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Players

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  1,217 Ratings  ·  78 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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(showing 1-30)
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Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy
Mar 16, 2017 Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Nathan Redman
Over, Under, Outside, In

The more you read both Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, the more it becomes apparent that, for all their similarities, Pynchon defines his world in terms of underground versus over- (or above-)ground, while DeLillo defines his in terms of outside versus inside. They are not big substantive differences, they are more differences of nuance.

La Pufferie de L’Éclair

I wonder whether, when the well-meaning literary critic Tom LeClair coined the term "systems novel" (to kickstart
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
I actually liked this book even less than Falling Man. I felt no affinity to any of the characters and was pretty uninterested in the story. As I have said elsewhere, I found that when DeLillo is on, he is brilliant. When he is off, it is painful to read.
Kerry
Aug 31, 2011 Kerry rated it liked it
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
sologdin
Nutshell: stop neo-luddite attacks on the stock exchange or else open marriages.

Thsi novel is perhaps the master text for the DeLillo cocked-up marriage, structuring all subsequent cocked-up marriages in his writings. Wife, for instance, “found that the nutritive material for their sex life was often provided by others, whoever happened to be present at a party” (70).
Couple “traveled to the palest limits of the city, eating in little river warrens near the open approaches to bridges or in family
...more
Robert
May 14, 2015 Robert rated it liked it
Players is a novel that could have been written last year but was written in 1977. It's set in New York, Maine, and ultimately the outskirts of Toronto. In New York Pam works in the World Trade Center and has premonitions that buildings like this are too tall, fragile, inviting of destruction. Lyle works on Wall Street, where he is present during an office murder and ineffective bombing attempt. So...terrorists. And they invite him into their world, and he is bored and curious enough to accept, ...more
Alan Chen
Sep 18, 2014 Alan Chen rated it it was ok
Delillo is on the top tier of my favorite authors' list but I'm really disappointed with this one. I don't expect every book to be carried by plot, especially a postmodernist by Delillo, but the absence of one needs to be counterbalanced by something else of value. The book is zany and madcap without the humor. It's a fatalistic comedy without the comedy. Novel starts with a ridiculous tableau of passengers on a plane watching a buster keaton movie with piano accompaniment. While it being wonder ...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
  LunaBel
Pammy and Lyle are bored. It's not that they have nothing to do, it's that routine is killing them. They want their lives to change; and when that happens, they pay the price.
Chris
Apr 09, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Now, this here's a story about Lyle and Pammy Wynant. Cute couple, living in New York City. They've been together a long time. It's almost like they have their own language together.

"Pant, pant."
"Out of shape."
"Way out of shape," she said. "You wouldn't believe what's inside this body. What a little old dried-up crone. It's down there, hear it? Bang crash, you son of a bitch. I'd like to call someone. Run over a dog, truck, and get shot by its owner, oompty boom."
"Right, complain."
"Sympathize or
...more
Sentimental Surrealist
Apr 01, 2014 Sentimental Surrealist rated it it was ok
Shelves: collection
It feels weird to slam DeLillo here for things I'd praise him for elsewhere, since he creates the usual DeLillo world and I know not to hold that vision of society to anyone's terms except his. Yet it's a world I can't take even on its own terms, too divorced, too free of motive or consequence to divest in as anything but a thought experiment. Not as dull as Point Omega or Falling Man, with just the right DeLillo touches in the dialog, but too often my answer to this novel is "who cares?" This g ...more
Sheri
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
Dec 09, 2013 Patrik Hallberg rated it liked it
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
Kevin Krein
Nov 21, 2013 Kevin Krein rated it liked it
i bought this primarily because i saw it referenced in something relating to david foster wallace. i guess i can see how the post-modern tone and style may have influenced very early wallace, but the thing i was most struck by is how bret easton ellis pretty much tried to re-write this book with both American Psycho and Glamorama. i don't know if ellis has ever come right out and been like "yeah my whole career is based around ripping off this don delillo novel" but he probably should be honest ...more
Boyce
Mar 09, 2009 Boyce rated it it was ok
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.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en http://lecturaylocura.com/jugadores-d...

