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White Noise (1985)

by Don DeLillo

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,194129567 (3.79)1 / 324
Jack Gladney, a professor of Nazi history at a Middle American liberal arts school, and his family try to handle normal family life as a black cloud of lethal gaseous fumes threatens their town.
  1. 30
    Crash by J. G. Ballard (ateolf)
  2. 10
    Blindness by José Saramago (chrisharpe)
  3. 21
    Ubik by Philip K. Dick (ateolf)
  4. 11
    Underworld by Don DeLillo (David_Cain)
    David_Cain: Everything good in White Noise is better in Underworld
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English (124)  Finnish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (128)
Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
I found this novel both easy to read and immensely enjoyable. Perhaps just as good a portrait of various elements of society today as when it was written 35 years ago. The writing the author uses is so clear and straightforward yet allows the complex themes to come through. I would readily recommend this book. ( )
  briandarvell | Aug 7, 2020 |
I really didn't know what to make of this book.
At times it felt like the author also didn't know what to make of his own reflections on life and death, and constructed a group of characters only to explore the theme (like The Crying of Lot 49). That said, the book had a number of really moving reflections (the final two chapters in particular were powerful).
I don't know what to think of the Murray character, but I liked him a lot.
I might bump it up to 4 stars if (like 49) I can't stop thinking about the book for a long time. ( )
  Kelmanel | Apr 17, 2020 |
Struggled trying to get engaged - finally gave up. There are too many books out there to have to work to stay interested. I think the author is a very good writer - just not the book for me right now.
  dablackwood | Feb 1, 2020 |
While I found this book to be more enjoyable than "Underworld", to me it was more irritating than humorous. For example, early on Jack muses about what may be causing his son Heinrich's hair loss; all I could think was didn't he know that it is inherited from the boy's mother. I can see that this passage would be funny to some people but it just didn't come across that way to me, instead it made me feel Jack was dumb. I guess that was the point... ( )
  leslie.98 | Dec 22, 2019 |
a breathtaking, revelatory tour de force. on a word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence, and scene-by-scene level it brilliantly worms its way into your mind. by the end you can't help but notice the white noise surrounding you. ( )
  Alex_JN | Dec 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
The book is so funny, so mysterious, so right, so disturbing … and yet so enjoyable it has somehow survived being cut open for twenty-five years by critics and post-grads. All of that theoretical poking and prodding, all of that po-mo-simulacra-ambiguity vivisection can’t touch the thrill of reading it
 
''White Noise,'' his eighth novel, is the story of a college professor and his family whose small Midwestern town is evacuated after an industrial accident. In light of the recent Union Carbide disaster in India that killed over 2,000 and injured thousands more, ''White Noise'' seems all the more timely and frightening - precisely because of its totally American concerns, its rendering of a particularly American numbness.
 
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To Sue Buck and to Lois Wallace
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The station wagons arrived at noon, a long shining line that coursed through the west campus.
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"The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear". Jack to Babette when talking about genetically engineered micro-organisms that would digest the 'airborne toxic event'.
"The airborne toxic event is a horrifying thing. Our fear is enormous. Even if there hasn't been great loss of life, don't we deserve some attention for our suffering, our human worry, our terror? Isn't fear news?" Television carrying man's speech when the family is stranded in Iron City.
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Average: (3.79)
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