Play it as it lays - Joan Didion

This is the story of a woman's descent into psychological unwellness after her decision to get an abortion. To me it felt a lot like fear and loathing in las vegas, but without as much drug use to get to the feeling that everything was messed up. (If you are a hunter thompson fan, dont worry there is still drug use. It is just not entire cars full.

The weirdest thing about the book was that there was no point, it was just a story. I didnt seem anti or pro anything. Nothing matters. nothing is important. what i take away from the novel is that life really sucks for some people and they make it worse through their own decisions.

Unfortunately in my copy, a previous reader had annotated it with their own thoughts. Living in one of the most conservative places on earth, you can imagine that the comments were along the lines of, "thats what happens when you kill unborn children." But i completely disagree, there was nothing in the book that would lead me to believe that had she not had the abortion she would have been any healthier or ended up any place but in a sanitarium. in fact, the book insinuates that the mental imbalance started at the death of the main characters mother (and the subsequent eating of the mothers corpse in the desert).

All in all, a very quick read, and weird. If you like weird books maybe worth a read, but no promises from me on if you will like it or be offended by it or anything else.


Scarlet Panda said...

Thanks for this. I've often thought of reading this book, because I liked Didion's essays in Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Plus I do like weird books. So I think I might read this book.

Melissa said...

I thought it was masterfully crafted because the book was about nothing just like the character's life. Both managed to completely avoid meaning. I liked the writing and the art of it, but the story stole a whole day from me--very hollow and depressing.

Melissa said...

PS At first I thought you were saying that the main character ate her mother's corpse in the desert. That would have been a whole other story... :)