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Libra by Don DeLillo

Libra (1988)

by Don DeLillo

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2,820312,062 (3.84)112
  1. 00
    On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison (daveowen78)
    daveowen78: A bit nutty and certainly from the conspiracy theory end of the spectrum. I am not sure how credible the author is. Never the less very interesting, and indeed fairly frightening if there is even a shred of truth to this government cover up take on the JFK assassination.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Fascinating book about Lee Harvey Oswald. This is my first experience with DeLillo's writing, which I found to be fresh and original. The use of dialog is especially compelling - the way he gets inside the characters' heads is sort of magical. It's clearly a work of fiction (as the author's note explains, although to me it's obvious), but it gets at some truth about the nature of the main characters. This one will stay with me. ( )
  meredk | Apr 22, 2017 |
I'm rating this novel with 4 stars, in spite of the fact that I didn't really enjoy reading it very much. This is a fictional account of events leading up to and including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. If you didn't live through that time, or if you only know the barest outline of what happened and who was involved, this could be an outstanding literary adventure for you. I appreciated it, without loving it, and I believe that is almost entirely due to the fact that I was once so completely immersed in reading about the Kennedy assassination that I simply cannot distance myself from the history and let the fiction carry me away. This is post-modern stuff, and I soon realized that DeLillo was doing something quite remarkable with his multiple characters and points of view. I think the novel is a masterpiece of imagination, as DeLillo put himself (and me, very often) directly and brilliantly into the heads of Lee Harvey Oswald, his mother, his wife, and many of his associates. He made it clear in an author's note that he "made no attempt to furnish factual answers to any questions raised by the assassination". And by changing the perspective from one character to another throughout, DeLillo also made it difficult to come to any conclusions about what "really" was happening. Any given character only knew--or told-- part of the story, and many of them were thoroughly unreliable narrators. Nevertheless, it's hard not to come away from Libra with a strong impression that in this version of events, Oswald himself didn't believe he fired the shot that killed Kennedy. It's fascinating stuff, but it didn't need fictionalization for me to find it so. Having said that, though, I'm a bit disappointed that I couldn't have read this unquestionably fine piece of work without knowing a blessed thing about the historical events it is based on. I'm pretty sure I would have loved it in that case.
Review written December 2016 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Jan 1, 2017 |
Mi sono annoiata incredibilmente. Forse sono l'unica a dare un giudizio del genere, ma che ci posso fare? ( )
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
Delillo's novel takes Lee Harvey Oswald and makes him into a person...[in progress]
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
"We lead more interesting lives than we think. We are characters in plots, without the compression and numinous sheen. Our lives, examined carefully in all their affinities and links, abound with suggestive meaning, with themes and involute turnings we have not allowed ourselves to see completely." ( )
  lawrenh | May 14, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140156046, Paperback)

In this powerful, eerily convincing fictional speculation on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Don DeLillo chronicles Lee Harvey Oswald's odyssey from troubled teenager to a man of precarious stability who imagines himself an agent of history. When "history" presents itself in the form of two disgruntled CIA operatives who decide that an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the president will galvanize the nation against communism, the scales are irrevocably tipped.

A gripping, masterful blend of fact and fiction, alive with meticulously portrayed characters both real and created, Libra is a grave, haunting, and brilliant examination of an event that has become an indelible part of the American psyche.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The scheme of two disgruntled CIA agents to stage an unsuccessful attempt on the life of President Kennedy and link it to Cuba backfires when the erratic Lee Harvey Oswald goes too far.

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Average: (3.84)
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1.5 2
2 28
2.5 2
3 88
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4.5 31
5 102

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141188227, 0141041994

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