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Underworld (1997)

by Don DeLillo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,781821,076 (3.9)1 / 254
A 1950s teenage hood from New York is transformed by the Jesuits into a respectable man, managing hazardous waste. A portrait of the decade from the viewpoint of the garbage industry.
  1. 30
    The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Bolaño's novel is set mostly In Mexico City, rather than the US. He uses some similar techniques to DeLillo to produce a much more accomplished and interesting work. It will probably appeal to those who enjoyed Underworld.
  2. 20
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (BrandonSiguenza)
  3. 22
    Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (xtien)
  4. 00
    The Weight of Numbers by Simon Ings (ShelfMonkey)
  5. 12
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (igorken)
  6. 01
    American Gods {original} by Neil Gaiman (Hibou8)
    Hibou8: Profound, and profoundly american.

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» See also 254 mentions

English (74)  Italian (4)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Serbian (1)  All languages (83)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
The USSR should have won the Cold War ( )
  bluestraveler | Aug 15, 2022 |
I actually miss this monster of a book. I have a lot of complicated feelings about it that I may never work through completely. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
Reason read: 1001 Books, 2nd Quarter read, Reading 1001. ROOT (read our own tomes). The story is historical fiction, a postmodern novel that is set in the period of the fifties and sixties. The book opens with the baseball pennant race of 1951. What's not more American than baseball. Themes include; nuclear proliferation, waste, and everything else that epitomizes the 50s and 60s. DeLillo weaves the reality with the fiction throughout the book.

The novel was published in 1997 and received a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize and won the American Book Award. It is set in the US states of New York, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and perhaps others I haven't gotten to yet. I will add that Minnesota was also mentioned as Nick spent his juvenile detention years in northeast Minnesota (my home town area). Also mentioned is Kazakhstan which is interesting fact because I just bought Soveitistan by Erika Fatland which covers all the 'stans'. It mentions that nuclear testing occurred here. And it mentions that people die young and die of cancer.

The book probably is his best but I like Libra better, the difference might be the sprawling length of Underworld. Libra focuses only on Kennedy assassination while this book focuses on everything. I liked that it starts with the baseball game and the missing home run ball is the piece that connects the many people and points of the novel.
Rating 3.9 stars ( )
  Kristelh | Jun 3, 2022 |
My first reading of delillo. Very unfortunately, I got the abridged audiobook so I both didn't get to appreciate the whole book, and had it very neatly spoiled the whole way through. I downloaded the unabridged audiobook but it'll be a while until I want to read it again. But what I did get from it, I liked. It felt pretty scattered (abridged :-( ) but he has great gritty self-reflective prose. Hearing about the art, and about the nuclear waste, it did feel somehow american in a way I haven't read in a while. The characters felt very real, unforced, and not constrained by plot. The end with the internet I didn't really understand ( )
  Lorem | Feb 19, 2022 |
One of the best books that I have ever read. ( )
  JodeMillman | Dec 16, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Don DeLillo
traduit de l'américain par M. Véron, Actes Sud
«Ce qu'il interroge, avec entêtement, c'est la façon dont tout un peuple devenu paranoïaque réorganise sa vie dans un monde postatomique.» Catherine Argand (Lire, avril 1999)
'"Underworld" is a victim of its own ambition: by trying to cover such a wide range of characters and situations, DeLillo loses track of some of them' ... 'Despite its faults DeLillo has created an ambitious and powerful novel...'
added by GYKM | editSpike Magazine, Gary Marshall (Dec 1, 1998)
This "is his best novel and perhaps that most elusive of creatures, a great American novel."

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Don DeLilloprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mikulášková, LucieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reinharez, IsabelleCollaboratrice à la traduction françaisesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Véron, MarianneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of my mother and father.
First words
He speaks in your voice, American, and there's a shine in his eye that's halfway hopeful.
Parla la tua lingua, l'americano, e c'è una luce nel suo sguardo che è una mezza speranza.
"How is it we did so much laughing? How is it people came over with their empty pockets and bad backs and not so good marriages and twenty minutes later we're all laughing?"
"Sometimes faith needs a sign. There are times when you want to stop working at faith and just be washed in a blowing wind that tells you everything."
Tutto è collegato, alla fine.
Il ciberspazio è una cosa dentro il mondo, o il contrario? Quale contiene quale e come si può esserne sicuri?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A 1950s teenage hood from New York is transformed by the Jesuits into a respectable man, managing hazardous waste. A portrait of the decade from the viewpoint of the garbage industry.

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Average: (3.9)
0.5 3
1 29
1.5 6
2 86
2.5 19
3 198
3.5 53
4 364
4.5 62
5 384

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