Blue Nights [NOOK Book]

Overview

From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
 
Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana?s wedding in New York ...
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Blue Nights

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Overview

From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
 
Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.
 
Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Blue Nights is a major literary event: It is Joan Didion's evocative sequel to her 2005 National Book Award winning memoir The Year of Magical Thinking. In this moving memoir, she reflects on her daughter's short life, her own imperfect parenting, and the sudden illuminations that we gain by growing older.

Edward Ash-Milby

Michiko Kakutani
Ms. Didion's heartbreaking new book…is at once a loving portrait of Quintana and a mother's conflicted effort to grapple with her grief through words: the medium the author has used throughout her life to try to make sense of the senseless. It is a searing inquiry into loss and a melancholy meditation on mortality and time.
—The New York Times
Heller McAlpin
Blue Nights is a devastating companion volume to Magical Thinking, a beautiful condolence note to humanity about some of the painful realities of the human condition that deserves to be printed on traditional black-bordered mourning stationery…The marvel of Blue Nights is that its 76-year-old, matchstick-frail author has found the strength to articulate her deepest fears—which are fears we can all relate to.
—The Washington Post
John Banville
[Blue Nights], no less than [The Year of Magical Thinking], is honest, unflinching, necessarily solipsistic and, in the way of these things, self-lacerating…Certainly as a testament of suffering nobly borne, which is what it will be generally taken for, it is exemplary. However, [Blue Nights] is most profound, and most provocative, at another level, the level at which the author comes fully to realize, and to face squarely, the dismaying fact that against life's worst onslaughts nothing avails, not even art; especially not art.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Loss has pursued author Didion relentlessly, and in this subtly crushing memoir about the untimely death of her daughter, Quintana Roo (1966–2005), coming on the heels of The Year of Magical Thinking, which chronicled the sudden death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, Didion again turns face forward to the harsh truth. “When we talk about mortality we are talking about our children,” she writes, groping her way backward through painful memories of Quintana Roo’s life, from her recent marriage in 2003 to adorable moments of childhood moving about California in the 1970s with her worldly parents and learning early on cues about how to grow up fast. While her parents were writing books, working on location for movies, and staying in fancy hotels, Quintana Roo developed “depths and shallows,” as her mother depicts in her elliptically dark fashion, later diagnosed as “borderline personality disorder”; while Didion does not specify what exactly caused Quintana’s repeated hospitalizations and coma at the end of her life, the author seems to suggest it was a kind of death wish, about which Didion feels guilt, not having heeded the signs early enough. Her own health—she writes at age 75—is increasingly frail, and she is obsessed with falling down and being an invalid. Yet Didion continually demonstrates her keen survival instincts, and her writing is, as ever, truculent and mesmerizing, scrutinizing herself as mercilessly as she stares down death. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“A haunting memoir . . . Didion is, to my mind, the best living essayist in America . . . What appears on the surface to be an elegantly, intelligently, deeply felt, precisely written story of the loss of a beloved child is actually an elegantly, intelligently, deeply felt, precisely written glimpse into the abyss, a book that forces us to understand, to admit, that there can be no preparation for tragedy, no protection from it, and so, finally, no consolation . . . The book has . . . an incantatory quality: it is a beautiful, soaring, polyphonic eulogy, a beseeching prayer the is sung even as one knows the answer to one’s plea, and that answer is: No.”
—Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books
 
Blue Nights, though as elegantly written as one would expect, is rawer than its predecessor, the ‘impenetrable polish’ of former, better days now chipped and scratched. The author as she presents herself here, aging and baffled, is defenseless against the pain of loss, not only the loss of loved ones but the loss that is yet to come: the loss, that is, of selfhood. The book will be another huge success . . . Certainly as a testament of suffering nobly borne, which is what it will be generally taken for, it is exemplary. However, it is most profound, and most provocative, at another level, the level at which the author comes fully to realize, and to face squarely, the dismaying fact that against life’s worst onslaughts nothing avails, not even art; especially not art.”
—John Banville, The New York Times Book Review
 