“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
Morty Goldberg
Jun 07, 2017 Morty Goldberg rated it it was ok
The protagonist of this book was definitely a compelling character, but the overall plot and style was just sort of boring to put it bluntly. I enjoyed White Noise a lot more than this. It was definitely a forceful push to finish the book as it didn't really hook me in with the terrorism plot. The start was definitely good though, especially delving into the mirage relationship between the two main characters. I wished he'd delved deeper into there relationship because the rest of the plot was p ...more
Ruth
Dec 28, 2014 Ruth rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
DeLillo writes of beautiful & horrible things in an indifferent way that is beautiful syntactically but still manages not to convey any beauty. One of DeLillo's early books and, from what I have heard, indicative of future themes & subject matter. Players follows a wealthy & bored NYC couple. Like Yates' Revolutionary Road in terms of initial plot. This book had its moments. The first chapter especially is wonderful--sharp, funny, clear--after that its a mess--a mess that is clear ...more
Fernando  Hoces de la Guardia
Did not finished the book.

First I read White Noise in english and did not like it. Given DeLillo's reputation, and how frequently is recommended together with my much admired Paul Auster, I thought to give it another chance an now read another of his books in my native spanish. I did not make it pass page 30.

It's packed with extemporaneous references and dives in to excruciating detail without providing a main theme or story. Without that a strong narrative stem, I get lost in to ever more exp
...more
Eugene
Mar 27, 2008 Eugene rated it liked it
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
Oryx
Dec 31, 2016 Oryx rated it liked it
Moments of brilliance. Moments of boredom. Maybe that was the point...

3.67
Patrick Kelly
After reading DeLillo's previous novel, Ratner's Star, with the studied patience (I'll be honest) of a person just trying to get through it, I read Players in an exquisitely satisfying rush. This is the DeLillo I know, the mad rush of beautifully paired words and periods and fragments, pared down to a much leaner plot, rife with ambiguous meaning, dialogue, characters. Over everything the subtle shroud of clever meaning, hanging like a light rain. It's not a perfect novel by any means and he mis ...more
Brent Legault
Oct 25, 2007 Brent Legault rated it liked it
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
Ellen Allen
Don DeLillo has written some amazing books but I'm not sure this is one of them. Players is an interesting book mostly because it was written pre 9/11 and the characters work in the World Trade Center. The wife even talks about how the towers seem temporary: "To Pammy the towers didn't seem permanent. They remained concepts, no less transient for all their bulk than some routine distortion of light." Moreover after witnessing a terrorist event on the trading floor, her husband decides to get inv ...more
Sarah
Jan 23, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jamie Grefe
Apr 05, 2012 Jamie Grefe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
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
Mircalla64
Jul 19, 2015 Mircalla64 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: postmoderni
indovini

- Di che parli?
- Del mondo esterno?
- Esiste ancora? Pensavo che l'avessimo di fatto cancellato. Credevo fosse il nostro obiettivo.

una coppia di New York che si annoia, una di quelle che non hanno problemi, eoni prima della crisi globale e di tutto il danno che la New Economy ha arrecato al pianeta...una coppia si diceva, che per vincere la noia si infila in un gioco pericoloso...lui finisce a far la spia doppiogiochista tra l'Agenzia innominata e i terroristi bombaroli che vogliono colpi
...more
Anthony Crupi
Jan 14, 2013 Anthony Crupi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DeLillo again. Always with DeLillo and his unwavering and unnerving brand of prescience.
This: "It was her original view that the World Trade Center was an unlikely headquarters for an outfit such as this. But she changed her mind as time passed. Where else would you stack all this grief? … To Pammy, the towers didn't seem permanent. They remained concepts, no less transient for all their bulk than some routine distortion of light."
Pammy works on the 83rd floor of the north tower.
Later, a dinner
...more
Peterharmon
Feb 11, 2009 Peterharmon rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
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
Jon
Apr 24, 2011 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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
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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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