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The Body Artist

3.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,797 Ratings  ·  556 Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
In whatever form Don DeLillo chooses to write, there is simply no other American author who has so consistently pushed the boundaries of fiction in his effort to capture the zeitgeist. In The Body Artist, DeLillo tells the hallucinatory tale of performance artist Lauren Hartke in the days following the suicide of her husband, filmmaker Rey Robl
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 5th 2002 by Scribner (first published January 1st 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 11, 2014 s.penkevich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Language lovers and still-life seekers
'Maybe the idea is to think of time differently. Stop time, or stretch it out, or open it up. Make a still life that's living, not painted.

In every instant of our waking lives we are experiencing the world around us through all our five senses. In order to process and share these experiences, we cage our perceptions up in words—abstract signifiers with an assumed weight of meaning. However, language is frail. fallible and full of holes, delivering us a beast behind bars, a caged animal at the
Paul Bryant
Feb 09, 2016 Paul Bryant marked it as assorted-rants-about-stuff
THERE'S 1000 STORIES IN THE CITY OF GOODREADS - THIS IS ONE OF THEM - Yes, Another Dreadful Reviewer/Author Encounter

I surfaced into consciousness unwillingly like a resurrecting Jesus with too much alimony to pay. A slap to the chin and I remembered whose cleancut chiselled features were going to be framing the next supercilious question.

"Feeling better, Mr Bryant?" Yes, of course. It was The Don. But I wasn't going to go quietly.

"Not really, you post-modern gargoyle of unmeaning. You can tak
Feb 01, 2012 Bennet rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels-stories
Couldn't sleep last night and re-read this, which had the effect of a rhythmic massage, primarily to a stiff neck and knotted shoulders that notably relaxed as I read. Something about the plainly poetic prose, with its quietly rhythmic language and the familiar, even mundane, details, rendered somehow incandescent in the telling, as if by a gentle voice reading barely aloud by dim lantern light.

This is a dream of a book, little more than a hundred pages, likely to disappoint if you're unwilling
Sep 15, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it
This is the third Don DiLillo book that I’ve read. I read White Noise in college, right along with everyone else, and thought it was a truly a modern classic, just like everybody else. Then, in graduate school, I also read Libra in a 500-level literature class called “Post Post Modern Fiction.” I thought it was terrible, although my reaction might have been warped the two utterly heartbreaking three-hour sessions my MA Literature classmates spent tearing the book apart, one-upping each other’s v ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa, l-1001bymrbyd
Que queria Don DeLillo contar com este livro?
Por mais que eu esprema os miolos não me sai absolutamente nada...

Imaginem que recebem de presente algo embrulhado em colorido papel de seda e com uns laçarotes preciosos. Entusiasmados, abrem-no e deparam-se com várias pecinhas de Lego:
- um homem, uma mulher e uma catrefada de apetrechos e ingredientes de pequeno almoço;
- uma mulher a fazer contorcionismo;
- uma pistola e um morto;
- uma casa e um carro;
- um bonequito que parece um rapaz e que acaba de
Nov 13, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
I picked this book from the 1001 books list based on the title - "The Body Artist". I will also shamefacedly admit that it was part of my cherry picking short books off the 1001 list in a bid to cheat my way to a higher number of "read" books. Don't do this people, it can backfire. It is also a good reminder that we should read for pleasure and not to fulfil a list, or make up numbers or as a sort of enforced chore. Which was what this book became.

It appealed to me, mainly because I spend a lot
Violet wells
The Body Artist is ostensibly a ghost story. It’s a novel about our relationship with the ghost world behind time and language. The prose itself seems to alter the maths of time with its pauses, rewindings, ellipses and fast forwardings. He slows down the minutiae of kitchen and bathroom ritual and resonates all the mystery there. The body is often his canvas and he shows us through its needs, rituals and reactions just how mysterious everyday life is. Few living writers can write sentences as b ...more
Es admirable la capacidad que tiene DeLillo para hacer vibrar el interior del lector. Con su prosa precisa, como si de un bisturí se tratase, nos muestra de manera clara algunas de las cosas de la vida diaria, de las que sabemos su existencia pero no sabemos explicar con palabras, y que él nos describe de forma deslumbrante. Sólo conozco a otro escritor capaz de hacer los mismo, y es David Foster Wallace.

No es que haya leído muchos libros de DeLillo, de hecho estoy empezando a conocerlo, y no ac
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 27, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of tragic love stories
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Must Read Books; Tata J
Shelves: ex-1001
This novelette is like a breath of fresh air in the last row of books that I've read. It is definitely one of its kind and Don DeLillo is one heck of an author whose other works I will be reading within this year. I already have a copy of his Underworld, Mao II and Falling Man.

In this novel, he definitely showed Nabokov's mastery of prose that almost feels like poetry and the skillful storytelling that is comparable to Ian McEwan's in his masterpiece Enduring Love. The remarkable difference, how
Sep 12, 2011 Mon rated it liked it
Shelves: po-mo
I hesitated as I was rating since I technically didn't finish the book. Most of the time the fact that I didn't complete a book is enough for me to give it 2 stars or less, but this is also significant because it's under 130 pages and I was actually in a patient enough mood for postmodernism.

