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The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  2,119 ratings  ·  260 reviews
From one of the greatest writers of our time, his first collection of short stories, written between 1979 and 2011, chronicling—and foretelling—three decades of American life

Set in Greece, the Caribbean, Manhattan, a white-collar prison and outer space, these nine stories are a mesmerizing introduction to Don DeLillo’s iconic voice, from the
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Audio CD, 0 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2011)
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s.penkevich
Dec 22, 2012 s.penkevich rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Conor Oberst
Let the words be the facts. This was the nature of our walks – to register what was out there, all the scattered rhythms of circumstance and occurrence, and to reconstruct it as human noise.’

After hearing the opening lyrics to the Bright Eyes song Gold Mine Gutted, I spent 2 years of high school believing that Don DeLillo was some obscure brand of whisky. While passing time between lectures in college, I stumbled upon DeLillo’s short story The Angel Esmeralda in my lit. textbook and, after fee
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Several years back, a dear friend of mine and former fella, a pack-rat who practically asphyxiated his 3-bedroom house with all his scattered bits of fabric, broken mannequins, modified guitar pedals, doodled-upon pages of butcher paper, random glass-framed thrift-store paintings, wires, screws, stacked tupperware containers full of paints and pastels, Melodicas and chord organs, "clever" coffee mugs full of stale neon pink brush water, records, movies, and books upon books upon books, up and de ...more
Violet wells
Angel Esmeralda –
1 Creation – A husband and wife are trapped on a remote island where all outgoing flights are cancelled. As ever Delillo’s prose is gloriously incisive and lyrical. And as usual he does a fabulous job of evoking in a new and searing light contemporary situations. In this story he’s brilliant at capturing the ennui of waiting at airports; the arresting of the narrative of a life by unseen circumstances. And showing how sometimes life happens when you’re waiting for the next chapt
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Krok Zero
FUUUUUCK YEAAAAAAAH

DeLillo, so closely identified with the novel, one of the artists whose insistence upon the novel as the preeminent form of human expression, or at least American expression, has allowed the novel to endure as such... this same DeLillo, this mad genius with the ever-loaded and inimitable style evident in each of his fifteen-ish novels, has written just enough short stories over his four-decade career for this slim collection to be publishable. Short stories?? Don, you taught u
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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
You know how in high school or college English classes, you unpack every single line of whatever text you're studying at the time. The class looks deeply into the work for symbolism, metaphor, syntax, diction, and deeper meaning. To be honest, much as I can enjoy doing it, I think a lot of that's bullshit. Sometimes a spade is just a spade, you know. Sometimes, the color of the wallpaper in the room wasn't the author subtly trying to send the reader a message about the hero's emotional state.

Why
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Paul Gleason
I'm usually very skeptical about short story collections written by major novelists. In my opinion, very few novelists can succeed in both the short story and novel format. The exceptions? Joyce, Hemingway, Lawrence, O'Connor, Kafka, Melville, Barth, Coover, Wallace, Vollmann, Gass, Dick . . . and now, surprisingly, DeLillo, whom I had pegged for a marathon runner and not a sprinter.

Well, DeLillo can sprint - and very well. His stories in this collection, with the exception of the title story, a
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Gabi Dopazo
I don’t like going on too much about books. Writing in English makes it harder. But there is also that feeling of undoing something that I don’t like. Undoing characters, undoing a plot, breaking the story apart, the beginnings, the ends

Today I feel I have to write something. I can’t mark the book read, give it 5 starts and move on with my life as normal. Come home, say hello, go in the kitchen, get a glass of something, turn the computer on, give it 5 stars...

I didn’t take any notes. I don’t li
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Parker F
While WHITE NOISE may be among my favorite novels, this collection makes me less convinced of DeLillo's genius. While he certainly has a unique voice, here I found some motifs so widespread as to suggest authorial laziness. Nearly every story in this book contains at least a passage in which one or more characters construct a fictive biography of some bystander. In some of the more involved cases the entire plot of the story is a character creating a story about a more peripheral character. Thus ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Read this because it was nominated for the PEN / Faulkner award, but I would have read it anyway, love DeLillo. The stories are great, but the book is SHORT and they span such a long span of time. I want more. MORE, I say.

The first story, "Creation," is about a couple trying to get a flight out of a Caribbean airport. The words were lush while the situation was slightly shocking.

"Human Moments in World War III" discusses war and humanity from the safety of space, after the ban of nuclear weapons
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Núria
Don DeLillo es un tipo que, no sé por qué, me cae bien. En las fotos tiene pinta de hombre severo y que está por pocas bromas, pero a mí me da la sensación que en realidad es un tipo cordial y amable con el que puedes conversar fácilmente de cualquier cosa (creo que esta idea se desprende de las pocas muestras que he podido leer de su correspondencia con David Foster Wallace).

