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Great Jones Street

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  1,922 ratings  ·  110 reviews
The narrator of this novel is Bucky Wunderlick, a Dylan-Jagger amalgam who finds he's gone as far as he knows how. Mid tour he leaves his rock band and holes up in a dingy East Village apartment, in Great Jones Street. The plot revolves around his retreat and a drug designed to silence dissidents.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by Penguin Books (first published 1973)
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White Noise by Don DeLilloUnderworld by Don DeLilloLibra by Don DeLilloGreat Jones Street by Don DeLilloThe Names by Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo ranked
4th out of 15 books — 16 voters
Just Listen by Sarah DessenIf I Stay by Gayle FormanThis Lullaby by Sarah DessenNick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel CohnWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
Fiction Involving Music
176th out of 563 books — 822 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Greg
I'm going to be dropping some Infinite Jest spoilers throughout this review. So don't read this review if you haven't read Infinite Jest. Seriously, don't read this review. Or read it until I say I'm going to drop a major DFW spoiler (not really I ended up not being nearly as spoiler-ific as I thought I would be, but there is till a major thing said that I believe knowing would make a first reading of Infinite Jest less interesting).

I have a new theory about Infinite Jest and maybe others have h
...more
João Carlos
Publicado em 1973 “Great Jones Street” é o terceiro romance do escritor norte-americano Don Delillo (n. 1936).
Bucky Wunderlick, o narrador, é uma estrela do rock, que abandona o seu grupo musical no meio de uma tournée, num conflito existencial, insatisfeito com a sua vida, com a sua fama e que se refugia, incognitamente, num apartamento, sem mobília, em Great Jones Street, uma rua situada em Manhattan, Nova Iorque.
Bucky quer “desaparecer” - “Sou apenas uma velha e cansada figura do mundo do es
...more
Sentimental Surrealist
The book that made me understand just what's so disconcerting about DeLillo. See, the guy writes weird shit, but a lot of writers write weird shit that don't give me the same prickly feeling the best DeLillo does. No, what makes DeLillo such an odd writer is the combination of the weird shit he writes about and his chilly, almost journalistic tone, and this novel combines the both of them to the fullest effect out of what I've read so far. This particular volume ties reclusive rock stars, drugs, ...more
Nate D
Oct 26, 2008 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Past or present LES residents and disillusioned rock stars.
Shelves: read-in-2008
A quietly unnerving downward spiral.

In his ongoing survey of modern America, DeLillo's third book saw him looking at art and commerce through the lens of rock music and celebrity. One gets the sense that the narrator, rock star Bucky Wonderlick, having fled the stage mid-tour and retracted into a cold, empty apartment in a Lower East Side that was still both of those things (compared to its scrubbed, crowded modern counterpart), is somewhat paralyzed by his need to fully consider and understand
...more
Alan Chen
Bucky Wunderlick, 25, part of an immensely successful rock band, decides to leave the scene and holes up in his girlfriend, Opel's apartment on Great Jones St, NY. A mysterious cabal, known as Happy Valley Farms, brings him a mysterious package to keep hold of. Apparently the organization is divided within themselves and is fighting for control. They entrust the package to Bucky because the collective is all about personal privacy and his move to leave the band and hermit himself as a stance for ...more
Tosh
This is my second Don DeLillo novel. The first one I read and liked a lot is "Libra." DeLillo had the right tone to the whole Lee Oswald story - and more likely the truth. There is something very journalistic about the writing of that book - almost a documentary. I almost feel the same way with "Great Jones Street." He captures a certain aspect of New York that I find truthful - and the narrative of a legendary rock figure who decided to disappear in the middle of a major tour is interesting. Li ...more
Kibisis
Ironico, visionario, globale e sottovalutato.

"Il male è un movimento in direzione del nulla". Bucky Wunderlich è una rockstar che si muove in direzione del male; un male inteso non come morte, ma come trasformazione. Bucky si sta trasformando, lo sente, lo percepisce, e come un animale al capolinea, sceglie il posto in cui passare il tempo che gli resta (le mura della casa della sua fidanzata in Great Jones Street, a Manhattan, dove si ritira insieme alla sua band mentre è all'apice del success
...more
Peter
Let me begin by saying that the first chapter of this book is a 5-star chapter. No doubt about it. And the first sentence...yeah, that's a 5-star sentence.

"Fame requires every kind of excess."

What a perfect way to begin a first-person novel about an aging rockstar/one-man-zeitgeist. And one amazing feat of this chapter--and the book as a whole really--is that, despite how few details he reveals, we believe that our narrator, Bucky Wonderlick, has bathed in the putrid, holy waters of this exces
...more
Lucas Dispoto
I think Delilo's writing is beautiful, but I have to say I've disliked his books more often than not. "Great Jones Street" felt pretentious in its ramblings, its attempts to be a commentary on celebrity worship and drugs and love etc. It's perhaps because I'm reading Delilo with the wrong attitude or the wrong expectations. "Libra" was a fairly straightforward story, grounded in realism and history, yet by shaping the real world and real characters with his prose, Delilo managed a wonderful nove ...more
Lee
". . . permanent withdrawal to that unimprinted level where all sound is silken and nothing erodes in the mad weather of language." Presages Cobain, or more so Yorke's "how to disappear completely". Fantastic sentences. Chicks don't dig it because it's ultra a-emotional, but dudes dig it for the cool response in the face of very good reasons for paranoia re: the system. Worth it if you've read Underworld and Libra, but probably not so hot if you haven't and therefore don't recognize nascent expr ...more
Yossi
¡Vaya! Parece que voy a discrepar con la mayoría.

