New to Joan Didion’s work, I didn’t know what to expect when I first opened Democracy. Going into any reading experience, we all have some expectations which authors rarely shatter. That’s not to say literary work is rarely good, just that as writers, we often construct our stories within established formats. To break out of these will certainly make a statement and can cause readers to experience a work completely differently, and that isn’t always what we want.
By the second chapter, Democracy has thrown away all expectations and changes the overall perception of the story. Joan Didion splits into two separate entities: an author and a character.
As a writer who grew up reading Lemony Snicket’s The Series of Unfortunate Events, I’m familiar with the intricacies of separating author from character from actual author (a move that was, in my opinion, brilliant on David Handler’s part). Didion expertly wields this technique, making this piece of fiction even more real and true than it already was.
I recommend this novel for anyone who wants to work in the media or is interested in how the media functions. We see the toll constant media exposure has on people and both the internal and external perception of their lives.
If you cannot find Democracy in your local bookstore, you can find it here on Amazon.