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The Year of Magical Thinking
The Year of Magical Thinking
Author: Joan Didion
From one of America?s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage?and a life, in good times and bad?that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. — Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and...  more
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ISBN-13: 9781400078431
ISBN-10: 1400078431
Publication Date: 2/13/2007
Pages: 240
Rating:
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 252

3.3 stars, based on 252 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 239 more book reviews
12 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 95 more book reviews
10 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 11 more book reviews
7 member(s) found this review helpful.
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!

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  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on
Kind of wandering and still very interesting story of Joan Didion's year of grief/grieving/mourning for death of husband and (separate incident) serious illness of her daughter. I don't have plans to repost it, which says something.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 79 more book reviews
Joan Didion is an amazing writer, I think this is the first book of hers I've read but I've loved her work in the New Yorker and Harpers. I also love the cover of this book, the letters that make up her dead husband's name stand out in blue from the stark black font of the rest of the letters in the author's name and title, as proper a tribute as it is creative.

I appreciate the glimpse of Didion's marriage with John Dunne, their adoption of daughter Quintana, and the awful holiday season of 2003 when her husband died while their only child was in a coma. Now I'm wanting to read more about all three of their lives.

..."given that grief remained the most general of afflictions its literature seemed remarkably spare." Even so, Didion gives an excellent overview of the literature relating to grief; encompassing the physical, emotional, psychological, rational and irrational aspects of the process. I found it fascinating that Didion praises Emily Post's 1922 etiquette guide for the best advice and information out there today.
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 15 more book reviews
Good writing and certainly an honest account of the author's grief over losing her husband. I just couldn't get past all the name-dropping and every other paragraph reminding me of their wealth and position in society. One message that I'm not sure was intended by all that garbage but which I received was that no matter how much money and fame you have, it doesn't protect you from grief or make those feelings any easier. And to a large extent the grieving process is universally similar for all of us. This book struck me as extremely self-indulgent and overall I didn't care for it much.

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