REVIEW: The White Album, by Joan Didion

Over at Hipster Book Club my review of the re-release of The White Album is up.

Read it!

And be thankful that I didn’t make any jokey comparisons to the Beatles record.

The White Album is a dense, exciting thing. If you haven’t read the title essay from this collection in a while, stop by your local bookstore for 15 minutes and give it a go.

Hipster Book Club has also posted their annual holiday gift guide.



  1. Nice review. Her work is fantastic, yet one aspect keeps bothering me about Didion the essayist–is there a point at which Didion herself is absorbed into the tyranny and over-indulgence of the age she is simultaneously critiquing? Can she admonish the corrupt wastefulness of the Reagan mansion as she writes from her suite in a posh and renowned Hawaiian resort?

    The Year of Magical Thinking is probably a better example of what I’m talking about. But maybe if pointing out absurdities/hypocrisy is Didion’s thing, it’s only fair that she exposes herself to the same judgment.

  2. I hear you. She’s supposed to be our double agent, spying on behalf of the regular guys, but she’s good friends with half the celebrities she writes about. All I can say is, in 2009 Joan Didion seems like a celebrity herself, but in the 1970s, when she was writing this book, she was probably a bit more of a scrapper. I guess we’ll always need a new Joan Didion. The new one comes along to expose the complicity of the old one. I think the real Joan would welcome that.

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