Sí, el alter ego deformado de Dylan, Bucky, y toda la trama que lo envuelve tienes fallos, de hecho, una de ellas sobra del todo pero en esta amalgama posmodernista de ideas premonitorias deLillo nos propone ir sacando hebras, jugar a invertir el binomio causa-efecto, llegar a la rebeldía más absoluta y beligerante: luchar contra nosotros mismos hasta retirarnos a un refugio como un animal herido.

El libro destaca sobre todo por ser un compendio de
...more
Perry Whitford
The superbly named Bucky Wunderlick is a rock star turned recluse, walking out on his band at the height of their fame, holing up in a dilapidated flat on Great Jones Street, New York.
Wild rumours of his whereabouts soon start to circulate as Bucky seeks retreat behind his own myth: 'I became a half-saint, practiced in visions, informed by a sense of bodily economy, but deficient in true pain.'

Bucky is a hybrid of Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop - he even has a legendary set of low-fi recordings called
...more
TheLongWait
DeLillo paints a dour picture of our rock star Anti Hero, Bucky Wonderlick. He is sensitive, but also needy. Needy of the attention he is destined, in his mind, to receive as a rock star. The plot was ok, but the resolution didn't feel quite right. I would have loved more details about Bucky's music and career, but that was not in the cards. Plus, Bucky Wonderlick is a stupid name, lol.
Byron  'Giggsy' Paul
Jan 14, 2015 Byron 'Giggsy' Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of post-modern fiction and DeLillo
briefly, I found this to have interesting post-modern dialogue, typical of both the post-modern genre and of my other DeLillo reads.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en http://lecturaylocura.com/la-calle-gr...

“Las señales del comercio fueron apareciendo lentamente por la calle Great Jones, los envíos y las recepciones, el empaquetado de exportaciones, los curtidos por encargo. Era una calle antigua. De hecho, sus materiales eran su esencia, lo cual explicaba la fealdad de hasta el último centímetro. Pero no era una miseria terminal. Hay calles que en plena decadencia poseen una especie de tono redentor, cierta sugerencia de formas nuevas que están
...more
JS Found
This slim novel is many things: a meditation on the spiritual bankruptcy of fame and 1970s America; a satire of art and commerce; a satire of corporations and the counter culture; a film noir; an evocation of urban decay; a novel of characters making observations on modern life and waxing philosophical. Once again, DeLillo writes beautiful language. He loves people talking and conversation. His characters make lots of monologues. One of them is a writer who expounds on the brutality of the write ...more
Chris
Book three on my list of nine Delillo books I'm reading this year. This is the first one I came to with some trepidation. It's hard to imagine a good outcome when an author is writing a book about rock music culture but claims to listen to "mostly jazz." An outsider's perspective can be good, it's not hard to imagine falling easily into perfunctory dismissal.

Of course, we're talking 1972 here. This isn't "Good Golly Miss Molly" anymore. It's not even "All You Need Is Love." It's after the days
...more
Steve
A quick review of Great Jones Street - simply didn't like this. I picked it up at Book Off with the rest of my "to Steve from Steve" Christmas presents. My initial view was a Penguin label (generally a positive), a book about musicians and a book about NY. None of this sounds bad to me. I just didn't get it. I suppose I'm not Rock and Roll enough, because the whole sitting around doing nothing did nothing for me. On the cover this mentions nihilism. I'm thinking maybe I don't enjoy nihilistic e ...more
Calabash
Premessa: questo è uno di quei libri sfortunati che ogni volta che ti metti a leggerli succede qualcosa che interrompe/disturba la lettura. Quindi sappiate che non l'ho letto attentissimamente.

Fatto sta che comunque non mi è piaciuto tantissimo, ma non mi è neanche dispiaciuto. È scritto bene, soprattutto per quanto riguarda i dialoghi, personaggi caratterizzati bene eccetera. Il problema sta nella trama e in certe scene che non hanno né capo né coda, nel senso che non sono conseguenza di niente
...more
Billy

Not only is this book a remnant of the past, it is a remenant that is achingly birthing itself and has been, in the pop culture since 2000, finding new the voice of nihilism and "the void" to the youth culture.

Back when Great Jones Street lacked an ATM and Country Blue Grass Blues wasn't a clothing store, there lived a race of children that repopulated a Manhattan that had become, frankly, Escape from New York. But there was some beauty in it.

There must be, or why would Jennifer Clement's book "
...more
Parrish Lantern

“Fame requires every kind of excess”




“I mean true fame, not the sombre renown of weary statesmen or chinless kings. I mean long journeys across gray space. I mean danger, the very edge of the void, the circumstance of one man imparting an erotic terror to the dreams of the republic………….