"The marvel of Blue Nights is that its 76-year-old, matchstick-frail author has found the strength to articulate her deepest fears—which are fears we can all relate to."
—Heller McAlpin, The Wasthington Post

The Week magazine's 5 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2011

“The master of American prose turns her sharp eye on her own family once again in this breathtaking follow-up to The Year of Magical Thinking. With harrowing honesty and mesmerizing style, Didion chronicles the tragic death of her daughter, Quintana, interwoven with memories of their happier days together and Didion’s own meditations on aging.”
—Malcolm Jones and Lucas Wittmann, Newsweek
 
“A searing memoir”
People
 
“Darkly riveting . . . The cumulative effect of watching her finger her recollections like beads on a rosary is unexpectedly instructive. None of us can escape death, but Blue Nights shows how Didion has, with the devastating force of her penetrating mind, learned to simply abide.”
—Louisa Kamps, Elle

“A scalpel-sharp memoir of motherhood and loss . . . Now coping with not only grief and regret but also illness and age, Didion is courageous in both her candor and artistry, ensuring that this infinitely sad yet beguiling book of distilled reflections and remembrance is graceful and illuminating in its blue musings.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist

"Brilliant...Nothing Didion has written since Play It As It Lays seems to me as right and true as Blue Nights. Nothing she has written seems as purposeful and urgent to be told."
—Joe Woodward, Huffington Post

“[Didion] often finds captivating, unparalleled grooves. Her expansive thinking…is particularly striking.”
            —The A. V. Club

“The reader only senses how intimately she understands her instrument. Her sentences are unquestionably taut, rhythmic and precise.”
                —Time Out NY

"A searing, incisive look at grief and loss by one of the most celebrated memoirists of our time."
—Relevant Magazine

"Both Fascinating and heartbreaking."
—Marie Claire

Library Journal
In The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion wrote about her reaction to the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne. Here she addresses the death shortly thereafter of her 39-year-old daughter, Quintana, who died of complications from pneumonia. Adopted at birth and apprised of this at a young age, Quintana had feelings of abandonment her entire life. Didion wonders here whether her handling of her daughter's early years contributed to those feelings and generally questions her suitability as a parent. At the same time, she discusses her own attempts to cope with aging and the onset of frailty. Didion's spare style of writing gets right to the point. She ponders Quintana's utterances and writings to try to better understand her and how she herself might have responded differently, but ultimately, there are no answers. VERDICT This worthwhile meditation on parenting and aging by a succinct writer, while at times difficult to read and a bit self-centered, is well worth the emotional toll. [See Prepub Alert, 5/2/11.]—Gina Kaiser, Univ. of the Sciences Lib., Philadelphia
Kirkus Reviews

Didion (We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction, 2006, etc.) delivers a second masterpiece on grief, considering both her daughter's death and her inevitable own.

In her 2005 book,The Year of Magical Thinking, the much-decorated journalist laid bare her emotions following the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne. The same year that book was published, she also lost her adopted daughter, Quintana Roo, after a long hospitalization. Like Magical Thinking, this bookis constructed out of close studies of particular memories and bits of medical lingo. Didion tests Quintana's childhood poems and scribblings for hints of her own failings as a mother, and she voices her helplessness at the hands of doctors. "I put the word 'diagnosis' in quotes because I have not yet seen that case in which a 'diagnosis' led to a 'cure,' " she writes. The author also ponders her own mortality, and she does so with heartbreaking specificity. A metal folding chair, as she describes it, is practically weaponized, ready to do her harm should she fall out of it; a fainting spell leaves her bleeding and helpless on the floor of her bedroom. Didion's clipped, recursive sentences initially make the book feel arid and emotionally distant. But she's profoundly aware of tone and style—a digression about novel-writing reveals her deep concern for the music sentences make—and the chapters become increasingly freighted with sorrow without displaying sentimentality. The book feels like an epitaph for both her daughter and herself, as she considers how much aging has demolished her preconceptions about growing old.

A slim, somber classic.

