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The Year of Magical Thinking

Narrated by: Vanessa Redgrave
Length: 1 hr and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

When celebrated writer Joan Didion’s life was altered forever, she wrote a new chapter. In this adaptation of her iconic memoir, Didion transforms the story of the shattering loss of her husband and their daughter into a one-woman play performed by Tony Award winner Vanessa Redgrave, who originated the role on Broadway in 2007. Written with Didion’s trademark style of cool observation, The Year of Magical Thinking weaves back and forth in time, taking listeners on a poignant journey through heartbreak, grief, and resilience. It’s an unforgettable theatrical experience that resonates with anyone who has ever loved.

©2005 Joan Didion (P)2020 AO Media LLC

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  • Maya
  • 07-08-20

Difficult story, but worth it

I saw Vanessa Redgrave do the first run of The Year of Magical Thinking in 2007 on Broadway.
She entered the theater looking really bad. The evening before she had not been well and had
canceled. I flew from Florida to NYC that morning so I was worried after hearing she had let
the understudy take her place the night before. I know now she was getting into character.

The play was excellent. It was Ms. Redgrave sitting on the stage as if just telling us the story.
It was very difficult to hear the pain and confusion. I think people often do not understand what
magical thinking is. It was the perfect title for this book. In the early part she says she thinks
he is still alive in California due to the time difference. That is a good example of magical thinking.
Sentences that begin with "if" are often magical thinking. There is a difference in the play and
the recording. Ms. Redgrave was 70 when she was in the play and now is 83 so there is a bit
of a difference in her voice. I really wish they had recorded the original play for video and audio.

The part I remember feeling so emotional about was at the end when she is asking if she lied
to her daughter about the medical tests and care making her well. Every mother tells a child
they are going to be ok unless they know for certain the child is dying and some do it even then.
That was a hard bit of the story for a mother.

A very good performance of a best seller.

63 people found this helpful

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  • David Hargis
  • 08-08-20

Trigger warning

The reading is amazing and due to experiencing a recent lose totally has the vibes of lose. It is heartfelt and wrenching. Be careful. It can destroy you.

29 people found this helpful

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  • barbara
  • 07-08-20

The Year of Magical Thinking

A strange and haunting book, I am not sure if it portrays grief or a mind not accepting grief. It certainly makes you think . The narration was very good.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Sandy Bovard
  • 07-08-20

How long will the impact last?

The narration was moving, the story did and is still making me think and wonder.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Sonia Holland
  • 08-08-20

Breathtaking

I cannot recall a short story that dug and hit me so deep. Read it.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Epiphany Forbes
  • 04-08-20

I Really Enjoyed This Book

I'm thankful the Author chose to share her experience in this book. The narration really helped give the story it's tone.

17 people found this helpful

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  • trina clark
  • 08-08-20

Poignant and beautifully heartbreaking

What a beautiful and poignant look into grief. This journey through her thoughts is captured so well I feel I must have stood beside her watching this unfold. Captivating, heartbreaking, yet somehow hopeful. “I love you more than one more day.” We should all love this way fully and complete! I will be thinking of the writing and the performance for a long time to come.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Keith Hopper
  • 08-08-20

beautiful; sad

Brilliantly written. Redgrave is amazing. I had the sense that we hear Didion's voice through narrator.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Lucy
  • 10-08-20

Moving

Incredible narration and writing.
This book wasn’t quite what I’d imagined but it was absolutely stunning and captivated me from the beginning.
It touches deeply into parts of the human experience that are rarely so poetically expressed.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Yas
  • 08-08-20

Magical indeed

The eloquence of the prose is magical indeed. The commonness of the thought is quite relatable and wields a power of immense quantity. Beautiful work of Art

6 people found this helpful