( is it clear I was a hero of Rock ‘n’ Roll)

So starts Don Delillo’s 3rd novel, Great Jones Street. The hero, Bucky Wunderlick, has left the group high & dry, by dropping out of a national tour at the height
...more
Óscar Brox
Los primeros años de la década de los 70 empezaron con las muertes de Morrison o Hendrix, que hicieron más palmaria aquella visión del rock que cantara Eric Burdon como un lugar “to wear that ball and chain”. Las revoluciones juveniles se refugiaron entre las sábanas de pequeños dormitorios y el éxtasis de aquellas generaciones previas comenzó a disiparse junto al sueño de un nuevo orden para la sociedad. Mientras el rock psicodélico apuraba sus últimos coletazos, a la espera de que su sonido ev ...more
Kirstie
Jul 14, 2008 Kirstie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NYC natives, fans of experimental fiction, surreality, an explorations of nihlism.
This one really deserves 3 1/2 stars and I'm also grading it somewhat relatively to Don DeLillo's other novels and it does pale a bit in comparison. The main premise of this is that a big rock star lead singer gets bogged down within the realm of the mass consciousness and retreats unexpectantly and suddenly to the realm of the private. However, instead of his mountain hideout, he actually goes to an apt. in NYC. Some of this is my speculation but I think DeLillo was making some pretty accurate ...more
Jeffrey Paris [was Infinite Tasks]
Nearly any paragraph of this beautiful work is more compelling than shelves of reading I have done. Delillo sparkles, challenges, satisfies.

I wish I had known how closely the structure of Great Jones Street mirrors (or sets the stage for) Cosmopolis, when I read and re-read the latter over the past decade: the carefully chosen quarters for the bulk of the "action"; the on-site visits from various constituencies and their analytical presentations; the awful spiral toward silence, privacy, inward
...more
Spiros
Nov 14, 2013 Spiros rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of absurdist shaggy-dog tales
" 'Watney by this time has placed a call to his house outside London and finds himself in the regrettable situation of not being at home to answer the telephone. He's trying to call himself, ding-ding, and nobody's picking up the phone. The result is fear and dread. He sits on the floor weeping real tears into the phone. Oh, it's a crisis of no small proportion. The guy is in the grip of blackest anxiety. Absolute terror in his eyes. Oh, he's terror-stricken, no doubt about it, ding-ding-ding in ...more
Aaron
Don Delillo's third novel proves to be a good read, though it's one of his weaker efforts. Delillo's best works are about subtext, not the story he's ostensibly telling. This novel, with its rather straighforward story arc, winds up being a bit of a disappointment to readers overly familiar with his work.

This novels tells the tale of Bucky Wanderlick, a musician in the prime of his career. In the middle of a tour, Bucky walks off stage, leaving his fans, bandmates, and record label in the lurch
...more
Ray Effertz
Jan 11, 2015 Ray Effertz marked it as to-read
Loved it! I don't know how I missed reading this cat, DeLillo was both friend and mentor to David Foster Wallace. There are similarities of style. He stretches and he grabbed me with wonderful language. No doubt a genius of the time. I understand (for the most part) of what he speaks. His prose sentences stand alone as poetry. I'm going to mine more. If this book is not an example of a writer at the top of his game, I enthusiastically can't wait to read more of what he has to say.
Lynn
I still really enjoyed DeLillo's writing in this book, but this time I just thought it had terrible characters and was boring. I couldn't even remember the characters' names and lost complete track of the "plot" so I'm not even sure if it was supposed to make sense.

The language is great, and there are some very interesting ideas. One character gives an intriguing speech to the protagonist, explaining that even though he is a successful pop artist, he doesn't have any power because he is not real
...more
Ilya Kavalerov
I started this book with empathy for the macho-nihilist for the lead character. This made the book open in an unusually way for DeLillo, since it was relatable, and therefore egotistically engaging. Soon, it went back to the DeLillo norm, which is wacky silliness, stimulating only disbelief. Still not as good as Mao II for me. I might even be too optimistic with the 4 start rating, since I am jaded by my special interest in the book's subject matter (lead is a rock god).
Bob Reutenauer
Weird wild rock n roll New york City novel. May well survive the test of time and in 50 years be THE period piece for post Woodstock conversion of rock-art-outrage-dissent into BIG BIG business-hype-rip off. Ecstasy- authenticity-acid test to frantic-poison-addiction. Don Delillo comes out, as we may have presumed as a Dylan guy. Phantasmagoric surreal character movement and dialogue comes out of the same place in creation as Bob Dylan's 115th Dream; Motor-psycho Nightmare; Subterranean HSBlues; ...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...
White Noise Underworld Libra Cosmopolis Falling Man

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“Everybody knows the thing about an infinite number of monkeys," Fenig said. "An infinite number of monkeys is put to work at an infinite number of typewriters and eventually one of them reproduces a great work of literature. In what language I don't know. But what about an infinite number of writers in an infinite number of cages? Would they make on monkey sound? One genuine chimp noise? Would they eventually swing by their toes from an infinite number of monkey bars? Would they shit monkey shit? It's academic, you say. You may be right.” 11 likes
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