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End Zone [Kindle Edition]

Don DeLillo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Gary Harkness is a football player and student at Logos College, West Texas. During a season of unprecedented success on the football field, he becomes increasingly obsessed with the threat of nuclear war. Both frightened and fascinated by the prospect, he listens to his team-mates discussing match tactics in much the same terms as military generals might contemplate global conflict. Offering a timely and topical look at human beings' obsession with conflict and confrontation, End Zone is a clever, playful and, above all, funny novel, which confirms DeLillo's status as one of the great American writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and reaffirms the unerring incisive accuracy of his portrayal of the modern world.


Product Description

Book Description

Gary Harkness is a football player and student at Logos College, West Texas. During a season of unprecedented success on the football field, he becomes increasingly obsessed with the threat of nuclear war. Both frightened and fascinated by the prospect, he listens to his team-mates discussing match tactics in much the same terms as military generals might contemplate global conflict. Offering a timely and topical look at human beings' obsession with conflict and confrontation, End Zone is a clever, playful and, above all, funny novel, which confirms DeLillo's status as one of the great American writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and reaffirms the unerring incisive accuracy of his portrayal of the modern world.

From the Back Cover

Reading the fiction of Don DeLillo is an utterly original experience: powerful, prescient, perceptive. Writing in a prose that is both majestic and muscular, his unerringly accurate vision penetrates deep into the soul of America and consistently leaves readers with a fresh perspective on the world. Since the publication of his first novel, in 1971, he has been acknowledged across the globe as one of the greatest writers of his generation.

Ostensibly, DeLillo’s blackly comic second novel is about Gary Harkness, a football player and student at Logos College, West Texas. During a season of unprecedented success, Gary becomes increasingly obsessed with the threat of nuclear war. Both frightened and fascinated by the prospect, he listens to his team-mates discussing match tactics in much the same terms as generals might contemplate global conflict. But as the terminologies of football and nuclear war – the language of end zones – become interchanged, the polysemous nature of words emerges, and DeLillo forces us to see beyond the sterile reality of substitution. This clever and playful novel is a timeless and topical study of human beings’ obsession with conflict and confrontation.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 326 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B0089WCEUU
  • Publisher: Picador (19 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005I4UAY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #276,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nuclear and personal MADness 7 Jun. 2001
Format:Paperback
This is one of DeLillo's early books which seem to get little of the attention heaped on his more recent efforts post-White Noise. However, along with 'The Names' this is one of his best, with his characteristic love of language already fully formed.
In this case the comparison he makes is between the language of American football, and that of nuclear holocaust - an idea that reappears in the first section of 'Underworld'. As a geeky Brit I know next to nothing about American sports, so it must be a testament to DeLillo's talents as a literary stylist that I remained fascinated by the often lengthy descriptions of games.
The most fascinating aspect, however, is the examination of nuclear language. DeLillo's insights into the hinterlands of late 70s detente are profound, and pre-date respected postmodern critiques which are seen as intellectual masterpieces.
None of this should take away anything from the fact that this is a great read - full of humour and the joy of language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to his usual standard 12 Nov. 2010
By Mingo Bingo VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I'm a big DeLillo fan.

He's one of my favourite authors, Underworld is in my top ten favourite books.

I'm a huge admirer of his style of writing, his world view, his intelligence and the way he can craft poignant and moving novels around big ideas.

To date I have enjoyed every one of his books that I've read. So I picked up End Zone expecting the same.

It began okay, the style is intact, the control of language, the big idea. But somehow the novel just doesn't hold together.

By the end I was annoyed and disappointed with it.

Gary Harkness is a college American football player who over a season becomes obsessed with the possibility of nuclear war. The football becomes a metaphor for combat, the complicated plays become military maneouvers and Gary devours book after book about the man made apocalypse.

All familiar DeLillo territory. But End Zone falls short. There are stylistic blips, strange chapter structures, verbatim reproduction of lectures that run to 3 or 4 pages and have none of his sparkle, could be copied from textbooks. And whilst this book is funnier than most of his (White Noise excluded), the central metaphor is contrived and nowhere near as effortless as I would expect from DeLillo. The surrealism seems forced and self-conscious. The dialogue doesn't fit with the characters, the scenes have no cause and effect, just a series of vignettes tagged together.

Maybe the problem is one of translation, American football is unfathomable to my English mind. Maybe it doesn't seen as pertinent now cold war is just a memory and we've got different universal fears. But either way End Zone just doesn't ring true in the way I expect from a DeLillo novel.

This is an odd book, almost as if a lesser talent was trying to write a DeLillo book and not quite getting it right and left me empty.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Please read this novel if you are interested in current American fiction. Delillo is an excellent writer, and this novel provides a great introduction to his style.
Read this book if you like humor, football, language, words, life and death. It is well worth your 10 bucks and 4 hours.
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