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Libra

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  12,203 Ratings  ·  686 Reviews
From the author of White Noise (winner of the National Book Award) and Zero K

In this powerful, eerily convincing fictional speculation on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Don DeLillo chronicles Lee Harvey Oswald's odyssey from troubled teenager to a man of precarious stability who imagines himself an agent of history. When "history" presents itself in the form of two
...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 1st 1991 by Penguin (first published 1988)
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Paul Bryant
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
I'm told that the Don DeLillo who wrote this masterpiece is the same guy who wrote Underworld and White Noise, but as far as I'm concerned that's a plainly ridiculous theory and I'm not buying it at all and I've hired a private investigator to get to the bottom of why there are two Don DeLillos and why this one hasn't sued the other idiot for giving him a bad name. It's a mystery.

Libra is entirely great. Its vocals, its backing, the bass, the drums, man alive the drums, the harmonies - celestia
...more
Franco  Santos
Libra es donde convergen todas las teorías conspirativas que han ido surgiendo con el correr de los años, a partir del famoso 22 de noviembre del 1963, una fecha que, en palabras de DeLillo, quebró la columna vertebral del siglo en Estados Unidos. En Libra DeLillo propone que el asesino «oficial» del presidente Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, solo fue la cara visible de una conspiración mucho más grande y enrevesada, fundada desde el mismo corazón de los EE. UU., a partir de una decisión que muchos ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
This book of DeLillo was a brilliant dive into the background of Kennedy's presumed assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald (with a cameo of his killer Jack Ruby). It is well-written and well-paced and a great read. I would put it on the level with Mao II and White Noise but below Underworld. So an essential DeLillo as long as you have UW under your belt already.
mark monday
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
a work of bright and ruthless genius, the jfk assassination as recounted by some alien being from the far future. well actually, not really, not at all. well actually, at times it felt like it. is delillo less than human or more than human? the novel makes no attempt to be historically factual. actually, the facts presented are reasonable and sound. the novel is historically factual, as much as anything can be. the narrative is, of course, almost too complex to be detailed. although it is, in it ...more
Agnieszka
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-a-copy, 2013, reviewed

One can read Libra as a political thriller or a voice in the discussion about who actually stood behind one of the most notorious political assassinations of the twentieth century. Shots in Dallas proved that this an event can not be easily interpreted, it melts in the mist of conjectures and hypotheses and still is a breeding ground for more and more daring conspiracy theories. (I’m not a huge fan of conspiracy theories, neither in books nor in real life. In fact we, in Poland, have enough th
...more
Megha
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews

DeLillo and I are friends now!!
We had started off on the wrong foot, but Libra has patched things up. I too share Paul's suspicions about Libra and White Noise having been written by the same person. Had I been handed these two books without the cover, I wouldn't have known those words had flown out of the same figurative pen.

Libra is a terrific piece of work. It has a huge cast of characters and a very complex web of events, all handled neatly and elegantly. While DeLillo's characters never rea
...more
Perry
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
" There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of things they aren't telling us. "

The novel is a tragic, speculative account of the people, places and things leading to the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Delillo uses many of the actual words of Oswald and his mom Marguerite, as well as numerous documented facts surrounding the life and times of Lee Harvey Oswald, so that I had difficulty discerning where the public records stop and the fictio
...more
Lee
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This one took about a month to read so I should respect that time turning its pages and write a few commemorative words. All I can really say is that on every page the writing reeks of literature, but rarely is it literary. What I mean is that DeLillo's sentences always seem to have an eye on a subtextual prize, that is, they always seem like an updated, abstract response to that question posed long ago by some cavedweller about the meaning of life, as opposed to turns of phrase for the sake of ...more
Sean Wilson
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, fiction
“Facts are lonely things.”

American history is profoundly dark in its timeline. From the slaughtering and near genocidal extermination of the Native Americans to the 9/11 attacks, American history presents itself as an almost constant struggle for survival. History has not been so kind when it comes to America. Inevitably, and understandably, it is so very interesting, and the American people are also equally interesting. Their history is internationally relatable due to the ancestral voyages u
...more
Sentimental Surrealist
This fucking book, man, it just leaves me at a complete loss for words. I've heard people discredit the terrific work DeLillo did to make Oswald a compelling and complex character - maybe DeLillo's most compelling and most complex character - because Don was working with a real person and therefore had plenty of raw material to go with, but I insist that it takes just as much talent to sculpt what is known of Oswald (his upbringing, his politics, his time in the war) into a real and weirdly rela ...more
Marco Tamborrino
- Quando è il tuo compleanno?
- Il diciotto ottobre, - rispose Lee.
- Libra. La Bilancia.
- Sì, la Bilancia, - disse Ferrie
- L'Equilibrio, - disse Shaw.
Quelli della bilancia. Alcuni sono positivi, padroni di sé, equilibrati, con la testa a posto, saggi e rispettati da tutti. Altri invece sono negativi, cioè piuttosto instabili, impulsivi. Tanto, ma tanto, ma tanto influenzabili. Propensi a spiccare il salto pericoloso. In entrambi i casi, la chiave è l'equilibrio.


