Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion

Didion's mordant lucidity is like L.A. sunlight, a thing so bright sometimes it hurts. She's a descendant of the old California, the great- great-granddaughter of pioneers. But she was also schooled at Berkeley and in the literary circles of Paris and New York, so she's fully versed in the predicaments of a shaky modernity that she does not care for in the least. To drive home her belief that the world, or at least the part around L.A., is coming to a bad end, she gives us Maria Wyeth, a model turned actress turned hollowed-out woman who speaks to us from the mental institution where she has fetched up after a long slide into despair. Passing through a pointless career, a toxic marriage, an abortion, finally holding the hand of a close friend while he commits suicide; when she tells you, "I know what 'nothing' means," you believe her

- Time

The 594th greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)
  2. - The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993 (Jeff O'Neal at
  3. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Play It As It Lays Hardcover 372961 $59.95 $8.71
Play It As It Lays Paperback 751639 $10.59 $3.93
Play It As It Lays Mass Market Paperback 1345843 $49.82 $10.01
Play It As It Lays: A Novel Paperback 385518 $1.95 $0.33 1990
PLAY IT AS IT LAYS Paperback 6884754 $22.97 $1.44 1979
Play It As It Lays Kindle Edition 59902 2015
Play It As It Lays Paperback 7851329 $235.77 $2.00 1978
Play it as it Lays Mass Market Paperback 11805229 $3.00
Play It As It Lays Paperback 5142783 $40.74 $0.23 1981
Play It as It Lays: A Novel Kindle Edition 72186 2017
Play It as It Lays, a Novel Paperback 2362819 $12.50
Play It As It Lays (A Bantam Book) Mass Market Paperback 7353888 $62.50 $8.95
Play it as it lays, a novel (A Touchstone book) Paperback 2744569 $55.02 $0.63
Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s (LOA #325): Run River / Slouching Towards Bethlehem / Play It As It Lays / A Book of Common Prayer / The White Album (Library of America) Hardcover 5904 $25.67 $26.08 2019
Play It As It Lays (FSG Classics) Paperback 15034 $10.50 $4.99 2005
Play it as it Lays Mass Market Paperback 7349010 $99.99 $2.90