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White Noise (Picador 40th Anniversary Edition) (Picador 40th Anniversary Editn) [Kindle Edition]

Don DeLillo
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

‘An extraordinarily funny book on a serious subject, effortlessly combining social comedy, disaster, fiction and philosophy . . . hilariously, and grimly, successful’ Daily Telegraph First published in 1985, White Noise won the National Book Award. It is now regarded as a classic of postmodern literature. Jack Gladney is a pioneering professor in the field of Hitler Studies at the bucolic Midwestern College-on-the-Hill. Married five times, he has a brood of children and stepchildren with his current wife, Babette. Over the course of an absurd, tragic year, Jack and Babette will each be forced to confront the question that keeps them awake at night: who will die first? In 2012 Picador celebrates its 40th anniversary. During that time we have published many prize-winning and bestselling authors including Bret Easton Ellis and Cormac McCarthy, Alice Sebold and Helen Fielding, Graham Swift and Alan Hollinghurst. Years later, Picador continue to bring readers the very best contemporary fiction, non-fiction and poetry from across the globe.

Book Description

‘An extraordinarily funny book on a serious subject, effortlessly combining social comedy, disaster, fiction and philosophy . . . hilariously, and grimly, successful’ Daily Telegraph Jack Gladney is the creator and chairman of Hitler studies at the College-on-the-Hill. This is the story of his absurd life; a life that is going well enough, until a chemical spill from a rail car releases an ‘Airborne Toxic Event’ and Jack is forced to confront his biggest fear – his own mortality. White Noise is an effortless combination of social satire and metaphysical dilemma in which DeLillo exposes our rampant consumerism, media saturation and novelty intellectualism. It captures the particular strangeness of life lived when the fear of death cannot be denied, repressed or obscured and ponders the role of the family in a time when the very meaning of our existence is under threat. ‘An astonishing novel . . . unforgettable . . . nearly every page crackles with memorable moments and perfectly turned phrases . . . dizzying, darkly beautiful fiction’ Sunday Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 722 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140077022
  • Publisher: Picador (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073HNM1M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,083 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Who will die first?' 7 Oct. 2011
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Jack Gladney teaches at the College-on-the-Hill. He and his wife Babette live, with four of their children from previous marriage (Heinrich, Steffie, Denise, and Wilder) in the quiet college town of Blacksmith. Jack and Babette are both afraid of death and it is this fear that is central to the novel. Whose fear is the greater? "Sounds like a boring life." "I hope it lasts forever," she said.

Jack and Babette's fear of death, the world in which they live and participate is conveyed satirically through a series of events (some of more direct consequence than others) which are peppered with laugh out loud moments. There's a subtlety in the observation and the writing that makes this novel work.

`The family is the cradle of the world's misinformation.'

Jack serves as the department chair of Hitler studies, a discipline that he invented in 1968, despite the fact that he does not understand German. Hitler's importance as an historical figure gives Jack a degree of importance by association: `Some people are larger than life. Hitler is larger than death. You thought he would protect you.' His colleague, Murray Jay Siskind, has come to Blacksmith to immerse himself in what he calls `American magic and dread.' Murray is a lecturer in living icons who is trying to establish a discipline in Elvis studies. Murray finds deep significance in things that are ordinary - especially the supermarket: `This place recharges us spiritually, it prepares us, it's a gateway or pathway. Look how bright. It's full of psychic data.'

The major events in the novel concern an airborne toxic event and its consequences, and Jack Gladney's search for a mysterious psychopharmaceutical drug called Dylar once he discovers that Babette is participating in an experimental study (of sorts).
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His most outstanding work by far - a masterpiece 17 April 1999
By A Customer
Reading this book staggered me: the phrasing is so spot on, the themes so unusual yet compelling, the dialogue so full of witty, off-the-wall observation that I was left marvelling at the author's magical ability to put words together in unusual yet telling combinations and searching bookshops for more of his books. But having read three others from different periods of his career (the vastly overrated 'Underworld', the execrable 'Ratner's Star' and the mixed 'Great Jones Street') I am left in little doubt that this is his chef d'oeuvre. By some fortunate inspiration, DeLillo discovered his perfect theme for this book: fear of death. He takes this theme and looks at it from all possible angles; yet this is not at all a morbid book. It is instead the funniest black comedy around: the exchange between Jack and his wife when preparing to have sex made me explode with laughter. I found the latter so hilarious that I even shared it with one of my advanced English as a foreign language classes, whose eyes were standing on stalks by the end! Last but certainly not least, DeLillo's understanding of the impact of popular culture on our minds and lives is remarkable: he forced me to make connections about the insidious influence of technology and the media that I would certainly never otherwise have made, and continue to bear in mind every time I read a newspaper or switch on my computer. If you only ever read one contemporary novel, read this one: this is the book that encapsulates our time, not 'Underworld'.
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For some people the dire lack of a story may be problematic, but not for me or this review as there`s no real story to ruin, so fear not.

The blurb promises to cover a few topics which should be of interest to us all and each one is skimmed across and cheerily ticked off the writers list. One shouldn’t expect any challenging thoughts, only a quick nod in its direction. We are told that our main character is forced to confront his greatest fear, his own mortality. And he does, very quickly before continuing with his life. In this apparently absurd, yet incredibly dull world the writer has brought us, it`s actually his wife that harbours a great problem with this fact of life and goes out of her way to do something about it. Our heroic main character promises to work through this with her and the whole idea is put to rest. Which thankfully leaves them time to go food shopping and marvel at the various varieties of ham on offer, thereby ticking off another grand topic, rampant consumerism.

Humour is just another forgotten promise in this book. One can`t expect any laughs from the most shallow characters who are the weakest I’ve come across in perhaps any book. Mercifully I won`t have to go into detail to explain as there is very little to explain. The character creation would have taken less than two minutes.

The most infuriating thing about white noise is that it ignores the possibilities it sets up and always decides upon the most mundane route to another none event. I`m not after mass death and destruction in the wake of the books only event, the toxic airborne event, but this simply comes, goes and is forgotten just as quickly.

White noise is the only book that immediately upon finishing, has been angrily tossed away into the corner. There are the quickest of touches upon the other topics mentioned, but no more, so I wouldn’t waste your time on this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
as described and fast delivery.
Published 5 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read. Incredible in fact.
Published 28 days ago by Saman Tahmassebi
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 4 months ago by xxx
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely prose as always but not up there with his best
Don DeLillo is a fine writer and no reader will be disappointed by his wonderfully fluent and introspective prose which is evident once again in this book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Crimefan72
4.0 out of 5 stars White noise
Ann excellent exploration of what it is to live in the twentieth century, the complexities and interrelationships of the modern world, the anxieties that overwhelm us, the simple... Read more
Published 6 months ago by tina price
5.0 out of 5 stars Conversations With Himself
DDL has written something clever and funny here but it stretches definition to call it a novel, even more so than Finnegans Wake or Beckett's The Unnameable. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mike Collins
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
The book came in very good condition and was just what was required for a book for my uni course
Published 10 months ago by Vicki
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present
Bought as a present for my daughter when she was tacking her Masters degree in English Literature and was one of the books she was required to read
Published 10 months ago by Mr F Pine
4.0 out of 5 stars Fear of death in the supermarket
Despite it being a novel about death, the fear of death and the meaninglessness of it all, I found White Noise to be a strangely comforting read, as well as a very funny one. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr Nobody
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
Appealing to a wide audience, this book takes you through daily life and into gun expressed feelings. Absorbing and worth reading.
Published 11 months ago by AmazingGrace
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