Mark's Reviews > White Noise

White Noise by Don DeLillo
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M 50x66
's review
Sep 07, 2010

it was ok
Read from September 07 to 20, 2010

Because of Don's writing skill and the strange mixture of events that happen in the book, I'm sure there is a larger theme, but I wasn't drawn into the book enough to spend much time identifying it. I know it had something to do with the new economy of the 1980s and the fear of death, and if I'm really forced to hang out there and say what I mean, I might say the theme is that this new economy with its consumerism and irresponsible industry is killing everything, even the dignity of a natural death. But I didn't really think that through because the book didn't excite me enough.

There were pieces of what Don did that I liked. He had characters that I enjoyed including the main character who asked interesting questions to people he talked with, and some side characters like his strange colleague obsessed with the power of TV waves and Elvis, and also his wife's father, a burly man knowledgeable of mechanical systems and other manly pursuits. The women in the book were pretty interesting too. I also liked how Don would describe small emotions and experiences that I didn't think people could describe at all. They are the kinds of little things that you might start telling your friends about by saying, I was walking down the hallway, and I thought, oh wait never mind, its too hard to explain, but trust me it was a weird feeling. I can't think of any examples right now, but he describes these small things that happen to everyone by way of fresh, out there metaphors (metaphors, not analogies right?). The book had some funny parts, but it hardly ever made me lol. Maybe it wasn't supposed to. There was enough in there in the way of strange people talking about new things to make me keep reading and stay pretty well engaged, but near the end I was also ready to get it done and mark it as read on this website.

So, White Noise is well done, and I suspect it is deeper than I know. But I didn't care enough about knowing those depths by the time I finished. Personal 3 bones, suspected 5 bones.
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