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Play It as It Lays (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


“What makes Iago evil? some people ask. I never ask.” These are the opening words of Didion’s morose, devastating novel Play It as It Lays. The reference to Shakespeare’s infamous villain is more than mere literary signaling, however, serving the dual purposes of introducing the novel’s main preoccupations and indicating its lead character’s general despondency and emotional paralysis. From here, Didion crafts a bleak and harrowing tale of 1960s Hollywood­­—a world as sinister as it is decadent. At its center is Maria Wyeth, a disillusioned actress whose life is plunged into turmoil after her philandering husband has their ill child institutionalized against Maria’s will. Told in a spare, striking voice and from multiple narrative perspectives, Play It as It Lays is at turns sordid, troubling, and debauched, but its investigation of post-war American ennui, it cannot be matched. I love this book!

— Chad

Product Details
ISBN: 9780007414987
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Publication Date: November 1st, 2011
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