The Barnes & Noble Review

In 2003's Where I Was From, Joan Didion tells of a long wagon journey on which her great-great-grandmother buried a child, gave birth to another, contracted mountain fever twice, and sewed a quilt, "a blinding and pointless compaction of stitches," that she must have finished en route, "somewhere in the wilderness of her own grief and illness, and just kept on stitching."

Throughout the book, Didion ruminates on her female forbears, women "pragmatic and in their deepest instincts clinically radical, given to breaking clean with everyone and everything they knew," even their own dead babies. It was Didion's adopted daughter Quintana, at age five or six, who first made all this heredity start to seem remote. And if the author harbored any lingering doubt about whether she shared her ancestors' breaking-clean tendencies, the shattering effect of Quintana's death in 2005, at age 39, must have swept it away. In her new memoir, Blue Nights, about life before and after the loss of her daughter, Didion writes, "When we talk about mortality, we are talking about our children."

This book may be Didion's harshest, most self-questioning book yet; it's definitely her most beautiful. Like the stitches on her grandmother's quilt, it covers the same material again and again, swooping down on its author's grief with dogged, needle-like precision, from countless angles that don't lead her anywhere soothing. "What if I fail to love this baby?" Didion worried as she carried the newborn Quintana home from the hospital. By the time of Blue Nights, the questions have changed. What if I didn't love her right, the author interrogates herself. What if I didn't love her enough? How could Didion "have missed what was so clearly there to be seen" — "the startling depths and shallows of her expressions, the quicksilver changes of mood," the list of "Mom's sayings" that Quintana posted on the garage wall: "Brush your teeth, brush your hair, shush I'm working"? "Was I the problem?" she wonders. "Was I always the problem?"

Didion dwelt in Where I Was From on her female forbears' tendencies "toward slight and major derangements" and "apparently eccentric pronouncements," traits she'd once seen as biologically endemic. Blue Nights, by contrast, fixates on nurture, on the terrible possibility that a mother's neuroses might be contagious. At the age of five, Quintana called a state psychiatric facility to "find out what she needed to do if she was going crazy." Around the same time, she called Twentieth Century Fox "to find out what she needed to do to be a star." She dreamed of a "Broken Man" who threatened to lock her in the garage, and she wrote a novel "just to show you" that told "why and how Quintana [not just the name of its author but also its protagonist] died and her friends became complete burnouts at the age of eighteen." Once she was born, Didion admits, "I was never not afraid." And she all but blames herself for Quintana's nightmares. "[M]y fear of The Broken Man [was] as unquestioning as her own," she says.

Throughout these struggles, Quintana's psychiatric diagnosis remained frustratingly protean. Manic depression became OCD; OCD became something else, something Didion can't remember now, but something that ultimately gave way to a succession of other conditions before "the least programmatic of her doctors settled on one that actually seemed to apply": borderline personality disorder, a diagnosis that didn't lead to a cure, only "a confirmed, and therefore an enforced, debility." Depressed and anxious, Quintana drank too much. She wished for death as she lay on her sitting room floor: "Let me just be in the ground, she had kept sobbing. Let me just be in the ground and go to sleep." She implored Didion not to read Auden's "Funeral Blues" at her father's funeral. "Like when someone dies," she once told her mother, "don't dwell on it."

Even as she torments herself with memories of Quintana's troubles, Didion recognizes that child-rearing standards change. While parents measure their success now by "the extent to which we manage to keep our children monitored, tethered, tied to us," her own World War Two–era childhood emphasized independence over schooling and friends. She roamed the grounds of a psychiatric hospital, eavesdropped on the patients, and put them into stories. "There was a war in progress," she recalls. "That war did not revolve around or in any way hinge upon the wishes of children. In return for tolerating these...truths, children were allowed to invent their own lives. The notion that they could be left to their own devices — were in fact best left so — went unquestioned."

