grout, and see the dark drain on the floor I d imagine all the terror that existed under the Church The snakes that were waiting to crawl through the drain The devil waiting to pull me into the unsanctified, unhallowed, shit filled sewers Yeah, this book made me think of that empty feeling, that feeling that even in safe places there were gaps, snakes, sewers, and darkness This book also reminds me a bit of a combination of The Great Gatsby but told by Daisy in California in the 1960s and Less Than Zero but told by Blair and Julian s parents Actually, hell, the book could be F Scott and Zelda in the 1960s Anyway, I get a weird F Scott and Bret Easton Ellis vibe, with perhaps just a little of Cormac McCarthy s cold Western, existential dread thrown in for flavor It is one of those novels that is near perfect and also a razor blade under your tongue It is dangerous and sharp and makes you nervous to find out what is next There are snakes and cracks everywhere Plants die Memory fades Nothing matters Well, O.K Joan Didion s prose matters It matters a hell of a lot Joan Didion s prose just might be one reason to keep living To keep fighting To keep turning the damn page and rolling the damn dice There was silence Something real was happening this was, as it were, her life If she could keep that in mind she would be able to play it through, do the right thing, whatever that meant Joan DidionWhenever Maria called, it was as if the ringing of the phone heralded the end of any conviviality I might have been harboring I always had the impression when I talked with her that the Fun to Be Around Maria was dying in another room, and all I was left with was the beautiful corpse She wa There was silence Something real was happening this was, as it were, her life If she could keep that in mind she would be able to play it through, do the right thing, whatever that meant Joan DidionWhenever Maria called, it was as if the ringing of the phone heralded the end of any conviviality I might have been harboring I always had the impression when I talked with her that the Fun to Be Around Maria was dying in another room, and all I was left with was the beautiful corpse She was beautiful Even though we had all seen changes to her appearance recently So beautiful, in fact, she could still get acting jobs without too much trouble I could see this all ending soon because she was so morose that her mood permeated the whole movie set She had become so lost, so indifferent to everything She was a zombie, long before Hollywood became infatuated with them Her relationship with men was not particularly complicated They wanted to sleep with her, and she was rather indifferent as to whether she slept with them or not When we had first met, I d seduced her while blinded by her glamour and allurement It was only after we were entangled that I realized that all of that was only skin deep 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 She had leaned on one elbow and shared that revelation with me Her hair was still rummaged from my fingers Her lipstick was smeared from my lips There was something gone from her The worms in her head had eaten into the core of her The flame that had made her a star was nothing, but ashes I left her with vestiges of misery clinging to me as if I d been tainted by her own unhappiness But we remained friends.I worried about her and worried about myself whenever I knew I had to see her Things weren t going well with her husband, Carter, or with her other lovers for that matter They all were finding it harder to find the woman that first made them want her Her mantra of late was I know what nothing means, and keep on playing Her circle of friends continued to take her calls because we were all afraid that by not answering we might be putting her life in danger Someone so miserable had to be suicidal It was like a guillotine hanging over all of us, waiting for her to decide when and how It was frustrating to see someone who had been given so much not being able to find any way to enjoy the life that many desired I d been drinking one night after losing yet another part that would have insured many years of future success when she called Her unhappiness fueled the fire of my own dejection I heard myself scream into the phone, For all our sakes just get it over with I d slammed the phone down and poured myself a couple of fingersof scotch I couldn t afford to know Maria any It was too debilitating, too disheartening, and inspired too many ugly thoughts of resentment I wanted her melancholy to be left to song Remorse wrapped crumpled newsprint around all my further thoughts If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at All right, let s discussIt has been a month since I read this little ditty, and in that one month s time, it has managed to lose a star Because honestly, I can t give a book 5 stars just because I couldn t put it down, just because it was a quick read If that was the standard, every Jodi Picoult book I ve ever read would be given 5 stars When it comes down to it, while I did thoroughly enjoy this book, it isn t one that s going to stay with me through the ages It isn t one I m going to All right, let s discussIt has been a month since I read this little ditty, and in that one month s time, it has managed to lose a star Because honestly, I can t give a book 5 stars just because I couldn t put it down, just because it was a quick read If that was the standard, every Jodi Picoult book I ve ever read would be given 5 stars When it comes down to it, while I did thoroughly enjoy this book, it isn t one that s going to stay with me through the ages It isn t one I m going to recommend to you or you or you Although I m sure you d enjoy it Or not One of my GR friends told me that this book is a favorite of The National front man songwriter Matt Berninger I haven t been able to find corroboration of this on the interwebs, but I ll take your word for it Loving The National like I do, I figured I d give it a shot I guess in retrospect this book feels a little self indulgent to me It s a story of a poor sad little actress with nothing but a lot of money and a lot of time on her hands Ever met a beautiful girl with dead eyes and an expressionless face who doesn t care about anything or anyone Well that s Maria Wyeth for you Her world is a bleak one that you really shouldn t visit for very long, because she s the kind of girl who will suck the life right out of you Unless you re a nihilist Then you should pull up a chair and stay awhile you ll feel right at home This has absolutely nothing to do with the book, but you should listen to it anyway March 20, 2017 I was right I remember nothing about this book I should take away another star