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Players

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  986 ratings  ·  61 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 September 5th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1977)
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White Noise by Don DeLilloUnderworld by Don DeLilloLibra by Don DeLilloMao II by Don DeLilloGreat Jones Street by Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo ranked
15th out of 15 books — 19 voters
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78th out of 194 books — 55 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,749)
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Alan Chen
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
Sentimental Surrealist
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
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
Robert
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
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
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
Kerry
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
Krystle
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
...more
Ruthie
Dec 28, 2014 Ruthie rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
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
Álvaro Martín Rodríguez
Si pienso en los libros que he leído de la trinidad de escritores vivos americanos formada por Roth, Pynchon y DeLillo llego a una conclusión. Roth me parece prosa clara con trasfondo profundo, Pynchon prosa compleja con trasfondo profundo y DeLillo prosa compleja vacía de todo contenido.

Seguro que he tenido mal tino eligiendo empezar con "El hombre del salto" y "Jugadores", pero me han parecido horrorosos, aun si cabe peor el segundo. El siguiente tendrá que ser uno de sus libros "unánimes" y s
...more
Chris
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
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
Sarah
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
Eugene
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
Andrew_h.
This a book that was very difficult to digest, and hard to follow. The style was chaotic and murky with dialogue and characters all over the spectrum. Not a bad book by any means, just not accessible and definitely would need discussion and inquiry to understand. I enjoy his writing and will continue to explore his works, this book will have its place once I develop a stronger digestion for post modern writing.
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
Bill
Needed an airplane read and had never read DeLillo. Perfect for a medium haul flight. Quite readable, and a bit spooky in prescience of NYC terrorism, but written at a time when Weathermen and SLA terrorism was the plausible scenario. Still, the ubiquity of the Twin Towers among the pages is unsettling.
Kevin Krein
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
Andy W
There were elements that I loved about this book. The first scene for instance, which is beautifully lyrical and dramatic. The dialogue in the rest of the book, however, drove me crazy in both its form and content. Too bad.
Peterharmon
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
Eliza
The only other thing I've read by DeLillo was White Noise in college and I just.didn't.get.it. 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
Jon
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
Dan
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
Susan
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
Jon
Irredemable yuppies, empty lives, Maine as the ultimate vacation destination....trust 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
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
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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
More about Don DeLillo...
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