The Last Thing He Wanted (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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An earlier book from Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays is one of my all-time favourites, and this novel holds that same tension of language; to quote: From John Weir - The New Yorker, "Didion's fiction is no less indispensable than her five books of essays and reportage are....There's an animating tension in Didion's fiction between her achingly sure control as storyteller and stylist and the numbing vagueness of the people she depicts....Didion's novels are thus simultaneously lucid and surreal." She's both the only current novelist engaged enough to capture the language and manners of our government-by-espionage and the only one capable of sentences as shimmeringly seductive and mysterious as "The best story I ever told was a reef dream." You want to spin that sentence in the air and admire how cleanly it falls.

— From Alison


In her first novel in twelve years, the legendary author of Play It As It Lays and Slouching Toward Bethlehem trains her eye on the far frontiers of the Monroe Doctrine, where history dissolves into conspiracy (Dallas in 1963, Iran Contra in 1984), and fashions a moral thriller as hypnotic and provacative as any by Joseph Conrad or Graham Greene.

In that latter year Elena McMahon walks off the presidential campaign she has been covering for a major newspaper to do a favor for her father. Elena's father does deals. And it is while acting as his agent in one such deal—a deal that shortly goes spectacularly wrong—that she finds herself on an island where tourism has been superseded by arms dealing, covert action, and assassination. The Last Thing He Wanted is a tour de force—persuasive in its detail, dazzling in its ambiguities, enchanting in its style.

About the Author

Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York City. She is the author of five novels and seven previous books of nonfiction.

Praise For…

"Gripping...Didion at her finest." —USA Today"Simultaneously lucid and surreal . . . the result is entrancing." —The New Yorker"Remarkable. . . . Didion has created a menacing world where the reader is held hostage." —Los Angeles Times"Dark detail, understatement and intelligence work their astonishing magic." —The New York Times Book Review
Product Details
ISBN: 9780679752851
ISBN-10: 0679752854
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: September 2nd, 1997
Pages: 240
Language: English
Series: Vintage International