Christy's Reviews > White Noise

White Noise by Don DeLillo
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did not like it
Recommended to Christy by: Someone who thought confronting consumerism was shocking.
Recommended for: Teenagers being raised in suburbia who totally hate it/their parents

I noticed there is a "Don Delillo's White Noise: A Reader's Guide" out there. I find that funny, but also somewhat offensive.

I'll come right out a say that I don't like Delillo, and am shocked by people who claim that he is a "good writer." Is being a good author the same as being a good writer? Shouldn't an author have something worthwhile to say, and shouldn't he be able to keep us interested while doing so? His characters are terribly one-note, his dialogue painfully contrived. I've decided the dialogue is so bad because this is just Delillo's inner monologue we are being subjected to. I'm not even suggesting that he really talks this way, but I am suggesting that he wishes he talked this way, because he thinks it sounds cool. I consider it "bad writing" when no character has a voice that is unique or even slightly different than everyone else's. It's like watching the Gilmore Girls, which, I think you'll agree, is a pretty bad show.

The characters are depressed and depressing. They are childish, ridiculous, and shallow. These had the potential to be statements in themselves, and one might be tempted to accept White Noise as some sort of literary experiment, albeit an untimely (embarrassingly late) one. Unfortunately, all of his writing seems to employ the same devices (shockingly frank, sparse writing about people with sparse souls - can you believe what's happened to America's values?) I was browsing through reviews of his (new?) book Falling Man, which apparently is a post September 11th character/civilization study, and it sounds like Delillo is up to his old tricks. Someone mentioned that it includes the line "The crowd was skilled at being a crowd." Do you sort of feel like that line might also be in White Noise? I can't say for sure, as it has been several years since I read it. But it certainly might as well be. I think it might be in every Delillo book ever written. It's the kind of statement that causes one to pause and think, "Yes, in its own way that is actually quite descriptive and possibly brilliant." But then you keep reading and realize this man is full of nonsense, and it really isn't insightful at all because his books are all full of similarly pointless one-liners that don't lead anywhere.

Don Delillo doesn't have anything to say that hasn't already been said in every disillusioned 15 year old's poetry journal. And he says it badly.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 1999 – Finished Reading
February 23, 2008 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Rob (new)

Rob "I consider it "bad writing" when no character has a voice that is unique or even slightly different than everyone else's." Yes, yes ,yes, yes. That is the thing that drove me mad.


David Yes, yes, yes! to everything in your review. White Noise insults the intelligence.


message 3: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Christy Yes. This book is the worst thing I've had the displeasure of looking at. I would kill delillo if he were sitting in front of me


The Black Hat Writer HAHA! Brilliant review! I love it. In fact, your review is far more entertaining as a read than the used-toilet-tissue of a novel it was about. I hate this book; I feel like it is the worst book I've ever read. I cannot believe people actually rate this a 5. I can't believe anyone gives it higher than a 1.


Gerry Hoffman needed more cowbell


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