He leído dos de los novelones de Don DeLillo (‘Ruido de fondo’ y ‘Libra’) y los dos me encantaron. Pero, como sus novelo
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Eloy Eduardo
Two stories stand out in this collection, “The Angel Esmeralda” and “Hammer and Sickle” (5 stars each). Both are bewitching. In the first one (about two very committed nuns and a lost young girl that is raped, murdered, and then comes back in an apparition) DeLillo’s voice becomes personal, lets himself go, and he plays with his ideas, with his style, with the originality of his characters, for quite a reading experience. The second, narrated in the first person by a white-collar inmate in a min ...more
Alan Chen
I'm a huge fan of DeLillo but this collection of short stories was slightly disappointing. If I attempt to summarize the stories they sound kind of bland (a couple gets stranded because they can't get a flight, 2 college students fantasize about a stranger, 2 nuns see an image of an angel on an advertising sign) because these stories are more about atmosphere, mood, or the interior life of the characters. The problem I had with them is that the stories are rich in gloom/doom and this ominous qua ...more
Nate
Hit and miss on a lot of these stories. "Human Moments in World War III" seems to get a mention in most reviews here and otherwise. I really loved that one. Hands down my favorite. A weird not so distant future of its time it's incredibly nostalgic and at the same time incredibly prophetic.

'“I still get depressed on Sundays,” he says.

“Do we have Sundays here?”

“No, but they have them there and I still feel them. I always know when it’s Sunday.”

“Why do you get depressed?”

“The slowness of Sundays.
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Darwin8u
Don Delillo is one of those writers who either hits a home run with me or hits a series of amazing fouls. Mao II made me want to be a writer. White Noise pretty much convinced me I would never be good enough. Reading these 9 stories that span about 30 odd years it is clear that Delillo is a master of the literary universe. There are stories that seem to anticipate disaster and others that seem to translate the quiet terror of the present into more than words. It is like there is a hidden text be ...more
Elalma
Una volta non amavo leggere racconti, ma poi con il tempo ho dovuto ricredermi di fronte a quelli di Salinger, di Dubus, della Munro e di altri. Per questo non ho avuto timori nel leggere questa raccolta, avendo amato molto DeLillo nei romanzi che ho letto; questi racconti sono molto diversi gli uni dagli altri, ma in tutti ho riconosciuto lo stile asciutto ma ricco nello stesso tempo, la profonda analisi che sconfina nell'alienazione ma non nella paranoia, l'ansia di fronte alle paure e il desi ...more
Maria
I blush to admit this is the first Don DeLillo I've read since devouring Libra as an undergrad. I was moved to read him again since so many writers that I admire, from Martin Amis to David Foster Wallace, from Chang-Rae Lee to Zadie Smith, have cited him as an influence. His hypnotic prose, and the sense of unease that he gives to everyday settings and events, made this collection a compelling read. Judging from the reviews on this site, everyone's favourite story seems to be "Human Moments in W ...more
Paolo Latini
[Primo abbozzo di una recensione che per quanto possa diventare lunga e completa non renderà mai sufficiente giustizia al libro di uno scrittore di cui leggerei anche la lista della spesa e il cui nome per me è palesemente uno dei nomi di DIO, se un tale essere metafisico c'è]

———si capisce che mi piace DeLillo?———————

Questa raccolta di racconti raccoglie alcuni racconti che DioDeLillo ha scritto e pubblicato tra il 1979 e il 2010. Personalmente sento la mancanza di "Total Loss Weekend" che DioDe
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Scott
This is a beautiful piece of publishing. Nine stories that map my favorite American writer's career from the early impressionistic "Creation" to the dark and enigmatic "The Starveling" (also available in the latest issue of Granta). The book is divided into three sections that invite the reader to read thematically, with each section fronted by a stark black-and-white photo. I actually have the 1983 issue of Esquire that originally ran "Human Moments in World War III," so it's nice to be able to ...more
Jeff Jackson
4.5 stars. The strongest book DeLillo has released in some time. What's remarkable is how the stories work together as a whole, so that even the weakest piece "The Runner" introduces key themes that echo throughout. Pick hits: The brilliant title story (nuns vs. the Bronx, miracles vs. an OJ ad), "Human Moments in World War III" (sci-fi haunted by ancient radio transmissions), "The Ivory Acrobat" (shifting emotions during earthquake weather), and "Hammer and Sickle" (hysterical human puppet show ...more
Robert
The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo is a collection of stories written between the late 1970s and 2011. Each story seems to be based on a strong central idea–a story idea–that decays into DeLillo’s vision of the world and his way of expressing it. When he writes novels, there are enough events to give this DeLillo vision a kind of rhythm that rescues it from its monotony and repetitiveness. Here, the singularity of the story-idea gradually erodes even as it crests. I know that’s contradictory, bu ...more
Zuberino
Tropical island. Space station. Earthquaked Athens. Modern museum. Snowbound college town. Min-sec prison. Arthouse cinema. And seedy New York underbelly.

