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3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  856 ratings  ·  49 reviews
In this remarkable novel of menace and mystery Pammy and Lyle Wynant are an attractive, modern couple who seem to have it all. Yet behind their "ideal" life is a lingering boredom and quiet desperation which leads both of them into separate but equally fatal adventures. And still they remain untouched, "players" indifferent to the violence that surrounds them, and that the...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 16th 1992 by Vintage (first published 1977)
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J Frederick
In Players, a novel with the admittedly cliché plot focused on a bored, young, rich couple who try to shock themselves in the further clichéd manner of engaging in affairs (albeit a strange ones) and (in the case of one half of the couple) in the more DeLillion manner of joining a terrorist cell. Though Players is not Delillo's best novel, it is notable for introducing many concepts into DeLillo's oeuvre. While End Zone contains the expanding big bang core of DeLillo's investigations of language...more
Jeffrey Paris [was Infinite Tasks]
If you need clear-cut motivational structures for your literary characters, avoid this book. If, on the other hand, you think that finding oneself in the midst of a situation that carries you, wave-like, is a definitive mode of human existence, you are probably enough of a fan of DeLillo that no caution is necessary.

Even so, this is a challenging read, since it does not age so well as Great Jones Street or Endzone. Consider it a stopping point on the way to Mao II, if you like. With a lot of se...more
I kinda wanted to put this book on my fantasy shelf because it was so far fetched. American Psycho is a similar book (Wall Street in late 80s-early 90s) with similar themes (the trouble that the young, rich, white folk can get up to in order to pacify their boredom), but was much better done.

The opening "scene" (I say "scene" because it was more like a dream sequence) was almost retro-train yet simultaneously futuristic with the whole movie and piano bar section of a plane. Ultimately, it is a...more
Guillermo Jiménez
Debí haber leído por ahí del 2004 "The Body Artist", a la que seguí con "Americana", que me pareció una plasta suprema. Luego, debí comenzar "Underworld" (la cual "sigo leyendo"), luego en una sentada me aventé entera "Cosmopolis", la cual disfruté sobremanera, hasta llegar a "Players", la cual elegí como uno de los libros que llevaría en mis vacaciones a Chiapas.

"The Body Artist" me abrió un panorama completamente nuevo. Me hizo comprender qué otra cosa puede ser, también, la literatura. La fic...more
Patrik Hallberg
My second DeLillo and I must confess that I liked Libra better. You recognize his style, the language is very rhythmical almost as a poem. Beautiful language but still he fails to engage. This style of writing describing the rich and blasé in a cold and superficial way is much better executed by Brett Easton Ellis in American Psycho and Imperial Bedrooms. It’s dirtier and truer, at least for me than the polished surface that DeLillo creates and that doesn’t really get under your skin. Pre 9/11 f...more
I've read Underworld and White Noise and figured that I understood Delillo -- why people consider him one of teh great American authors. I was not sure if I whole heartedly agreed. And then, in an interview with The Paris Review, Jonathan Franzen mention The Players as possibly Delillo's best work.

And, havng read this book I understand much more why people love Delillo. He pushes the edge of the story so that he can further investigate characters. And this book showed a more beautiful, more poet...more
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

“Jugadores” de Don Delillo. La obsesión de Delillo por reflejar la época en la que vivimos.

La tormenta lectora que tuve el mes anterior ha tenido sus consecuencias; una de ellas ha sido el retraso “ad infinitum” de algunas reseñas, en particular de este “Jugadores” de Don Delillo, alentado indudablemente por el hecho de no ser precisamente una de las obras fundamentales del autor. Aun así, no quería dejar pasar el momento de comentar alguna de...more
There are passages in this book that are nearly perfect and I am in love with the way everyone talks to each other in this book; but taken as a whole it seems odd that the things happening and the different characters involved are all in one small book together. Somehow it doesn't all fit very well.

