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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  4,451 ratings  ·  351 reviews
At twenty-eight, David Bell is the American Dream come true. He has fought his way to the top, surviving office purges and scandals to become a top television executive. David's world is made up of the images that flicker across America's TV screens, the fantasies that enthrall America's imagination.

And the dream--and the dream-making--become a nightmare. At the height of
Paperback, 454 pages
Published August 10th 1993 by Actes Sud (first published 1971)
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3.43  · 
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 ·  4,451 ratings  ·  351 reviews

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Violet wells
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I’ve now completed the set, read all DeLillo’s books. This is his first novel and though impressive as a first novel doesn’t really have much to recommend it in my eyes. It’s narrated by an obnoxious filmmaker who heads West to find his creative soul, sort of like a literary road movie. We get lots of snapshots of American life; we also get quite a lot of overwriting and a fair smattering of pretentiousness.

A fascinating feature of his books is that they often begin on a more inspired plane tha
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, fiction, american
I've taken a bit of a break from reading books, but this one. This one was a great novel to plunge into, head first (not realling, I knew exactly what I was jumping). Delillo is one of the first, great American, literary novelists who made me WANT to write. I still remember when I was 17 reading MAO II from a small, military library and being absolutely blown away by every paragraph. The novel practically pulsed in my hands. I felt somethhing alive in the words and something that was both danger ...more
Vit Babenco
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Americana is a story of existential emptiness…
The war was on television every night but we all went to the movies. Soon most of the movies began to look alike and we went into dim rooms and turned on or off, or watched others turn on or off, or burned joss sticks and listened to tapes of near silence.

Emptiness is universal, it is all around and there are all modifications of it: spiritual, cultural, intellectual, societal… So one has nothing to do but to obey one’s basic instincts…
…the girls wer
Ian "Marvin" Graye
A Polished Set of Pieties

My first experience of the DeLillo-Rama was "The Names" and until now I had only read one of the earlier novels - "Great Jones Street" - though I was trying to keep up with the later novels.

Little did I realise what a gem was waiting for me in "Americana", DeLillo's first novel.

It's 377 pages long, divided into four parts and 12 chapters, but it reads as fluently as a novel two-thirds its size.

Its relative brevity doesn't detract from its ability to explore or dramatis
Sentimental Surrealist
It seems that this has only entered the pop culture discourse as a sort of proto-American Psycho, based around the idea that its first segment is about the shallow nature of corporate America and the personality-free drones that make their fortunes within the confines of that system. I don't quite agree with that, because I think it ignores two key interlocking facets of this novel. For one, the "office politics" segment only lasts about a hundred pages, before David Bell (who most would hold as ...more
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Here is a song for this review. I like the original better, but this cover isn't too shabby either:

I'm going to throw out an idea. Maybe it's not really a good one, or true or maybe it's something that's obvious, which all of the above are probably the case for most of my ideas but here it goes: when you get right down to it, America is a country without history. Instead we're a nation of stories and myths. We have the stories of the founding fathers that
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Just really unbelievable that he can get away with so blatant and heavy a freudian plot point. Along with the iron-fisted relationships drawn between flashback and present action. All of it. The disastrous last act, the disastrous bookend premise of the narrator's presence. And still, STILL, a book everyone should read, especially everyone who wants to write a novel, because here is a masterful author's uniquely unmasterful first stab, since esteemed as a masterpiece for its sheer unmasterfulnes ...more
Jun 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 0-gut-emotions
Mai più! Ho provato la stessa sensazione di insofferenza e claustrofobia di quando si è obbligati ad ascoltare qualcuno che vomita parole per te senza importanza
Sep 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
Americana von Don de Lillo - eine Enttäuschung Leider ein typisch amerikanscher episch breiter "Roman", komplett ohne Aussage, Tiefgang, Verstand, voll mit Gedankensprüngen und sinnlosen Hintergrundgeschichten, eines nach dem anderen. So wie die freundliche klischeehafte oberflächliche amerikanische Lady, die völlig geistlos aber höflich permanent vor sich hinplappert, nur um die Stille, vor der sie sich so fürchtet, mit sinnfreien Phrasen und Gschichtln zu füllen.Und das nennen die Kritiker dan ...more
Americana is DeLillo's first novel, but i cant say that it seems to be the first he wrote. it's as if he never really advanced in his writing. It's as if he chose a way of writing and stuck to it until now. Americana deals with a man, David Bell, who leaves his job in order to 'live,' but he goes on an advanture from which he never recoveres...
This novel initiates a number of standard DeLillo ideas insofar as it involves:

