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The White Album Paperback – 1 Jan 1990

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Jan 1990
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc; Reissue edition (1 Jan. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374522219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374522216
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 651,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

“[Didion] can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes.” —"San Francisco"" Chronicle"

“All of the essays—even the slightest—manifest not only [Didion’s] intelligence, but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader’s memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism.” —Robert Towers", The New York Times Book Review"

“Didion manages to make the sorry stuff of troubled times (bike movies, for instance, and Bishop James Pike) as interesting and suggestive as the monuments that win her dazzled admiration (Georgia O’Keeffe, the Hoover Dam, the mountains around Bogota). . . A timely and elegant collection.” —"The New Yorker"

"[Didion] can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes." --"San Francisco"" Chronicle"

"All of the essays--even the slightest--manifest not only [Didion's] intelligence, but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism." --Robert Towers," The New York Times Book Review"

"Didion manages to make the sorry stuff of troubled times (bike movies, for instance, and Bishop James Pike) as interesting and suggestive as the monuments that win her dazzled admiration (Georgia O'Keeffe, the Hoover Dam, the mountains around Bogota). . . A timely and elegant collection." --"The New Yorker"

[Didion] can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes. "San Francisco Chronicle"

All of the essays--even the slightest--manifest not only [Didion's] intelligence, but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism. "Robert Towers, The New York Times Book Review"

Didion manages to make the sorry stuff of troubled times (bike movies, for instance, and Bishop James Pike) as interesting and suggestive as the monuments that win her dazzled admiration (Georgia O'Keeffe, the Hoover Dam, the mountains around Bogota). . . A timely and elegant collection. "The New Yorker""

[Didion] can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes. San Francisco Chronicle

All of the essays--even the slightest--manifest not only [Didion's] intelligence, but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism. Robert Towers, The New York Times Book Review

Didion manages to make the sorry stuff of troubled times (bike movies, for instance, and Bishop James Pike) as interesting and suggestive as the monuments that win her dazzled admiration (Georgia O'Keeffe, the Hoover Dam, the mountains around Bogota). . . A timely and elegant collection. The New Yorker

"

"[Didion] can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes." --San Francisco Chronicle

"All of the essays--even the slightest--manifest not only [Didion's] intelligence, but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism." --Robert Towers, The New York Times Book Review

"Didion manages to make the sorry stuff of troubled times (bike movies, for instance, and Bishop James Pike) as interesting and suggestive as the monuments that win her dazzled admiration (Georgia O'Keeffe, the Hoover Dam, the mountains around Bogota). . . A timely and elegant collection." --The New Yorker

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

'All the essays manifest not only her intelligence but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory, and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing, and exact. Add to this her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism.'
NEW YORK TIMES

'Demonstrates an uncanny ability to capture the insidious and pervasive infections of mind and spirit that have led to both the corruption of government and business, and the withering of the individual.'
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

'Everything Didion writes has a land's end edginess to it – a hyperattentive eye on the dramas found at the outskirts of the human condition. She writes as someone who has come through great shudders of the earth with a fundamental understanding that everything is subject to instantaneous and complete revision.'
VILLAGE VOICE

'She is the best chronicler California has'
VOGUE

'Simply an original and unexpected writer who is never banal'
NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
So neglected and misleadingly categorised as a 'hip' writer of 60s issues, Didion deserves re-establishment in the forefront of contemporary writing. These essays are so exactly constructed, so tight and precise, that they undermine, simply in terms of form and structure, the cultural sloppiness that is so often her target. Quite simply, beautiful writing.
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Format: Paperback
Didion is lauded as one of the great chroniclers of the 1960's in America and her journalism is undoubtedly brilliant. She writes coherently with a clear and personal style which is both attractive, intimate and inclusive. She talks to you as if you were a friend. This is great if you know some of the background to the things she is talking about, but wouldn't necessarily help you if you approached this with no prior knowledge of the events and history of the time. It's a great personal and cultural record of the time and a must read for anyone interested in the period.
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Format: Paperback
Hotbed of movies, political activism, rock and roll, drugs, and paranoia. A time both fascinating and bewildering, with anything liable to happen on any given day, just down the road - from cult murder to earthquakes. It takes a cool, detached prose style to capture all of this and keep it fresh for the reader visiting that strange time some thirty years later, but Didion's careful essays succeed. Compared to the freneticism of other writers documenting this era (Wolfe, Kesey, etc) she retains a measure of calm and the ability to catch the reader unawares with the unexpected detail which brings the scene to life. It paints a picture of a society stretching to reach its edge, finding freedoms it has been on the retreat from ever since.
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Format: Hardcover
Joan Didion always seems to look out at you from her book jackets in a straightforward, level-headed way, yet her readers will know she has a somewhat cockeyed view of life. Very Californian, as she quotes Bernard De Voto,"'The West begins, where the average annual rainfall drops below twenty inches." But hardly sunny, she's dark,dark: she has made the literature of nervous breakdown her own. We saw it in Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics); Play It As It Lays: A Novel; and A Book of Common Prayer; as in "The White Album," the book at hand here; essays first collected and published in 1979. She eyes the 1960s, and California, quite closely; she sketches the 1960's so well, in fact, she might almost have imaginatively invented them. It's all here, the Manson family, the Black Panthers, the historic doings at the University of California, Berkeley.

She says"...there were odd things going on around town. There were rumors. There were stories. Everything was unmentionable, but nothing was unimaginable. This mystical flirtation with the idea of 'sin'-- this sense that it was possible to go 'too far,' and that many people were doing it-- was very much with us in Los Angeles in 1968 and 1969. A demented and seductive vortical tension was building in the community. The jitters were setting in. I recall a time when the dogs barked every night and the moon was always full. On August 9,1969, I was sitting in the shallow end of my sister-in-law's swimming pool in Beverly Hills when she received a telephone call from a friend who had just heard about the murders at Sharon Tate Polanski's house on Cielo Drive. The phone rang many times during the next hour. These early reports were garbled and contradictory. One caller would say hoods, the next would say chains.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great read, Some of the articles and essays are more engaging than others, but it is never less than interesting.
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