These are the nine (appropriate) settings for the nine stories in this collection by DeLillo, his only one, the stories written over a span of three decades from the late 1970s to the early 2010s, but each of them exploring the same core issue: the implacable loneliness of modern man, his (and occasionally her) irrevocable isolation from the r
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Tasos
Η μοναδική συλλογή διηγημάτων του DeLillo είναι αντιπροσωπευτική των θεμάτων που χαρακτηρίζουν το έργο του και κυρίως της προσπάθειας του (μετα)μοντέρνου ανθρώπου να βρει δομή και αφηγηματικότητα σε μια κατακερματισμένη και χαοτική καθημερινότητα. Καλύτερο απ' όλα το Angel Esmeralda που έδωσε και το όνομα στη συλλογή, με θέμα μια ηλικιωμένη μοναχή που ψάχνει να βρει τα απομεινάρια της πίστης της στο Μπρονξ,
αν και αγαπημένο μου είναι το Μπάαντερ-Μάινχοφ, με θέμα μια σύντομη συνάντηση στη σκιά μια
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Tony
THE ANGEL ESMERALDA. (1979-2011). Don DeLillo. ****.
This is the first exposure I’ve had to any of the author’s shorter works. All of these stories had been previously published, but were arranged chronologically for this edition. The earlier stories are gems, and worked much better than those from the later period. The transition point seems to be the title story. Before that, the author’s mood and style were right on target for the prose form. The stories that followed later, although still ve
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No Books
Don DeLillo è un romanziere. Poche le interviste rilasciate, poche le apparizioni pubbliche (la sua timidezza è tanto leggendaria quanto fantomatica), nessun corso di scrittura creativa, nessuna delle attività collaterali tipiche del letterato statunitense. Se prescindiamo da una manciata di articoli e da una mezza dozzina di sceneggiature tra cinema e teatro, la sua fama si basa unicamente sui quindici romanzi che ha pubblicato negli ultimi quarant’anni. Il segreto meglio custodito della sua pr ...more
míol mór
Don DeLillo un romanziere. Poche le interviste rilasciate, poche le apparizioni pubbliche (la sua timidezza tanto leggendaria quanto fantomatica), nessun corso di scrittura creativa, nessuna delle attivit collaterali tipiche del letterato statunitense. Se prescindiamo da una manciata di articoli e da una mezza dozzina di sceneggiature tra cinema e teatro, la sua fama si basa unicamente sui quindici romanzi che ha pubblicato negli ultimi quarantanni. Il segreto meglio custodito della sua produz ...more
J.
I was encouraged to pick this collection up by John Banville. 'Don DeLillo is the poet of entropy. The world he sets up in his fictions is a tightly wound machine gradually running down, and in it all action is a kind of lapsing drift' - John Banville.
This collection of nine short stories which range over 30 years, the earliest was written in 1979 have a quality of surreal absurdest detachment which one finds in world cinema.

The short story collection is divided into three parts. Each story beg
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Eric Cartier
This is a first-rate compilation of short stories, DeLillo's first. The stories range across all five decades of his writing career thus far (the title story and "Baader-Meinhof" are my favorites, but all nine are worth your eye-time--it's a slim, 211-page collection). Dread, awe, confusion, happiness, boredom, and terror--television, insomnia, broadcast news, film, blight, and crime--and more! All uniquely explored in DeLillo's lively voice, which occludes cliche, instead refreshingly describin ...more
Kate
These are wonderful stories by a very talented and skillful writer; the collection is of particular interest because the stories span the length of his career to date (1979 to 2011) so it's possible to observe the development of many elements of his distinctive prose, as well as some recurring themes. DeLillo is great at portraying characters who are somehow adrift, and at conveying paranoia without any hint of melodrama. This is a collection I will definitely revisit, but not in the audio forma ...more
Keith
Apart from the title story and "Human Moments in WWIII," this collection seemed to embody all that I find problematic about Delillo: the unrelenting grimness, the forced gravitas, the First-World neuroses... For some reason these seem more forgivable in a novel--maybe because there is more room for him to earn the emotion (even if, all too often, the emotion in question is cliched late-capitalist anomie). At any rate, I thought the title story and "Human Moments" best showed off his estimable st ...more
Rick
The Angel Esmerelda is perhaps the best story in this collection of short stories that DeLillo has written over the last decades. The average DeLillo story is a lot less about plot and a lot more about his ability to chart the sense of unease and creepiness that seems to pervade the modern world. DeLillo is a dry mordant observer of the modern world and these stories project our unease about the future. I remember phrases and observations in these stories more then their plots but DeLillo gives ...more
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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
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More about Don DeLillo...
White Noise Underworld Libra Cosmopolis Falling Man

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“If you know you're worth nothing, only a gamble with death can gratify your vanity.” 16 likes
“That's the world out there, little green apples and infectious disease.” 7 likes
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