A volte finisci dei libri e non è
...more
Ned
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are a number of reasons I chose this one to occupy a couple of weeks of reading time in my life. First, I wanted an introduction to DeLillo since I understand he can be difficult to read, yet I wanted to be entertained. The subject matter is near and dear to my heart, as the Kennedy assassination spawned perhaps the greatest assortment of conspiracy theories in our nation’s history. Most of the story occurred during the period of history in which I was born (1960) and marks and colors a su ...more
Roberto
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, storia, nord-america

Impatto imminente

Una boccia su un tavolo da biliardo impatta su un'altra. Proviene da un punto relativamente remoto. L'impatto non è altro che l'evoluzione di un percorso partito tempo prima, effetto sulla stecca, deviazioni di sponde, abilità e strategia del giocatore, posizione iniziale delle bocce. L'impatto che si osserva è l'epilogo.
Come ci si è arrivati, a quell'impatto?

Questa è la domanda che si è fatto DeLillo con questo intrigante libro.

Il tempo è il 22 novembre del 1963. Il luogo è Dal
...more
João Carlos
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2014, 2014best, favorites

John F. Kennedy - assassinato - 22 de Novembro de 1963 - Dallas

Don DeLillo (n. 1936) escreve um romance sobre a "história" do assassinato de John F. Kennedy – um estudo sobre os homens que moldaram a história, num relato sobre os acontecimentos trágicos que ocorreram em Dallas, na manhã de 22 de Novembro de 1963.
Durante três anos DeLillo investiga e analisa inúmeros documentos – com destaque para o Relatório da Comissão Warren, processos judiciais, artigos de jornais e revistas – escrevendo um
...more
Michael
"Facts all come with points of view."
--Talking Heads

I became reasonably convinced that Libra is Don DeLillo's masterpiece about halfway through. After slogging through the first quarter of the novel -- you're introduced to dozens of characters, and they're all revealed to you in that customarily opaque way that any reader of DeLillo will instantly recognize, and the dialogue only takes you so far because DeLillo characters don't talk to each other so much as around each other, and it takes a wh
...more
Paolo
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Libro definitivo sulla madre di tutti i complotti e di come Mafia/Cia/FBI/Anticastristi portino quasi per sbaglio un ragazzo di ventitre anni che non aveva il motivo, le capacità e nemmeno la volontà, ad uccidere Kennedy.
Impareggiabile DeLillo fa di Oswald un Forrest Gump in negativo che attraversa l'universo - America, detrito fra i detriti.
Meraviglioso poi lo Stabat mater finale.
Marc
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Somewhere along the line I got this notion in my head that DeLillo wasn't for me. I have no idea how that got lodged in my head, but it could not be more wrong. This is only my second of his works (after being quite delighted with White Noise), but between his subject matter (the American zeitgeist) and his writing style (dark, funny, smart, biting, while somehow being lyrical), I think I might be hooked. Some of his passages are simply enjoyable on their own:
The faintly musty smell, the coolnes
...more
AC
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Spoilers -- kind of....

This is a really great book -- for most of it, I really loved this -- partially because I'm an assassination buff, but also because there's a taut intelligence and poetry in much of the writing, and also (I thought, at least) some really sublime characterization and lots of Plot MoMo. The treatment of David Ferrie -- for example when he meets with Carmine .... just great writing...

This is my first DeLillo - and I know a lot of people here think he's way overrated -- so I
...more
Carla
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015


“Libra” é uma obra de ficção que ensaia uma teoria sobre o assassinato do Presidente Kennedy e que tenta, de forma incansável, responder à pergunta – Quem era Lee Harvey Oswald? Encontramos, portanto, esta dupla vertente narrativa ao logo de um texto fragmentário por opção e pejado de vozes, algumas mais interessantes do que outras, sendo que todas convergem rumo à figura de Lee Harvey Oswald.
“Libra” parece ser ainda uma tentativa para contrariar as inúmeras incoerências do Relatório da Comissã
...more
kaelan
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Preamble.

A few days after finishing Libra, I went out for drinks with a good friend/DeLillo-aficionado and naturally a heated discussion ensued. What follows is largely the result of this conversation.

Review.

