A tense account of privileged angst in the 1960s, Play It As It Lays
translates shockingly well into the modern mania and neurosis of the
millennial bookseller. This modernist nightmare is as compelling as it
is frightening. That I’m only 30 pages in and I know it’s going to
become an often revisited favorite is a good sign.
A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It As It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the listener. Set in a place beyond good and evil-literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul - it remains more than three decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.