In the title essay of her 1979 book The White Album, Didion recalls a psychiatric evaluation of her own, conducted in 1968 (two years after she and her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, brought Quintana home from the hospital), that said her Rorschach responses "emphasize[d] her fundamentally pessimistic, fatalistic, and depressive view of the world around her. It is as though she feels deeply that all human effort is foredoomed to failure, a conviction which seems to push her further into a dependent, passive withdrawal." Rather than admitting to or denying these claims, or trying to trace the source of her (mild) breakdown, Didion jokes that "an attack of vertigo and nausea does not now seem to me an inappropriate response to the summer of 1968."

In Blue Nights Didion brings a compelling and paradoxical blend of skepticism, acceptance, and astringent detachment to bear on these trends in psychology — and how they both reflect and shape our own self-images. As in most of her personal writing, she's highly attuned to these kinds of recursive absurdities, and I would guess she's also more than a little bit amused by them. But, like the very funny Flannery O'Connor, she depicts the ridiculous with a poker face. And, as in O'Connor, the comic element of human existence is always the obverse of something much darker.

In interviews Didion acknowledges that it was a fluke — a flu — that killed Quintana, not mental illness, not alcoholism, not anything she herself did. But as she sees her own health fail, as she tries to "maintain faith (another word for momentum)," follow the doctor's instructions, and "collect encouraging news," as she spends whole days in frigid waiting rooms pondering "this one question, this question with no possible answer: who do I want notified in case of emergency?" she sustains herself by "memoriz[ing] her child's face." Didion's implicit subject has always been the storyteller's conundrum: that in standing far apart enough from life to digest it and to evoke it, the writer forgets how to live in real life. For Didion, to remember Quintana is to tell stories in which she's not a good enough mother to Quintana, but to stop telling these stories is to run the risk that Quintana "will fade from my touch. Vanish. Pass into nothingness." We tell ourselves stories in order to live, she once wrote. If Quintana were to disappear, Didion implies, she herself would stop existing.

Maud Newton's writing has appeared in numerous publications. Her blog is maudnewton.com.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307700513
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 87,599
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Joan Didion was born in Sacramento, California, and now lives in New York City. She is the author of five novels and eight previous books of nonfiction. Her collected nonfiction, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, was published by Everyman's Library in 2006.

Biography

One of the strongest voices in American letters, Joan Didion has made her mark with fiercely intelligent novels (Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer), insightful nonfiction (Salvador, Political Fictions), and screenplays co-written with her late husband, John Gregory Dunne (Panic in Needle Park, Up Close and Personal).

Born in Sacramento, Didion attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1956 with a degree in English. After college, she moved to New York to work for Vogue magazine. Recognized immediately as a talented and insightful writer, she contributed frequently to such diverse publications as Mademoiselle, Esquire, The New York Times, and National Review; and in 1963 she published her first novel, Run River. She and Dunne were wed in 1964; and for the remainder of their married life, they divided their time between New York and L.A., collaborating frequently on Hollywood scripts while developing separate and distinguished literary careers.

In December of 2003, Dunne died of a massive heart attack, while the couple's recently married daughter, Quintana Roo, lay comatose in a New York hospital. Didion spent the next year blindsided by a grief so profound it propelled her into a sort of madness. She chronicled the entire experience in The Year of Magical Thinking, a spellbinding memoir of bereavement written in the spare, elegant prose that has become a hallmark of her work. Published in 2005 (scant months after Quintana's death), this elegiac book -- Didion's most personal and affecting work to date -- became a huge bestseller. It received a National Book Award and was turned, two years later, into a successful Broadway play starring Vanessa Redgrave.

Since her 1963 debut, Didion has alternated between novels and nonfiction, proving herself a wry and astute observer of America's shifting political and cultural landscape. Written nearly a decade apart, her two essay collections Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979) are considered classics of 1960s counterculture. Moreover, the author's identity as a seventh-generation Californian has colored her writing in profoundly significant ways. For our money, no contemporary American writer has examined more deftly the unique role of "place" in everyday life.