A) A producer of hyperreal fictions laments the “disturbingly elapsed quality” inherent in existing “only on videotape” (23); dude likes to review “schizograms from girls” such as “Hello from the scenic coast of Nebraska” (22); he’ll refer to someone as a “living schizogram” later (51); the term is defined as “an exercise in diametrics which attempts to unmake meaning” (347). He’ll refer at one point to how “the dece
AmericanaI’ve had mixed success with award-winning American author Don DeLillo. I abandoned the first one I tried (The Body Artist) but I was very impressed by Falling Man (see my review) even though it’s a challenging book to read. I picked up Americana (1971) when I stumbled on it at the library because I have just bought a copy of award-winning Nigerian Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah from the Africa Book Club - and I wanted to see if she drew at all on DeLillo’s novel with a similar so ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, americana
Inizia come se il protagonista fosse uscito direttamente da "American Psycho", poi arrivi a un terzo del libro e, a ricordarti che chi scrive non è Easton Ellis, interviene il DeLillo delle opere più mature.

"Americana", che è il primissimo romanzo scritto dall'autore di "Underworld", non ha certo il peso né le pretese dei suoi grandi lavori successivi, a volte si perde anzi in una trama che sembra non avere una direzione precisa. Ma è proprio con questa sua indecisione che DeLillo, ancora una vo
Nate D
Jan 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
I once saw this book referenced (I no longer recall by who) as an example of the First Novels Are Most Quintessential principle. Not necessarily best, but just the most like the body of work they open. The idea has some merit, especially in this case: DeLillo has always grappled with the meaning of modernity in American life, through any number of lenses, but only in this first and aptly named version did he just plunge in head-on, laying out thematic territory we would return to again and again ...more
Jeff Jackson
DeLillo's debut contains the seeds of his better future novels and the remnants of typical American fiction that he would forever leave behind. The first section is an absurdist office comedy that's eerily close to "Mad Men." The second section reads like a remix of Updike or Cheever. The third is an examination of stasis and begins DeLillo's ongoing fascination with artists, representations of reality, and extreme works of art. The final section reads like "Two Lane Blacktop" scripted by Robert ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delillo writes about image and death and it seems that most of his characters are fascinated by war and terrorism, whether it’s David Bell from Americana or Gary Harkness of End Zone. At times it’s as if Delillo is writing thru a video camera and there’s a sense of excellent cinematography in all of Delillo’s work. Americana is Don Delillo’s first novel and I loved it but felt that the third part was lacking something, it didn’t do a lot for me and felt the other three parts were much better. I ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Deludente, noioso; una vera fatica leggerlo.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1970-present, prose
DeLillo's debut novel is all about the real (hyperreal) stuff of America and Americana: its image(s). He still hadn't worked out the magnificent prose style of most of his later work but this book's got it's own mojo working. The major themes of this novel were revisited, in various different ways, in many (most?) of DeLillo's later work, but this novel really tears into Americana. It's like Two-Lane Blacktop and David Lynch collided head-on with, well, Don DeLillo. It's a nightmare, and nightma ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
White Noise is one of my favorites. This didn't do it for me. It's dated and was almost painful to read; all the characters are self-absorbed and one-sided. It's written almost as stream of consciousness, but grates because it's trying too hard to prove something.

I am planning to read Libra soon because the concept is just too interesting. I wish I'd passed on this one though.
Jul 19, 2015 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: postmoderni, ebook
"Tutti al mondo desiderano rassicurazione. E' la monetina che infilano nel distributore di realtà. Non importa se dal distributore esce qualcosa o meno, purché la monetina venga restituita."

