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Americana

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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  4,165 Ratings  ·  322 Reviews
Ventotto anni, bello, manager di una grande rete televisiva: David Bell è il sogno americano diventato realtà. Cinico yuppie ante litteram nella New York degli anni Settanta, si nutre delle stesse immagini che trasmette il suo network. Ma dalla vetta del successo, gli si spalanca davanti un vuoto insostenibile. Decide così di lasciare il suo ufficio a Manhattan e di inizia ...more
Paperback, Super ET, 403 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Einaudi (first published 1971)
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Violet wells
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
...more
Darwin8u
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
Greg
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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX7QAn...

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
...more
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
Kyle
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aprile
Jun 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Alexandra
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
  LunaBel
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...
sologdin
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
...more
Lisa
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
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
Gabriele
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
...more
Rayroy
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
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
Adam
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
Kaitlin
Sep 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lenore Beadsman64
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
...more
Arwen56
Dec 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
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.
WordsBeyondBorders
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
Karen
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.
Trevor
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.
Jim
A great poke at Madison Avenue!

From the beginning of DeLillo's career and a must read for his fans.
Denny
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
...more
Karn Kher
It tries to be Heller and Kerouac. It fails at both.
Lacey
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I really wanted to like this book. I remember when I read DeLillo's book "Libra" that I had been completely enamored with his prose. It was a really good book, and he had a penchant for detail that was completely unmatched. And the prose in Americana is good, but I just didn't like it as much. It's not DeLillo's best.

There are a lot of good things I can say about the book. I did love his repetition of icons and ideas that really are associated with Americana: the cheap hotel room, the idea of fe
...more
Titus Burley
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Americana is a brilliant book - akin in its imagery rich rants to Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint. It is experimental satire of high order; a book written in a more blessed time when a major publisher would risk printing a first novel that follows none of the predictable maxims of storytelling. It is a novel without villain unless that villain is at times the narrator, David Bell, himself. Bell in essence goes on a physical cross-country quest to remedy a growing disenchantment with his world ...more
Phil
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been ages since I read any DeLillo and so going back and reading his first book was an odd experience. Clearly I wasn't going to get something on the scale of Underworld which, at least in memory, is an amazing book but I was hoping for something as good as White Noise. For some reason this didn't quite get there for me. The writing style is consistently good and hits brilliant heights in places - I loved the sections on the main character's pal who does talk radio in a complete monologue i ...more
Vincent Louis
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exquisite. Prescient. An incredible debut from the best living American novelist. Like Mad Men's Don Draper, DeLillo's David Bell doesn't know who he is, and like Draper he is largely a fiction to himself and the world (though not as ostensibly as Draper). His journey of discovery tears him down while holding a mirror up to ourselves, our culture. The whole novel, for me, was a prequel to a single anecdotal story related by a secondary character (Sullivan) toward the end. What a writer DeLillo i ...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
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“It is so much simpler to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams” 62 likes
“Too much has been forgotten in the name of memory. ” 23 likes
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