Search Results: "Joan Didion"


BOOK REVIEW

SLOUCHING TOWARDS BETHLEHEM by Joan Didion
NON-FICTION
Released: May 10, 1968

"Miss Didion is no female Tom Wolfe but she is a talented scene surveyor who will find her own audience."
The title embodies the peculiar threat of Yeats' The Second Coming after a time when "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold": and in this series of twenty essays, many of them previously published magazine articles, the author is an adroit chronicler of many of today's maladies. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

WHERE I WAS FROM by Joan Didion
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 29, 2003

"Demonstrates how very thin is the gilt on the Golden State."
With humor, history, nostalgia, and acerbity, Didion (Political Fictions, 2001, etc.) considers the conundrums of California, her beloved home state. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

AFTER HENRY by Joan Didion
Released: May 1, 1992

"A collection to savor by a stylist in top form."
Didion's latest collection of previously published articles—her first since The White Album (1979)—reminds us that she's truly one of the premier essayists of our time. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

RUN RIVER by Joan Didion
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 15, 1963

"The faintly incestuous family relationships; the bourbon; the sex down on the levee; and the soft singsong of 'baby' and 'Everett baby'."
From the time when Everett McClellan kills Ryder Channing, his wife Lily's latest lover, this reviews the earlier personal history which led to this one finite, unnecessary gesture. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

A BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER by Joan Didion
Released: March 1, 1977

"Que sera, this has the same frayed, seductive quality as the earlier novel and it will connect again, one to one, one to many."
More sad songs—replay them as they lay—in the shimmering oblivion of empty glasses down in Boca Grande (Central America) where Charlotte, another Maria, comes to stay before she is killed. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

PLAY IT AS IT LAYS by Joan Didion
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 13, 1970

"But even though you have every reason to suspect that this is an ephemeral form of survival kit-sch under its sophisticated maquillage, you won't be impervious."
"If you can't deal with the morning, get out of the game." Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

BLUE NIGHTS by Joan Didion
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"A slim, somber classic."
Didion (We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction, 2006, etc.) delivers a second masterpiece on grief, considering both her daughter's death and her inevitable own. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

DEMOCRACY by Joan Didion
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 25, 1984

"And if the book-world's hype machine can make a major novel out of Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, it can certainly do as much for this more accessible, more political, but quite similar arrival: a chic literary objet with a thin soap-opera center."
"Fitful glimpses" from the 1960s/'70s life of glamorous Inez Christian Victor—wife of Senator Harry Victor (a onetime Presidential aspirant), daughter of Honolulu colonial aristocracy, and supposed acquaintance of writer Joan Didion, who sprinkles this short, glossily disjointed novel with precious authorial warnings, asides, and false starts. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

SOUTH AND WEST by Joan Didion
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"An almost spectral text haunted by a past that never seems distant."
A revealing publication from the celebrated prose stylist. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE LAST THING HE WANTED by Joan Didion
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"A pinched narrative sacrifices the pleasures of conventional character development, with Didion opting instead for a convoluted and over-the-top exploration of political skullduggery."
Didion's fifth novel (Democracy, 1984, etc.) is further proof that she's a better journalist than novelist. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

SALVADOR by Joan Didion
NON-FICTION
Released: March 28, 1983

"And Didion's dry runs, her admission of how hard it is to find out anything—combined with her professed intent to learn 'la verdad,' as if the truth were ascertainable (even with more time and broader contacts)—make this a document of passing interest, better suited to its original publication in the New York Review."
Anyone who has read accounts of Nazi Germany or Stalin's Russia or junta-ruled Argentina (Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia) will recognize the "mechanisms of terror" Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne found on a two-week visit to El Salvador in June 1982. Read full book review >