The Year of Magical Thinking (英語) ペーパーバック – 2006/9/4
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
From one of America's iconic writers, 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. A stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill. At first they thought it was flu, then pneumonia, then complete sceptic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later - the night before New Year's Eve -the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of 40 years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LA airport, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Centre to relieve a massive hematoma. This powerful book is Didion's 'attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness ...about marriage and children and memory ...about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself'. The result is an exploration of an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage, and a life, in good times and bad.
'It is the most awesome performance of both participating in, and watching, an event. Even though Didion does not allow herself to break down, only a terribly controlled reader will resist doing the same.' John Freeman, Independent 'Ultimately, and unexpectedly for a book about illness and death, this is a wonderfully life affirming book.' Lisa O'Kelly, Observer 'Searing, informative and affecting. Don't leave life without it.' Financial Times 'This is a beautiful and devastating book by one of the finest writers we have. Didion has always been a precise, humane and meticulously truthful writer, but on the subject of death she becomes essential.' Zadie Smith 'Taking the reader to places where they would not otherwise go is one of the things a really good book can do. "The Year of Magical Thinking" does just that, and brilliantly. Powerful, moving and true.' Cressida Connolly, Spectator 'A great book, a great work. Angular, exact, pressured and tough, precise as a diamond drill bit.' Nick Laird商品の説明をすべて表示する
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta) （「Early Reviewer Program」のレビューが含まれている場合があります）
When my dearest husband died, I lost days, forget phone numbers, people's names, whether I showered. Reading this book provides me with somber reality that not just myself had entered the dark whirlpool of which I was too weak and lost to find my way out. This book as allowed me to read about my own road of grief... Which is not close to ending. And
Superb book, thank you. M
"Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness"
Her work was cathartic, but overall comforting as I learned that some one other person knows my loss and has written of it so beautifully that the tears finally feel healing.
I had been warned against this book as it was a "downer," but the one who gave the warning has no idea of what the loss of half of your soul is like. When you lose the kind of love I had, it is very very hard to find words that could make the loss greater. They can only help me deal with the pain.
Thank you Joan Didion, for sharing yours with me.
Joan Didion wites so well and expresses so beautifully the love she and John Donne had. I loved the book. Although I didn't relate to the problems with her daughter. I can't imagine living through that sadness along with her husband's death. She is a strong woman. I would like to know her.
I highly recommend this book!
Sad, because, nine months ago, we lost my beloved father. I've had to watch my Mom grieve the end of one of life's grand love affairs - the passionate love affair between my parents, which lasted nearly 60 years.
Illuminating because, at times, Didion expresses her personal grieving in such a universal way that her loss became my Mother's loss. Didion gave a voice to the process of grief that my Mom, a widow, is experiencing and which I, a still-married daughter, have not yet experienced.
That Dunne brought deep meaning into Didion's life is unquestionable; her struggle to control or somehow change the events of that year, at times, makes fascinating reading because one senses that her emotions, her sens of loss are deep so that if she touched on them, she probably wouldn't cope.
But, while reading, I was struck by another level of sadness: at the hospital, which declared her husband dead, the social worker said of Didion's reaction, "It's okay; she's a pretty cool customer."
I constantly found myself asking, where ARE her emotions? What IS she feeling?
She could, and did, articulate the practical details of her year of grieving in microscopic detail, but there were times when I found her determined and strong-willed focus on medical facts, and the logistics of Dunne's death and her daughter's illness, disconcerting. Understandable, yes, and sad because it suggested a desperate attempt at mastering her overwhelming loss, but still disconcerting. She is, as the social worker said, "a pretty cool customer," and she manages to keep her deepest emotions very private.
The title of the book explains a lot: THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING. "Magical" to me has a wondrous, positive connotation; the word implies exciting events that take the ordinary and somehow transform them into the extraordinary. I only understood how Didion could apply it to the year following the death of her husband, a year in which her only child lay dying, when I looked up the meaning in the dictionary for this review.
Rather than the magic in her title meaning `an enchanting quality or phenomenon' or `wonderful, exciting,' the MAGICAL in Didion's title relies more on the definition of "magic" as `the supposed art of influencing the course of events by the occult control of nature or of the spirits.'
Because, to me, that's where the sadness in this book really lies: Didion's desperate desire to influence, to change by some power she didn't have, the death of her husband. And, even when, she couldn't "bring him back," she still had to go through the process of accepting that death is a part of life. That no matter how privileged, or intelligent, or talented, or lucky one is, no matter how many famous names one can drop, death comes to us all: "Golden lads and girls all must, as chimney-sweepers, come to dust." (Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act IV, Sc ii)
For Didion, there was no magic in her year of grieving. No amount of intellectualising her grief could change that ordinary moment when, at the dinner table, her beloved husband died. He was gone and, to resume her life, she had to "relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead" and move into a future beyond grief and beyond mourning.