"L'America può essere salvata solo da ciò che cerca di distruggere"

"Diosalvi i poveri stronzi che stanno dalla nostra parte solo per finire ubiquizzati in frattaglie onnipervasive dalle buone intenzioni delle nostre bombe"

"L'inattività è il preludio a quel genere di consapevolezza che sfocia nella presa di co
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Don Dellilo's works have been described as novels of ideas and I agree with that. Several of his novels have an idea/concept/contemporary social more as the base and the characters in the novel serve as props for that. (It could be consumerism/threat of nuclear warfare in 'White Noise', power of the mob/television in 'Mao II'. )However this is not to give an impression that Dellilo is trying to shove things down the readers throat, not at all. On the other hand, it seems to me like he has someth ...more
Маx Nestelieiev
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english
перший роман, великий, але не величний, власне, надто багатослівний і без стрімкої фабули, якісь невиразні едіпальні ретроспекції + багато розмислів про кіно- і телеобрази+але вже є все, що він потім вдосконалить у подальших романах: філософія, скепсис, екфрасис, секс (у Делілло чоловік завжди спочатку "притискає" жінку), історія тощо. книзі бракує глибини, це ніби пласкі образи на екрані (особливо, сцена фінальної п'яної оргії), але вона підбиває підсумки певного американського етапу, кінець бі ...more
Jun 17, 2017 marked it as abbandonato  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiolibri
ma che storie sono 'sta letteratura nord americana? Maledetti obbligati, intellettualismi fasulli on the road, infanzie disperate di nulla... forse sarà colpa del kindle che mi distrae nella lettura, ma 'sto libro che sembrava iniziato con slancio si è perso per le strade del mondo.
Mi sono stufata. E molto anche. Questo era il mio primo approccio a DeLillo. Ed è andato decisamente male. Ci riproverò in futuro, con un altro libro. Sperando che, col tempo, come scrittore sia migliorato. Perché qui, in questo suo primo romanzo, fa veramente venire il latte alle ginocchia.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Nunca había leído a Don DeLillo. Sabía cosas buenas de él pero hasta ahora no se me atravesaba nada.

La novela está bien, atrapa su ritmo, pero el problema es su personaje principal.

Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea how to rate this book. I hated it. I loved it. I hated it more. I loved it again. I threw it across the room. There is so much to hate, but then you find lines like, "We are what we remember," or "If you let yourself be what you want to be, physically and spiritually, you can kill a lot of the death inside you," so you keep reading because there's more like them, shining and beautiful among the muck.
Jul 11, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I read this years ago, and quite liked it - though it is not really his best book. There a wonderful part in it where the writer is making a film and has written the script on the walks of the motel room he is in and gets the actor to read the script as he uses the camera to either film the actor or pan the text on the walls.

His books are filled with incredibly strong images that stay with your for years and years.
A great poke at Madison Avenue!

From the beginning of DeLillo's career and a must read for his fans.
Boz Reacher
I dragged ass all through this for over a week and stayed up late to finally just be done with it, and found myself at 5am laughing hysterically at this one particularly vulgar and hysterically funny scene very near the end, to the extent that the big cat was expressing heavy waves of concern from his perch on the couch arm - and the big cat concerns himself with very little these days. I was lost for a few medium-long stretches - as lost as the narrator is in his fever dream of elaborately prod ...more
I had not previously read any of DeLillo’s work when, as I sat perplexed in my office late on a Monday afternoon wondering what to listen to next during my lengthy daily commute, while browsing my awesome library’s mind-boggling collection of electronic audiobooks, I stumbled across Americana. Hmm, I thought, the title is eye-catching, and the blurb sounds intriguing, so why not give it a whirl?

While Americana was downloading to my trusty Kindle, I did some quick research on DeLillo and learned
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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
“It is so much simpler to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams” 65 likes
“Too much has been forgotten in the name of memory. ” 23 likes
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