In her (or his) first-ever interview, the artist generally known as "Elena Ferrante" attempted to articulate the literary relationship between truth and style:
Literary truth is not the truth of the biographer or the reports, it's not a police report or a sentence handed down by a court. It's
...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dead president's corpse in the driver's car. The engine runs on glue and tar…
“Let’s devote our lives to understanding this moment, separating the elements of each crowded second. We will build theories that gleam like jade idols, intriguing systems of assumption, four-faced, graceful. We will follow the bullet trajectories backwards to the lives that occupy the shadows, actual men who moan in their dreams.”
There is a system and there are those who serve it. There are cats and there are cat’s paw
...more
Grazia
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Un giorno qualche dritto avrebbe inventato una religione basata sulla coincidenza"

Recentemente vedo Jackie di Pablo Larrain. Ci trascino mia figlia, scelta inopportuna. Lascio a casa la Madre, scelta parimenti inopportuna. La figlia mi infama perché si è rotta i maroni a più infinito, la Madre mi rompe i maroni perché dovevo portarci lei. Insomma, come fai sbagli.

Comunque. Il film è molto diverso dalle aspettative che nutrivo su esso, pensavo che ci fosse più Storia. Mentre risulta essere tutt
...more
sologdin
Nutshell: soporific account of JFK assassination, intermixed with bildungsroman of assassin, with implied subtitle The Sorrows of Young Lee Harvey.

Narrative is bifurcated into alternating sections. First set are designated by locus: New Orleans, Moscow, Dallas—these follow Oswald. Second set are designated by tempus: 20 May, 25 September, 22 November—these follow CIA losers, anti-castroites, other unsavories.

Text ties tempus and locus together explicitly in Oswald: “from early childhood he liked
...more
Justin Evans
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I unintentionally finished this days before the 50th anniversary of JFK's death, which made the whole thing even more enjoyable, if that's the right word. Aside from a bit of the good ole American prose (and its general fear of syntax more complex than subject-verb-object), and brief moments of postmodern angst (can we know anything???), this is an excellent, excellent book. It's easy to read but doesn't ignore the possibility that writing may (I'd go as far as 'should') be noticeable. But most ...more
  LunaBel
The facet DeLillo investigates in this historical crime (the murder of President Kennedy) is the power of plot. Lee Oswald did not work alone. There is a whole facet of the crime that keeps jabbing at the ‘lonesome’ aspect of the murder. Lee did not work alone. He is one piece of the puzzle which was shut down to paralyze investigation.
This novel does not only concentrate on the crime. We are introduced to his family, to the CIA, to Lee’s mistakes and to twists of all sorts. DeLillo wants the r
...more
Ian Scuffling
There's a special element to DeLillo's writing where you go along reading and suddenly, unexpectedly, there's a passage that sends forth a couple tentacles that squeeze you tightly--unsettle you from your comfortable reading spot. You're in awe, gripped with epiphany--stunned, really. Moments that only come at the hands of a master. But then sometimes there's a crippling mediocrity that punishes you. Maybe it's DeLillo's game with the reader--holding you so distant and cold that when the magnitu ...more
Bam
Excellent! This is the second of Don DeLillo's books I have read and he is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. LIBRA is an intriguing fictional imagining of how a conspiracy might have been behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy--"the seven seconds that broke the back of the American century." Richly-detailed chapters alternate between telling the story of Oswald's life while we watch the assassination plot being formed by disgruntled CIA agents and exiled Cubans, angry ab ...more
qtasha
Most people don't like playing with known history facts but its done with so such skill, the getting into Oswald head his serious nature, but living in a fantasy world with his limited skills a Russian wife with the American dream that he can't provide for his leftist political ideals. in spite of the murdering of the president of the united states you get the feeling this guy can't get a break he's like beaten dog. The other character who may or may not be a real person or based on a real perso ...more
Neil
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 5-stars
"Think of two parallel lines," he said. "One is the life of Lee H. Oswald. One is the conspiracy to kill the President. What bridges the space between them? What makes a connection inevitable? There is a third line. It comes out of dreams, visions, intuitions, prayers, out of the deepest levels of the self. It is not generated by cause and effect like the other two lines. It is a line that cuts across causality, cuts across time. It has no history that we can recognize or understand. But it forc ...more
Eric
Epic poems are wearisome, Poe said. This is a work of genius - but I'm relieved to be done.
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Reading 1001: Libra - Don Delillo. TBR Challenge 1 6 Jan 10, 2018 10:30AM  
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3,341 followers
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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“Facts are lonely things” 79 likes
“Some nights I need to be held. Tonight I'm a listener. So nice to lie in rumpled sheets and listen. Cover me with words.” 27 likes
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