Good To Know

A few interesting outtakes from our interview with Didion:

"My first (and only, ever) job was at Vogue. I learned a great deal there – I learned how to use words economically (because I was writing to space), I learned how to very quickly take in enough information about an entirely foreign subject to produce a few paragraphs that at least sounded authoritative."

"I would like my readers to know that writing never gets any easier. You don't gain confidence. You are always flying blind."

Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, co-wrote seven screenplays, including: The Panic in Needle Park (1971), Play It As It Lays (1973), A Star Is Born (1977), True Confessions (1982), Hills Like White Elephants (1990), Broken Trust(1995) and Up Close and Personal (1995).

She is the sister-in-law of author Dominick Dunne and the aunt of actor/director Griffin Dunne.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 5, 1934
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sacramento, California
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1956

Read an Excerpt

In certain latitudes there comes a span of time approaching and following the summer solstice, some weeks in all, when the twilights turn long and blue. This period of the blue nights does not occur in subtropical California, where I lived for much of the time I will be talking about here and where the end of daylight is fast and lost in the blaze of the dropping sun, but it does occur in New York, where I now live. You notice it first as April ends and May begins, a change in the season, not exactly a warming—in fact not at all a warming—yet suddenly summer seems near, a possibility, even a promise. You pass a window, you walk to Central Park, you find yourself swimming in the color blue: the actual light is blue, and over the course of an hour or so this blue deepens, becomes more intense even as it darkens and fades, approximates finally the blue of the glass on a clear day at Chartres, or that of the Cerenkov radiation thrown off by the fuel rods in the pools of nuclear reactors. The French called this time of day “l’heure bleue.” To the English it was “the gloaming.” The very word “gloaming” reverberates, echoes— the gloaming, the glimmer, the glitter, the glisten, the glamour—carrying in its consonants the images of houses shuttering, gardens darkening, grass-lined rivers slipping through the shadows. During the blue nights you think the end of day will never come. As the blue nights draw to a close (and they will, and they do) you experience an actual chill, an apprehension of illness, at the moment you first notice: the blue light is going, the days are already shortening, the summer is gone. This book is called “Blue Nights” because at the time I began it I found my mind turning increasingly to illness, to the end of promise, the dwindling of the days, the inevitability of the fading, the dying of the brightness.

Blue nights are the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but they are also its warning.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Reading Group Guide

1. Blue Nights is a deeply elegiac, heartrending book. What are some of its most emotionally powerful moments? What makes these moments so moving?

2. Didion’s style in Blue Nights is clipped, austere, emotionally restrained. What is the effect of the short sentences, short chapters, and paragraphs that often consist of a single sentence? In what ways is Didion’s tone and style appropriate to her subject?

3. A number of italicized statements recur throughout Blue Nights, consisting most often of things that Quintana said—“Let me just be in the ground”; “Like when someone dies, don’t dwell on it”; “After I became five, I never ever dreamed about him.” What is the emotional effect of these repetitions? Why would Didion keep repeating these lines? 

4. Didion writes: “My cognitive confidence seems to have vanished altogether. Even the correct stance for telling you this, the ways to describe what is happening to me, the attitude, the tone, the very words, now elude my grasp. The tone needs to be direct. I need to talk to you directly, I need to address the subject as it were, but something stops me.... Am I no longer able to talk directly?” [p. 116]. Is the tone of Blue Nights direct or indirect? Why might Didion find it difficult to be as direct as she wants to be about her subject?

5. Didion quotes Euripides: “What greater grief can there be for mortals than to see their children dead” [p. 13]. In what ways does Blue Nights bear out this truth? Of all the griefs that humans might be forced to endure why is this the most painful?

6. What kind of child was Quintana? What was most remarkable about her and most painful about her loss?

7. Thinking back to Quintana’s wedding, Didion writes: “I still see from that wedding day at St. John the Divine: the bright red soles on her shoes. She was wearing Christian Louboutin shoes, pale satin with bright red soles. You saw the red soles when she kneeled at the altar” [p. 69]. What is the effect, on Didion and on the reader, of these minute but vividly remembered details? What other details seem especially poignant?

