General consensus has that this is one of Delillo's lesser novels and I really can't disagree. However, I don't think it's completely terrible either, it's short and has enough passages to recommend at least a quick reading of it. One of his early works from the 70s, it involves rock star Bucky who suddenly decides he doesn't want to be a rock star anymore and goes into seclusion, with all kind of rumors swirling about him. People constantly visit him and try to convince him to come back and he gives them evasive answers and flatout denials. Meanwhile, other stuff happens. And that's pretty much the plot. You can see why some people aren't exactly fond of this one. For a certified rock star, you don't really get much of a sense of Bucky as a musician, which may make sense since he's given all that up, but even when people describe what his band plays, you can't quite see how he would have become so ridiculously famous as he apparently is. It doesn't help that, as others have noted, Delillo cannot write rock lyrics to save his life at this point in time. Some chapters are comprised entirely of snippets from his songs, and it proves that Delillo was right to go into prose writing and not help out King Crimson or anything. But those don't bother me too much since I just skim the lyrics and move on to chapters with people talking. I'm not sure where Delillo was actually going with this story, he seems to be trying to do a cross-section of life in NYC, and then at other times he's attempting to satirize the culture and examine the rock and roll lifestyle. But in trying to do all of that, he really doesn't succeed in really dissecting any of them. The plot, for what it's worth, mostly consists of Bucky sitting in his apartment either talking to his neighbors, or to the people visiting him. Interesting but not terribly exciting, especially since Delillo's characters don't normally talk like real people. At his best, dialogue becomes almost a dance, as two people dart and stab at each other. In this book, it becomes one character giving a really long speech that seems almost stream of consciousness and doesn't really amount to anything. When the plot seems to pick up steam later on, you aren't exactly sure what's going on (it involves both a set of "mountain tapes" Bucky recorded and some new drug that people want) or why it's happening. About the biggest selling point is Delillo's prose, which was incisive even at this point, he's nowhere near his peak and the narration isn't consistent in that respect, but he does whip out a number of well worded paragraphs over the course of the novel. As I said, a quick read, but probably more for completists only, since he's done more memorable or interesting work elsewhere. Has anyone ever tried to set his lyrics to music, even just based on the descriptions of Bucky's band given in the novel (which was a lot of screaming, if I understand correctly?) . . . I'd be curious to hear what people come up with.