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The Year of Magical Thinking (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
The Year of Magical Thinking - Audio CD - Unabridged
Author: Barbara Caruso (Narrator), Joan Didion
In this intensely personal, deeply moving account, the author exposes the layers and facets of her life over a year of dramatic and unexpected events. Her daughter's serious illness and her husband's sudden death "cut loose any fixed idea I had about death, about illness, about probability and luck ... about marriage and children an...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781598870053
ISBN-10: 159887005X
Publication Date: 10/6/2005
Pages: 330
Rating:
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 26

3.1 stars, based on 26 ratings
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Book Type: Audio CD
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 130 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
In the weeks and months following the death of a loved one, I experienced emotions and disorientation that seemed so foreign to me. I would walk through the grocery store -- not exactly in a daze, but it was as if the light were different, or perhaps it was the quality of the sound. I was not connected. Looking at the people around me as they hefted a melon or checked the expiration date on a gallon of Clover milk, it struck me that perhaps half the people there had experienced what I was experiencing right then, and I had never known. I'd never really even suspected.

Early on in my grieving process, an old friend got in touch and told me that after his parents had died (within two weeks of each other) it had taken him two years to fully recover. As I stumbled forward, letting bills go past due just because I couldn't face anything with a deadline, missing appointments, his few words became my lifeline, the kindest thing anyone could have said to me. Partly, I suppose, it was the promise that this, too, would pass. But mostly it was the permission to grieve. I needed permission to grieve.

Back on track now some years later, reading Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, I think, "She is offering not so much an explanation, but a clear description that I had not found anywhere else, and she is offering permission."
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
I don't really know if I liked this book or not. Here's my problem - I liked the story and the uplifting nature of it. I liked what she had to say. I liked that she was honest about herself. I didn't like HOW she wrote. Very flowery, strewn with lines of poetry and clips from other books. But... it made me think. I've only ever lost grandparents. I've never lost a parent, a child, or a partner. What would my life be like, how would I feel, would I feel "mudgy" for that first year? What is her life like now? Did the fog lift for her? Would it lift for me. Everyone that knows me knows that I'm a very independent person. "I don't need no man". But. My husband means the world to me. I've been married to him for 14 years, we've worked together for the past 2 years. I genuinely like to be around him. As she opens her book, "Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant." How very true, and sad at the same time. I don't think about it often, but I did leave this book wondering how I would cope if something were to happen to my own husband. I don't know that I would have the ability to write about it. For that, my hat goes off to the author. She did a good job of bringing me into her world. Worth a read.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 95 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
I really enjoyed this heartfelt novel about the author's coming to terms with her husband's untimely death. At first I thought she was repeating herself a bit but once you get to the end you realize she is taking you on her journey of mourning and her dealings with each stage of grief. (Wording is not quite right, but i hope you get the gist). I recommend this book definitely.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
This is one of my books I will never swap! It is so amazing - tragically written. You actually feel her confusion during her year of grief. Didion is an amazing writer. I highly recommend this book!
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 74 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
My Rating: D+

The inside flap of this book describes it as passionate. I would like to begin this review by saying that I felt, 90% of the time, very little passion. Towards the end of the book, when it seems that she's actually dealing with the subject matter, instead of just telling us stories of their previous life, yes, there is passion. In the last 20 pages the book brought me to tears multiple times. But up until then I spent most of my reading time confused, and frustrated.

She often goes back in time with out a clear transition. At least once there was a sentence in the middle of a paragraph that had nothing to do with anything in the 3 pages before and after it.

To be honest. I really only recommend the last 20 pages of this book..
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reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 105 more book reviews
I've only read a few of Joan Didion's books, and, although she is obviously a talented author, she's not normally my cup of tea - a little too liberal and a little too feminist for my tastes. I decided to try this because it deals with the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, who is one of my favorite authors, and because my wife passed away four years ago. I thought I might get some valuable insights.

I could identify with some of her thoughts and feelings about the death of a loved one, although our experiences were somewhat different. My wife had a long history of health problems, and I had made peace with the fact that I'd probably outlive her years ago; I spent her remaining years trying to make her life as full and pleasant as I could. The last 19 months were particularly trying after she was diagnosed with acute leukemia, and when she finally passed it was a blessing because she suffered a lot towards the end.

The author's husband died suddenly of an acute myocardial infarction, which came as more of a shock to her than it should have since he had had heart trouble for years which involved several medical procedures including installation of a pacemaker.

She seems to have used writing down all her thoughts for a year as a form of grief therapy. I found myself bored after the first cd, but persevered to the end out of respect for the dead - both hers and mine. After a while, the name dropping about all the famous and near famous people she stayed with and had dinner with got a little tiresome, as did her references to all the glamorous and exotic places she and John had spent time in and jetted off to whenever they didn't want to face reality. She mentions their financial difficulties several times, bot it doesn't seem to have kept them from living pretty well all their lives - maybe there were monetary as well as therapeutic motives for the book.

I did get some nice insights into J G Dunne's life and his work, but on the whole I found the book more depressing than uplifting. Occasionally her obsessive ramblings made me think the title should have been "The Year Of Maniacal Thinking".

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