8. Didion says she knows very few people who think of themselves as having succeeded as parents, that most parents instead “recite rosaries of failures, our neglects, our derelictions and delinquencies” [p. 93]. What does Didion most regret about her relationship with Quintana? What does she see as her failures?

9. Why might Quintana have seen her mother as “frail,” as needing her care, rather than the reverse? [p. 101].

10. Didion says that she had initially wanted to write a book about children but that after she started it became clear her true subject was “the failure to confront the certainties of aging, illness, death” [p. 54]. What does the book say about these essential human themes? Does Didion fail to confront them?

11. Blue Nights is filled with digressions—about movie shoots, changes in parenting styles over the past fifty years, her own work in the theatre, Sophia Loren, etc.—but keeps circling back to the death of her daughter and to her own illness and aging. Why might Didion have chosen this kind of structure, rather than a more straightforward chronological approach?

12. Didion describes her own illnesses and medical emergencies in a remarkably matter-of-fact way. Why is this understated approach more powerful than a more dramatic rendering might be?

13. What is so powerful about Didion’s quandary over who to list as an emergency contact on a medical form? What reveries does this question lead to?

14. Why does Didion end the book with a series of single, short sentences? Does she achieve here the kind of emotional directness she earlier felt was beyond her?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 50 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it

    I read a lot of self-help, psychological and true stories books, so I was interested to give blue nights a try and was not disappointed. Great Read!

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2011

    A treasure

    When I first started reading this book, I was a little put off by the overly wordy or sometimes incomplete sentences. But I stuck with it and am so happy I did. This book is beautiful, compassionate, and wise and touched my heart in many ways. I actually felt like the author was writing the book for me. It is a gift to anyone who has suffered loss.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Absolute drivel.

    "Blue Nights" starts out promising, but by chapter two it reads like a diary-turned-novel. Too many question marks, which makes the tone unnecessarily shrill. I hate to say it (because it feels disrespectful to the memory of Ms. Didion's husband and daughter), but the writing is boring. Definitely do not recommend.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Another Didion Classic

    While somewhat similar in tone to "The Year of Magical Thinking", this book felt much more stream-of-consciousness, much more disjointed in places. Still, the magic of Didion's writing and insights shine through, even when it is somewhat muddled. Far from linear, it jumps back and forth in time, sometimes repeating stories, just in a slightly different context or at a slightly different angle. It's hard to tell if the somewhat disjointed nature of this book is the result of a mother's grief, Didion's advancing age, or a combination of the two.

    Still, as I said, the magic of her writing shines through. I definitely recommend the book - just don't expect a straight point A to point Z narrative

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    Wonderful

    I read The Year of Magical Thinking five times. I just finished Blue Nights. It was amazing. Didion's commentary on her grief over poor Quintana's passing and her commentary on aging are genuine and forthright. I cannot imagine having the strength to face what she faced in such a short time. Yet she faces her struggles honestly and head on. I hope I have her courage and sense of self when and if I make it to 76 or 77.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2011

    not worth reading

    poor sentence structure. Bounces around. It was difficult to finish.

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Would not recommend.

    She did not get to the point of how her daughter died. She did a lot of name dropping of famous people she knew and hung around but they did not seem to offer any support after her daughter died.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Loved it!

    I felt she was conversing with me at lunch. It left me wishing she were my friend.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Joan Didion at her best.

    This was a quick read because it had such continuity that I didn't want to put it down. She shares the emotions and thoughts that most of us have when losing those close to us. Sadness without bitterness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Beautifully written. Couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Wonderful

    Another wonderful book. Well done. Worth evey penny to read a master at the top of her game.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    BEAUTIFUL WRITING

    A must read for Didion fans

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Rate

    Good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Hush

    You alright?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    NIGHTCLANS BIOS

    Here

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Silverpelt

    The prophecy cat raced in.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    It is interesting to read.

    It is interesting to read.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Hi

    Have not read it yet but I want to.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Domino

    Does gangnam style

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Haley

    Comes in and does the dance to gangman style

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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