Play It as It Lays: 04/18/17
Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion is a brief, bitter look at the entertainment industry and life in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and points in between. The text is short, somewhat etherial, and save for the generation gap, similar in tone (though not in content) to Weetzie Bat.
It's told primarily from the point of view of Maria. As she is living with depression everything is filtered through her skewed view of things. Maria copes with her darkest of days by getting into her car and driving. She has her usual routes, that take her the entirety of a day and bring her back home.
It was the car as coping mechanism that was the most relevant to my road narrative project. I chose to read it in comparison to Baby Driver by Jan Kerouac. Interestingly, Didion is of the Beat Generation so her writing should be more akin to Jack's than Jan's.
In reality, Play It as It Lays is its own beast. Like Baby Driver the road narrative comes with consequences — a disabled child and a second, unwanted pregnancy — and because this is the 1960s, an illegal and dangerous abortion.
Road narratives with women seem to break into three camps: ones that end up with romantic entanglements, those that are dangerous because of unwanted sexual encounters (rape, stalking, domestic abuse), and maternity (pregnancy, expected or unexpected, miscarriages, still births, or being over shadowed by traveling with children).
Comment #1: Monday, April 17, 2017 at 21:39:21
It was a good book.
Saw your return comment from the other post.
Comment #2: Monday, April 17, 2017 at 18:42:39
Thanks! It was the perfect book for my spring break trip.