If you ask me what The Body Artist is about, I cam tell you about 4 things.
1) The main couple lives in a house
2) They eat human food, I think it was cereal, or maybe toast
3) They walk around the house a
Apr 02, 2014 Bandit rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A good noncommittal way to try a new author is by reading their shorter works. Thing with that is it isn't always possible to know it it's an adequate representation of the author's talents. In this case Body Artist is a novella really, though the edition refers to it as a novel. But, based on this, would I commit to a larger work by an author like the much acclaimed White Noise or the behemoth Underworld...probably not. Body Artist does show a certain flair for language and has some lovely turn ...more
Jan 08, 2016 Kelanth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa
“Il tempo sembra passare. Il mondo accade, gli attimi si svolgono, e tu ti fermi a guardare un ragno attaccato alla ragnatela. C'è una luce nitida, un senso di cose delineate con precisione, strisce di lucentezza liquida sulla baia. In una giornata chiara e luminosa dopo un temporale, quando la più piccola delle foglie cadute è trafitta di consapevolezza, tu sai con maggiore sicurezza chi sei. Nel rumore del vento tra i pini, il mondo viene alla luce, in modo irreversibile, e il ragno resta atta ...more
Nate D
Mar 27, 2008 Nate D rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
The first chapter of The Body Artist is a near perfect bit of prose-poetry, two people microscopically dissected through a few minutes of mundane action. Everything proceeds in a sort of hyperreal slow motion, but it flows easily, naturally, even so. From there, the book switches gears into a study of self-isolation that rivals some of the loneliest passages of H. Murakami (who, in turn, has written some of the loneliest novels I know), but even at its brisk novella length, the book never grabbe ...more
Apr 09, 2009 Misha rated it it was amazing
The opening is a lengthy and gorgeous description of a couple having breakfast. Then the story turns into a deeply weird meditation on grief, time and self. The prose is gorgeous.
Mar 28, 2016 Matthew rated it liked it
Shelves: novels-novellas
"The body artist" is Lauren Hartke. Third wife of a failed filmmaker. The Body Artist opens with a brief interaction between Lauren and her husband, followed, in quick succession, by the suicide of the husband/failed filmmaker and the arrival of a stranger who barely communicates.

Like Kaspar Hauser, the stranger enters the narrative without explanation. Unlike Kaspar Hauser, he doesn't carry a note. Nothing in the form of an explanation. Lauren is startled by his arrival, and considers alerting
Armin Hennig
Jun 25, 2015 Armin Hennig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eine kurze Geschichte über die Zeiterfahrung

Für mich war Körperzeit bislang die Leseerfahrung des Jahres. Anscheinend wollte der auf dickere Bücher spezialisierte Autor mit dem Kurzroman ein Experiment eingehen, das ist ihm gelungen. Leichter zu lesen als die dickeren Schmöker ist das Buch allerdings nicht unbedingt, wer etwas ähnlich Dichtes wie das Baseballspiel zu Beginn von Underworld erwartet, wird enttäuscht werden, aber obwohl Körperzeit nur 144 Seiten dünn ist, fordert es mehr Ausdauer v
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Rey and Laura, husband and wife. They rented a big, rambling, isolated house near the sea. Laura is Rey's 3rd wife.

One day, Rey went to his first wife's house. Alone, he sat on a chair there and blew his brains out with a gun.

Laura, by herself now, chooses to still live in the rented house by the sea and wait till the lease expires. One day, she discovered a retarded man in one of the rooms of that big house. He can't communicate but somehow apparently had observed Laura and Rey secretly before
Nick Wellings

The Body Artist

Ghost meets Truly Madly Deeply in book form.

This was a damp squib for me, a misfire. Basically a treatise of the uncanny, born from a fictionalised encounter with an-other.

Spoilers: (plotlines...)

One day you're at home with your husband looking out the window at the birds, making toast and chatting. Everything's cool.

Next thing you know, breakfast been and done, he's driven from your holidayplace in New England to Manhattan where he used to live, and shot himself.

Cue DeLilloean s
Feb 08, 2016 Jimmy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
DeLillo's an excellent writer. Does that make the book good? The most interesting part was a description of some performance artists. Maybe that should have been the story. A strange man appears in this woman's room. Was he a performance artist? Not much happened with him. Perhaps a stranger story might have helped. It was more like a boring piece of performance art.
Jul 19, 2012 Erica rated it did not like it
I hadn't read anything by Don DeLillo before so perhaps this was a bad book for a first experience.

After I finished this book, I had this very powerful sensation: You know how when you go to see some obscure foreign film with your friends or you see an art exhibit that everyone else feels is so profound and deep while you are just sitting there wondering if your friends are insane because you don't see anything at all? That is the same feeling I had when I finished this book.

