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July 2017: Award Winners > Underworld - Don DeLillo 2/5

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Nicole D. | 1045 comments n 1997, Underworld was a finalist for the National Book Award. (Cold Mountain won)
Underworld was a nominated finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize. (American Pastoral won)
Underworld was the winner of the 2000 William Dean Howells Medal.

Me and Don DeLillo had a thing going on ....

And then I read this book and now I'm afraid to read more. I will definitely be taking a break. This book starts with an absolutely brilliantly told baseball game. If you read no other part of this book (and I don't recommend you do) I definitely recommend the prologue.

After that, the book takes a lot of turns all of them reminding me of the little bit I read of Infinite Jest. Instead of tennis there was baseball, instead of insurance there was trash collection, and there was a movie whose relevance I don't really understand but which was described in detail. Don't write a book to describe a movie within the book. (Pretty sure there was a thing about a movie in IJ.)

It was a SLOG to get through. NOTHING happened, I listened to it and spaced out more times than I care to mention and when I got back into it I just didn't care to go back and listen to what I missed. 800 pages of nothingness led us to an understanding of what happened to the main character when he was a kid, and it was just sad and disappointing. Also, HATED HIM and everybody else in the book (that may be partially attributable to the narrator.)

Starting to think I should give this one star.

I can see WHY this was nominated for an award, and can see why it won. Award people like blather. Nicole does not.

Book Concierge (TessaBookConcierge) | 2785 comments Yeah ... it wasn't a favorite of mine either.

message 3: by Jennifer P. (new)

Jennifer P. Pope (jenjunum) | 941 comments I read a Delilo (Zero K?) and was not a fan at all. I won't be reading another.

Nicole D. | 1045 comments I liked Zero K and loved White Noise.

message 5: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 4863 comments OMG, I just want to send you bad books for free so I can read your reviews of them. I know, I know, that's awful, but still . . .

"Don't write a book to describe a movie within the book." . . . The Sympathizer does this in part, and I couldn't stand it . . .and it was probably only a couple of chapters . . .still. Hate.this.

But the fact that this book started out with a great baseball scene breaks my heart, because if you had given it a three, I'd be all over it. I'll try to see if I can get a sample on Kindle just to read that scene.

message 6: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1583 comments I just want to say that I love your reviews. I liked Falling Man but haven't read any others. He has loads of books on the 1001 list

message 7: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (Den13) | 1168 comments Loved your ending line! "I can see WHY this was nominated for an award, and can see why it won. Award people like blather. Nicole does not. "

The problem with awards IMO is the people deciding the winners from year-to-year changes. I have no idea if I agree with this particular group of judges (even if I think the judges the previous year nailed it.)

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