Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Follows the life of a Honolulu debutante who has an on-again off-again fling with a covert operator before marrying a politician. As Vietnam collapses so does Inez Victor's family: daughter on smack, son a jerk, husband shifting opinions with the polls. There is a murder in the family, and sudden insanity, and the covert operator reappears. What's a gal to do?

Democracy is a stylistic melange of Graham Greene and Marguerite Duras, and like all Didion's novels it's very short and very interesting. This one is peculiar because Didion puts herself into the narrative as novelist/character, which is sort of like player/coach in baseball. Also evident is the heavy research she did about patients on life support, and this of course became very important to her late in life, as you know if you read the excellent The Year of Magical Thinking.

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