I found this to be
Apr 14, 2008 Renee rated it liked it
The Body Artist is an interesting rumination, but my one piece of advice is--just be sure you are in the mood for this one. It's not your typical novel, because nothing really happens, there is no plot to speak of. It will, however, make you think. Think about the nature of identity and what makes us who we are. The Body Artist is really more of a parable than a novel. The two main characters--Lauren, a "body artist" who turns her own body into nothingness, a blank sheet and an odd man who she d ...more
Anas Almansuri
Jun 26, 2015 Anas Almansuri rated it really liked it
Poetically written in a way that you taste honey as you read it.
Jack Waters
Jul 24, 2010 Jack Waters rated it really liked it
You can't go wrong with DeLillo. When you feel a book of his doesn't quite do it for you on a White Noise/Underworld scale, you realize you are reading DeLillo and your expectation level is sky-high.

The Body Artist is a nice novella about loss, memory, thought construction, longing and confusion. I read it in a short sitting, as could you. One of my friends, also a bookseller, names this as his favorite DeLillo offering. And he is a fellow DeLillo-ite. So, to quote another friend, Chris, put th
Alan Chen
Apr 14, 2016 Alan Chen rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
If I could I would give it 3.5 stars, I would. This is one of DeLillo's shorter works and at 128 pages it's more a novella than a novel. It's an odd little work and mostly takes place in a little house in the middle of nowhere. Laura is at the house he rented with her husband Rey after he commits suicide. Laura walks around the house, soaked in her alone-ness and recalls moments with her husband. She may/may not find a ghost in the house and the entity doesn't seem to understand English but like ...more
Dec 12, 2010 §-- rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
Awful. Pretentious free-indirect/Joyce's Ulysses-stream garbage. A 30,000 word prose poem that sucks. I have noticed a pretentiousness in DeLillo's interviews--the big meaningless generalizations about American culture (which are really just semantic misunderstandings at bottom) [as if the job of a novelist is to parse a culture], the sacredness of writing and the writer, a kind of nonconformism which is just dressed up conformism, and so on. More pretentious than DeLillo, however, is the book j ...more
Alex Telander
Jan 30, 2011 Alex Telander rated it did not like it
The Body Artist cannot really be called a novel (and barely a novella) with a total of 126 pages and a font size of fifteen or more, but for its shortness I’m glad. “She rubbed in the cream to remove wastepapery skin in flakes and scales and little rolling boluses that she like to hold between her fingers and imagine, unmorbidly, at the cell death of something inside her.”

The book is full of these exhortations on life and humanity that serve more to annoy and aggravate than to enlighten and impr
Oct 25, 2013 Lea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: snacks, books-i-own
This novel taught me a lot about the colour grey. We met by accident on a rainy day in Copenhagen, and reading it was like staring at an abstract painting for some hours. It completely absorbed me, although I am pretty sure, I only understood parts of it, only the top of the iceberg. When I reread this, which I surely will, different things will inspire different thoughts than the first time I read this.

The story follows the body artist Lauren, shortly after (and just before) the death of her hu
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
pain art

Rey e Lauren sono sposati da poco quando lui si uccide
restano i pochi ricordi e il lavoro di scarnificazione che lei è solita fare prima di produrre una performance col suo fantasma di quel che è stato o di quel che sarà si aggira tra le stanze della casa isolata in cui lei si rifugia...è un fantasma proiettivo, come la quasi totalità di quelli di cui si scrive di solito...e parla solo con parole già dette e solamente con la voce di chi le ha pronunciate...
This short novella is my first taste of Don DeLillo's writing and I have to say I am hooked and will be back for more.
The first chapter is incredible, the words so spare and nearly lyrical that I found myself instinctively reading it aloud to myself as if it were a poem.
It is the recounting of a simple morning, a breakfast shared between husband and wife--getting juice, toasting bread, rinsing blueberries to top cereal, pouring coffee and tea, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, wat
Sharon Skinner
Jun 01, 2008 Sharon Skinner rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I couldn't get past the first few pages, which consisted largely of a chain-of-consciousness-type description of the woman eating cereal and her husband reading the paper. Apparently, not my cup of tea, made stronger by leaving the bag in the water, then lifting it and dunking it, lifting it and dunking it and finally lifting it out of the water and placing it on a plate where the remaining water pools darkly around the edges leaving a stain . . .
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Don DeLillo is an American author best known for his novels, which paint detailed portraits of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He currently lives outside of New York City.

Among the most influential American writers of the past decades, DeLillo has received, among author awards, a National Book Award (White Noise, 1985), a PEN/Faulkner Award (Mao II, 1991), and an American
More about Don DeLillo...

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“When birds look into houses, what impossible worlds they see.” 35 likes
“Why shouldn't the death of a person you love bring you into lurid ruin? You don't know how to love the one you love until they disappear abruptly. Then you understand how thinly distanced from their suffering, how sparing of self you often were, only rarely unguarded of heart, working your networks of give-and-take.” 21 likes
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