There is a really weird emptiness about it that I kind of enjoyed. If I had to give a description I'd say it's about separateness and disconnection - of people with other people and people with their...more
more than any of his others, PLAYERS pushes dialogue to meaninglessness, an experiment in how far afield our hip and close-quartered patois can go, how completely empty of sense. a combination of zen cases, wiseguy assholisms, and andy kaufman-rejected punchlines, delillo tirelessly (but we may tire) explores the idea of city people talking endless shit.

but this arguably slightest of delillos still's got its morsels, not the least of which is its famous 1977 prophecy of terrorism's intimate rel...more
Brent Legault
Nov 16, 2007 Brent Legault rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: secret-smilers, newlyweds
I almost put this book down after I read its first paragraph because it used the phrase "self-realizing." I don't like that kind of mumbo-jumbo. But I read on thinking that Delillo could be sending up his decade, his time, the 1970's in this case, when the novel was published. Perhaps, I thought, he's just showing us what fools say, what fools do.

But after finishing it, I'm not sure what Delillo thinks. But I know what I think. And I think that this novel, like all of his books that I've read, a...more
Jamie Grefe
My second encounter with Delillo and immensely enjoyed this one, even if the story of what Lyle gets himself into confused me at times. The force of the language was key for me this time around. It's not that Delillo is being difficult for the sake of showing off his impressive poetic skills. No, I believe for him it is necessary for him to write with this power, for he has it, he's cultivated and honed it. There is a tight verbal beauty on display here coupled with a most un-beautiful world. Th...more
i just read this for the 2nd time. delillo is my favorite writer - i start thinking the way his characters speak in his novels as i read them and this book was great to revisit. it's breezy in a way, and sort've glosses over the "heavy shit" in such a manner as to make you consider its gravity from a different perspective - maybe this angle makes the book's conflicts and relationships all the more profound. delillo's writing always manages to stun me and make me feel so young - his work is a sou...more
The only other thing I've read by DeLillo was White Noise in college and I just.didn' Either I actually learned something from my English degree, or this earlier book of DeLillo's is more straight forward. I felt like I Got It over and over again in this book. I Got It so much it almost wasn't any fun any more.

DeLillo's writing style is always spare, but it was overly spare here to emphasize the characters as "players," moving through life without much volition of their own. When the ac...more
Once again, DeLillo comes through with his uncanny ability to describe. Painting pictures with equal emphasis, be it a sandwich or a terrorist plot, I am really beginning to enjoy his even-handedness in storytelling; it feels to me like he respects me enough as a reader that he will present everything on the same plane and trust me to sort out what is important, rather than cramming it down my throat. Players sits somewhere between a mystery and a maudlin character study, as though Yates or Oate...more
my favorite thing about this book is the way the characters talk. they use incomplete sentences and often express only half-thoughts. but this is the way people talk. at first, it's slightly awkward to read this choppy style of conversation, but then the reader realizes how true-to-life it actually is. if you attempt to write down conversations with your friends verbatim, you'll realize that a lot of what is said does not translate particularly well to the printed word (for instance, i don't rea...more
I started reading it, got confused, put it down. I started reading it again, got confused, was tempted to put it down, but soldiered through. It was such a compelling read and a plot that doesn't seem like it would lend to confusion, but I'm having trouble entangling the whys of it all, and I don't like the idea present in the title that maybe that's the point; that's been done to death. I do absolutely love his language, the 'language of intimacy' between the characters, and his almost stream o...more
Irredemable yuppies, empty lives, Maine as the ultimate vacation Delillo to give Wall Street a different spin and turn modern heroics on its head. He may be the first person on the planet to have understood the scope of the attempted bombing of the NY Stock Exchange toward the end of the last decade, but probably not. Afterall, it had been attacked before, in words and with TNT, and no one targeting it considered it a big enough target by the dawn of the 21st century. An int...more
Wowzah, what am I missing here?

The text on the dust jacket absolutely gushes over this work. But it sure doesn't line up with the book that I read.

