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White Noise

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message 1: by ted (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

ted Post modern marriage and Americana captured to a T.It makes an attempt to understand the creepy malaise that sets in on middle age folks in the suburbs....a good kind of ouch !


Laurie but don't you think it might be over the top? i mean, every other paragraph seems to allude to "white noise" somehow: the dull, brainless, souless, glazeover. totally not subtle. but, i'm not saying that's bad. very funny though, eh?


message 3: by Tom (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tom I agree, Laurie; it is over the top, especially that bizarre ending. I've read a fair amount of DeLillo (End Zone, Libra, Mao II, Underworld) and this one just left me shaking my head. Interesting, funny at times, but over-rated.


Laurie Tom: yeah, totally streaming ending. I didn't expect it, but the more I think about it the more it seems a proper finish. I did like the book, but I didn't pick it for fun. Having never taken English in college, I feel I'm missing the experience of reading various literary styles. Can you recommend another book by DeLillo?


Nate D Underworld is good, if long and unwieldy and spread out with tangents that don't immediately seem connected, and the first chapter of the Body Artist is perhaps DeLillo's finest prose. I've also read Americana and Great Jones Street but neither of those really hit the same level of focus and craftsmanship as his later work.


message 6: by Tom (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tom Though Underworld is his magnum opus, Libra is my personal favorite among DeLillo's novels, Laurie. He really gets into Oswald's skin. And he captures the paranoia of the time with much more nuance that Oliver Stone in JFK (though comparing media may not be fair). And it's got one of my favorite lines in any book: "A fact is innocent until someone wants it. Then it become intelligence."


Laurie Thanks, Tom. I'll take a look at Libra. You sold me on that one.


message 8: by Niche (new) - added it

Niche Oohh. Libra sounds good.

Did anyone read the critical edition of White Noise? Is it worth purchasing this edition or the regular edition of White Noise?
Thanks.


message 9: by Carl (new) - added it

Carl I'm not sure I can handle a critical edition -- I'm not sure I've ever read a book that cries out "read me to write an essay about me" more than this one does! I agree with Laurie's comment about it being "over the top", what with the motifs of overlap and density and misapprehension and confusion and all the impinging observations pregnant with meaning...or meaninglessness. Whew!


Charles Bechtel I very much enjoyed "The Names." I had just come off of a string of eastern Mediterranean novels, (The Alexandrian Quartet, The Magus, Exodus) and thought one more, why not? It has a haunting, ungraspable quality that might leave some readers missing the wrapped-up quality of more common novels, but I like that I left that world unsure. Generally I am not a fan of study-books, but this — along with The Body Artist — seems the least like.


message 11: by David (new) - added it

David boi, i sur didn't get this one ..


message 12: by Jake (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jake This was my first Delillo book, and I have to agree with the comments regarding it being overrated. I enjoyed it, but it was a very obvious book, smacking you in the face with how important it is. I gave the author another shot though, and I'm glad I did. Libra is the most readable and enjoyable, but Underworld is just gorgeous and left me in awe.


message 13: by David (new) - added it

David i always regretting not reading Underworld - now i doan think i'll get around to it (still looking for more WILD, chaotic, name-calling SATIRE!!..


message 14: by Troy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Troy I think Delillo, better than any other writer, captures the absurd nature of our society--and White Noise exemplifies this ability of his. From "toxic events" to anomie in the supermarket aisles, White Noise groks us perfectly. With that said, I find Underworld to be a more satisfying work--with perhaps the finest first chapter in all of 20th century literature.


message 15: by Cait (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cait I am hooked on DeLillo after reading this book. I can't wait to read Libra next!


message 16: by One (last edited Oct 21, 2013 10:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

One Flew I thought White Noise was a good mixture of the satirical and genuinely insightful. The aspects of the book that were a bit over the top, I assume, were deliberately written that way.

Just a note for everyone who enjoyed DeLillo's Libra, Norman Mailer's 'Oswald's Tale', is also a brilliant look at the JFK assassination.


message 17: by Marc (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marc Nash Laurie wrote: "Tom: yeah, totally streaming ending. I didn't expect it, but the more I think about it the more it seems a proper finish. I did like the book, but I didn't pick it for fun. Having never taken Engli..."

Cosmopolis is brilliant, even the film didn't screw it up too much.

Mao II is good as well


message 18: by Marc (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marc Nash Troy wrote: "I think Delillo, better than any other writer, captures the absurd nature of our society--and White Noise exemplifies this ability of his. From "toxic events" to anomie in the supermarket aisles, ..."

This is true, but AM Holmes is doing similar in a slightly quieter but no less subversive way in her novels.

I think Libra is now the only Dellilo book I haven't yet read. I even read that one about the supposed Hitler home movie reel which wasn't great! Can't even remember what it was called now


message 19: by Dan (last edited Oct 25, 2013 02:44AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Tom wrote: "I agree, Laurie; it is over the top, especially that bizarre ending. I've read a fair amount of DeLillo (End Zone, Libra, Mao II, Underworld) and this one just left me shaking my head. Interestin..."

***SPOILERS****
I thought the ending was odd, it didn't quite match the book, but I thought it was also quite profound. He does not want the gun, 'we're not gun people', but then when he begins to carry the gun, he describes the fear of everyone carrying and him being shot. As an Australian, I can't help feel this is symptomatic of the American gun culture.

On that note, I enjoyed Libra a lot more.


message 20: by David (new) - added it

David u know what i ALSO doan get?; hp lovecraft - & hav tried too! -course i love, & GET Poe; but not Dis GUY! :)


message 21: by Todd (new) - rated it 3 stars

Todd Zack 'Nobody knows why the seabirds return to the islands of Monte Giama'...I'm paraphrasing, but that schizophrenic monologue by the antagonist towards the end of the book really brought it all home for me, as a reader. I, thankfully (at least to my own understanding) don't suffer from the same psychological problems as the couple in this book do. That being said; I understood them. So, perhaps I do. Perhaps, we ALL do.


message 22: by David (new) - added it

David ((sinc then i read a LOT of lovecraft. idk what i was thinking or sayn - feel like an 11 year old. maybe i was drunk .. ))


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