The Book Cellar
A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Joan Didion's Play It as It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader.
Set in a place beyond good and evil---literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul---it remains more than three decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.
“There hasn't been another American writer of Joan Didion's quality since Nathanel West . . . A terrifying book.” —John Leonard, The New York Times
“Simple, restrained, intelligent, well-structured, witty, irresistibly relentless, forthright in diction, and untainted by the sensational, Play It As It Lays is a book of outstanding literary quality.” —Library Journal
“[A] scathing novel, distilling venom in tiny drops, revealing devastation in a sneer and fear in a handful of atomic dust.” —J. R. Frakes, Book World