Yes. Didion's writing is unmatched in its clarity, detail and wittiness. The subject matter is sometimes mundane and dated (Joan Baez, Las Vegas weddings, etc). However, the text is still engaging due to the excellence of Didion's prose. This is an especially good read for a writer who wants to see what can be done with everyday life using exceptional prose.
Any collection of essays by E.B. White, including classics such as "Once More to the Lake." Both writers are exceptional in capturing the details of everyday life and relating them to important ideas about human nature and our culture.
I love Diane's voice and reading style. She's great on screen or via audio.
Flashback to the 60s--Real Life Is Crazier Than Fiction
Hearing Diane Keaton pronounce tule fog as "tool" fog and Merced as "mers-ed" (emphasis on the first syllable rather than on the last) was a little jarring. Aren't there editors involved to help the readers pronounce the words correctly? Keaton is a good reader for Didion's slightly smug tone here, but those errors were disappointing.
I have long been a fan of Joan Didion and it was _Slouching Toward Bethlehem_ and _The White Album_ that won me over. It had been some time since I read these books, though, so I was looking forward hearing them. I found the experience quite disappointing.
Though I certainly was not impressed by the narrator, I can't actually blame her. It's just that some things are far more suited to reading than listening to, and this is one of them. You just don't focus on an audio book the same way you focus on a "printed" (electronic or dead tree format) page.
It's also true that some of the essays have aged very badly, most especially the title essay. Or maybe my perspective has changed. Perhaps society isn't less atomized in 2013 then it was in 1979 when I first encountered these books; perhaps I'm just used to it and unimpressed, thought it certainly seems less atomized.
What's aged well? "Goodbye to All That" (AKA: Farewell to the Enchanted City) is worth the price of admission for its poignant tale of staying to long at the fair. "Los Angelas Notebook" still holds up. "Comrade Laski, P.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.)" seems quite a familiar charactor, anymore. "On Morality" is still worth listening to. In general, the second half of the book retains it's interest far better than the first.
I'm sorry to have to give this audiobook a low rating. I would still buy a Kindle (printed) version.
I loved these essays when I first read them in the 70s and was happy to hear them again.
Pretty much everything. She mispronounces a LOT of words and it becomes insulting to the material and the listener.
Absolutely. This is requisite reading for Americans, especially those of us who weren't alive at the time Didion wrote Slouching. It captures a cultural movement.
Keaton has a recognizable voice and it flowed very naturally. She captured Didion's tone perfectly.
A film would never be able to do this book justice.
I bought this book having grown up in the area. I thought it would be interesting. It is but some on the stories just dragged. I still very much enjoyed the book overall especially Diane Keaton did a wonderful performance
Yes. She is a good writer.
Walk down memory lane for me.
Fairly interesting and insightful. She has a good grasp of the zeitgeist of the 60's.
One of the best audiobooks I've listened to so far
Varied subjects from the point of view of a young Didion.
No. That's the first one, but I've seen many of her films and didn't like her that much.
The John Wayne article. I agree one hundred per cent, but couldn't have written it. Didion express my feelings in an elegant and sharp way.
A classic for its contents and performance. Didion is a gifted writer but and inarticulated speaker. Keaton as her 'alter ego' gives her what she lacks.
quite by chance i seem to have downloaded three readings that sport a uniform cover design, and this one turns out to be pretty much as i imagine joan didion to sound. there's always a certain pretentiousness to her writing, where you think, what's all this verbiage for? keaton understands what she's reading, she slips into the text, as if she's actually written all this stuff herself, and yet manages to make it sound charming, rather than alienate me the listener. this is good, it's great, you could even just play it as background noise, it'd still be pleasant to the ear.