Scott Firestone's Reviews > Zero K

Zero K by Don DeLillo
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did not like it
Read 2 times. Last read April 10, 2016 to April 17, 2016.

This was my first DeLillo book, and it might be my last. He was never really on my radar, but the premise of Zero K sounded intriguing: A young man's incredibly wealthy father and stepmother decide to put their bodies into a sort of stasis until medical technology reaches a point where they can live new lives again. I thought it might be a meditation on fathers and sons coming together to work through their pasts. Instead, it's just a mess.

The story is slow, plodding, and seemingly pointless--and it goes in directions that work against the narrative rather than for it. It sets itself up as asking "important" philosophical questions. But the questions don't seem that important--and neither do the answers. According to the description this book is setting the horrors of the world (terrorism, fires, conflict) against the beauty of life, but I didn't see that. I must have missed the beauty amid the estranged and distant father, the weird compound where this procedure takes place, and the way the book tries desperately to get me to believe the narrator and his step-mother are reconciling, but that's just not convincing.

The writing is good. "[This] is the song-and-dance version of what happens to self-made men. They unmake themselves." That's GOOD. Unfortunately, Zero K is like a beautiful pool of water, but one that's so shallow it can't support any life.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 23, 2016 – Shelved
February 23, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 10, 2016 – Started Reading
April 17, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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message 1: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl I never understood the draw of Delillo either, and I've read three....Underworld, Falling Man, and....damn. I cant remember. Yes, that's how memorable Delillo is to me. Pointless indeed.


Jeannette Finally, after scrolling down I find someone who I agree with. This book held no value for me at all. Monotonous boring dialogue that actually took you no where.


Reese Reaves This is my first And last DeLillo book as well. I've made it nearly 80 pages and it's painful! I'm putting this down. The premise interested me but the execution is incredibly boring!!


Haley Gray I completely agree! I kept wondering when something would actually happen in the book. I finished the book and have no idea what happened. I felt like the plot wasn't fully developed. I am left with more questions than I started with, and I don't like that in a book.


Tatjana This hit it on point. That's EXACTLY what I thought but couldn't get into words.


message 6: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Haley wrote: "I completely agree! I kept wondering when something would actually happen in the book. I finished the book and have no idea what happened. I felt like the plot wasn't fully developed. I am left wit..."

I've tried 4 DeLillo books. It's the same with all of them. I've given up. I just don't see what makes him so great.


message 7: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Marked as DNF for the exact same reasons as everyone on this thread stated. When I first put this on my to read list back in February I was giddy about it. I just couldn't get into it after 77 pages. I'm sure I'm missing something, but I don't have the time to try and find what it is.


Brett Ramseyer Bless you Scott - I finished it because I bought it. I'm cheap. I did not feel enriched from reading it at all.


message 9: by Phil (new) - added it

Phil Demers I wasn't thrilled by this novel either but you guys are really missing out if you don't give some of his better books a try.


Kevin Kelsey I also really disliked this novel, but love some other DeLillo works. I'd recommend reading his earlier novels and not giving up entirely on him.


message 11: by Scott (new) - rated it 1 star

Scott Firestone Kevin, I've heard that from enough people that I'm willing to give him another shot.


message 12: by Ken (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ken Underhill Don't give up on DeLillo. This book stinks, but he has many others that excel. I started with White Noise just this year and after two others, this is the only disappointment.


message 13: by Scott (new) - rated it 1 star

Scott Firestone I appreciate that, Ken. And I've heard the same thing from enough people that I'll stick with him.


Jamesboggie I agree with everything except the writing, I found the writing to be just as awful as the plot and characters. It is filled with rambling, uninteresting monologues and faulty analogies.


message 15: by Arlo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Arlo Farlo I would give him another try. I just read his play Valparaiso and liked it a lot.


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