The White Album

  • by Joan Didion
  • Narrated by Susan Varon
  • 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1979, The White Album records indelibly the upheavals and aftermaths of the 1960s. Examining key events, figures, and trends of the era - including Charles Manson, the Black Panthers, and the shopping mall - through the lens of her own spiritual confusion, Joan Didion helped to define mass culture as we now understand it. Written with a commanding sureness of tone and linguistic precision, The White Album is a central example of American reportage and a classic of American autobiography.

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What the Critics Say

"All of the essays manifest not only [Didion's] intelligence but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Time Capsule of a Bygone Age

I picked this title for three reasons. First, it was highly recommended by a reviewer I follow. Secondly, I love the White Album. Thirdly, I have heard so much about Joan Didion but read none of her writing and I felt as if I was under-educated as a consequence. To say I am ever so slightly disappointed is only a reflection of my expectations and not of the reasons that brought be to listen to the book.
I am pleased I listened to this collection of essays (previously published in the course of a celebrated career as a New Journalist between the early sixties and the late seventies). Although it is commonly reported to be dead, this style of writing will be forever popular because it creates a relationship between the writer, the reader and the subject matter. Didion did that better than well, capturing the essence of the sixties and the seventies west coast feel as well as her own idiosyncratic meanderings as she wrote. I loved the pieces on the Doors session and the portage of water.
Why was I a tad disappointed? Possibly because there was not more of the bits I loved and not enough about the White Album.
Overall, it was a very satisfying experience made more memorable by a lovely reading by Susan Varon. If Didion captured the times, then Varon captured Didion.
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- Ian C Robertson

A great portrait of a fascinating time.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, definitely. This is a really compelling audiobook, beautifully done.


What does Susan Varon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Susan Varon's voice is a perfect match for Didion's essays. I'd love to hear her do more.


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- George

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-22-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios