Books Magazine

Next Up: Play It As It Lays

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

Today we start my 85th novel from the Time list. 85!

Only 16 more of these books to go, and we’ll kick off the final 16 with Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion.

First observation: Wouldn’t the correct grammar here be “Play It As It Lies?” You lay something down, while that same something lies down. Well, maybe I’ll figure out why Didion name the novel as such as I read.

So here are a few quick facts about Play It As It Lays and the author, Joan Didion:

  • The novel was published in 1970 by Farrar Straus and Giroux.
  • Play it as it Lays is a “ruthless dissection of life in the last 1960s. According to Amazon, it “captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader.” Cool.
  • The novel was turned into a movie in 1972 starring Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins.
  • Didion, 81, currently lives in New York City.
  • Didion was married to the novelist and screenwriter John Gregory Dunne.
  • She’s written 5 novels, including Play It As It Lays, Run River, A Book of Common Prayer, Democracy and The Last Thing He Wanted, in addition to dozens of nonfiction books.

I don’t have a lot of interesting stuff on this one at this point.

I’ll be sure to share the tidbits and interesting passages I discover along the way, though.

Anyone with experience reading Play it as it Lays?

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