Part One was mind-numbingly dull with its 80s yuppies. Despite being copyright 1977. So one star for being ahead of its time (I guess).

Part Two. What even was Part Two. Looking at the dust jacket:
Giving up their uneasy, random lives, Pammy and Lyle have joined the "players." The consequences are shattering for them both.
I sure wish it had read like t...more
Quinn Slobodian
DeLillo presents us, or more flings at us live-octopus-style with long, dense sentences suctioning at our face, the double agent as the template for the modern person. These include: stockbroker/terrorist, work-self/home-self, gay/straight. Kind of surprisingly (and, it seems, in plot terms, inexplicably), it's only the last of these that turns out be fatal. Or maybe it makes sense. He had to leave his philosophical, introspective but amoral stockbroker alive for Cosmopolis, the effective sequel...more
From the back cover:"In this 'crisp, observant' novel, DeLillo explores the dark side of contemporary affluence and its discontents." "DeLillo may be our wittest writer," says John Leonard in the NY Times. Now DeLillo is one of our most important writers and I've enjoyed other novels, especially Underworld, an absolutely terrific book. But this one is a mystery to me. What did I miss? Did the reviewers who liked this book so much read the same book I did?
Read DeLillo. Don't read this one.
Since I've been reading Delillo out of order, and mostly backwards, it's difficult to put this book from 1977 in context. Much has been written about this one lately, because his latest, Falling Man, is somewhat of a companion to it. Players predicts the towers as a terrorist target (even sees them as 'stacks of grief') and Falling Man unfolds after that reality has set it. Many of the styles he later perfected show up in Players, later books like Underworld deliver on the promise of this one.
(3.4/5.0) Runs out of juice.
Frustratingly obfuscated.
classic mid period delillo. empty, lost new yorkers get involved with a beider meinhoff like terrorist cell who may or may not have been same as in 'great jones street' and have a vague plan to blow up a building.

a good companion book to 'great jones street,' 'running dog,' 'mao II' and 'libra.'
Second time, and I still can't invest too much of myself in reading this book. DeLillo sometimes comes across as far too stylized to engage me, and this book is a fine example of that. This reminder of why DeLillo sometimes doesn't work for me is now going to keep me at bay from Point Omega for while.
Eric Phetteplace
started off better than the other Delillo's I'd read, but in the end all the characters start to sound the same (Delillo's dialogue is great but gets to be too consistently off-kilter) and the immolation felt totally unjustified. I'd be happier if, instead of having a plot where things happened, the book just meandered through the lives of the characters like the first half does to set things up.
Zachary Powell
Delillo's a great read, even if this isn't one of his tops. I'd say that this book is worth reading for the way it describes sex. There is nothing sexy about any of the sex: it describes it psycho-anthropologically. There is a sense of a character's thoughts, but Delillo distances with his cerebral interpretations of what these feelings and what this sex means.
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Don DeLillo has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to eerily predicting future cultural events, and this book, written in 1977, which focuses primarily on a terrorist cell that wants to infiltrate the World Trade Center in order to plant a bomb, is no exception.

Excellent. Short. Profound. Unpredictable. Reminds me of Cosmopolis in that sense. Some really hypnotizing prose in this too.

A good place to start if you've been meaning to read a DeLillo book.

Also there is a quick reference to a plane hitting one of the twin towers. This book was written in 1977.
while delillo may craft somewhat absorbing prose, i generally find his works somewhat banal. though he presaged the twin towers as a terrorist target, this book doesn't offer much else, unless of course you find malcontented yuppies (is that a redundancy?) the stuff of riveting storytelling.
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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
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White Noise Underworld Libra Cosmopolis Falling Man

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“it referred to intense mental suffering, deep remorse, extreme anguish, acute sorrow and the like.” 1 likes
“It is time to “perform,” he thought. She would have to be “satisfied.” He would have to “service” her. They would make efforts to “interact.” 0 likes
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