Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 3: Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays

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Episode Three is a Mike Suggestion: the 1970 Joan Didion novel Play It As It Lays, which Mike remembered reading on a cross-country flight from Portland and liking quite a bit, though the only specific thing he could remember, in hindsight, was a single line of dialogue toward the book’s end that was so heartbreaking it actually made him stop reading for a few seconds and contemplate its particular bleakness.

So, a cheery book, obviously.

On the podcast, Mike and Tom try to figure out what separates this novel from the thousands of others that traffic in bleak, amoral human landscapes. Tom shares a story about his 14-year-old self he’s never told anyone, including his wife. Mike admits that, as a young person, he romanticized a certain dark worldview that seems kind of silly, even embarrassing, to his 35-year-old self. And they both agree that this novel is a pretty good argument in favor of continuing to fund Planned Parenthood.

As always, you can listen to the episode here, by clicking on the little music-player thingy below. Or download the file (right click, save as) to listen in iTunes, or any other mp3-compatible player.

Download the episode

Also: This episode features music from the album Lunchdate, by Jason Ager & The C.O.P.O

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Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

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