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Underworld
Underworld
by Don DeLillo
Edition: Paperback

18 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This isn't a novel - its an entity called "high art", 23 Jun 2004
This review is from: Underworld (Paperback)
Personally I think it's bad form to slate any book - not least because, naturally, different things appeal to different people - so I am sorry to have to say that this really is dire.
Like many others, wow'd by the reviews and always keen to immerse myself in something fat and meaningful (!), I rushed home and couldn't wait to begin. To be honest I was really quite confused to find that the 40 page prologue read like a "look-at-me-aren't-I-the-wordsmith" A level essay (for which grade a E would be awarded along with "pompous") rather than the "breathlessly graceful" writing I was promised in the amazon editorial review.
And it was downhill from there on. With still 800 odd pages to go.
So what's wrong with it? The writing style is highly repetitive, anally descriptive and ultimatly fails to actually bring a picture to ones imagination because the writing of the description is the point, not the drawing of the picture. Unbelievable really.
And it isnt a novel either. A novel (opps slipped into Delillo style for a tick there), to my feeble mind, has a plot or failing that, at least a point. This book has neither.
And the only "human condition" it caused me to wonder about was how Delillo had managed to drag quite so many reviewers up his own arse with him. Perchance the victory of this book is the number of people he has managed to fool ........ or maybe I'm just too dim to drop into the "insights" this book supposedly contains.
Whichever, these days I only give a book 100 pages to prove itself - and if in those 100 it fails to engage then I give it the heave ho - my life is too short to waste it trawling though something that gives me nothing in return for my effort.
If you want some decent, thought provoking "human condition" american writing - stick with the master and get some Steinbeck.
Or if you just want something to read you'll get more out of the Sun "news"paper. Its that bad.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2013 12:31 PM BST


The Line of Polity (Ian Cormac)
The Line of Polity (Ian Cormac)
by Neal Asher
Edition: Paperback

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Hamilton's Competition, 22 May 2004
Having just put down this book - and instantly lent it to someone else to enjoy - I have to say that it is an excellent, miss your stop on the tube, read.
If you like Peter Hamilton (and I read this back to back with Pandoro's box which was a mistake cos there is some conceptual overlap between the two) then you will deffo like this.
Its space opera on a grand scale with lots of real believable human (and plenty not so human) characters, hideous monsters and super duper gadgets. The plot is 007-esque with not a dull moment and the various plot strands tie in well to a satisfying crescendo.
It IS worth reading Gridlinked (its prequel) before this, as although Ascher does sufficient back tracking in the text of this to allow a 'cold' reader to keep up, I would think that you would miss large amounts of sub-text otherwise. Luckily that's good news for you, cos Gridlinked is equally excellent.
The bottom line? Dont delay, get it today.


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