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The Year of Magical Thinking
The Year of Magical Thinking
Author: Joan Didion
Didion's journalistic skills are displayed as never before in this story of a year in her life that began with her daughter in a medically induced coma and her husband unexpectedly dead due to a heart attack. This powerful and moving work is Didion's "attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had abo...  more
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ISBN-13: 9781400043149
ISBN-10: 140004314X
Publication Date: 10/4/2005
Pages: 240
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 275

3.5 stars, based on 275 ratings
Publisher: Knopf
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 129 more book reviews
19 member(s) found this review helpful.
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."
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 74 more book reviews
9 member(s) found this review helpful.
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..
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 132 more book reviews
8 member(s) found this review helpful.
Now I understand how I got through the year of teaching that began the day after my younger son's memorial service. It is indeed magical thinking, magically written.

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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 98 more book reviews
Ms Didion writes "magically" about a difficult subject----the unexpected death of her husband.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 4047 more book reviews
Rather matter-of-fact writing, I suppose that's how she made sense of it all.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on
fabulous read

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