- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics (2 Mar. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141188227
- ISBN-13: 978-0141188225
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 440,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Libra (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 2 Mar 2006
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"Extraordinary intensity...unforgiving thoroughness...DeLillo has created a thriller of the most profound sort...Libra is electrifying, a book alive with suggestion." --Chicago Tribune
"Libra operates at a dizzyingly high level of intensity throughout; it's that true fictional rarity--a novel of admirable depth and relevance that's also a terrific page-turner." --USA Today--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
The author of thirteen novels, five plays, and numerous short stories, Don DeLillo was born in 1936. Americana (1971), his first novel, announced the arrival of a major literary talent, and the novels that followed confirmed his reputation as one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in late-twentieth-century American fiction. DeLillo's comic gifts come to the fore in White Noise (1985), which won the National Book Award, and Underworld (1997), with its vivid portraits of actor Jackie Gleason and standup comedian Lenny Bruce.
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Top Customer Reviews
You're constantly wondering what is fact and fiction, a device that is as clever as it is easy to employ on such a subject; The entire enigma of JFK's assassination is tightly woven into American fabric thirty one years on.
Delillo has created something powerful and moving with 'Libra' and I can't recommend it enough. It is a daunting trip into an incomprehenisble time in American history.
"Oswald. He didn't do it, by the way."
This seven word statement was followed by cheers and a round of applause from a now rowdy, clearly conspiracy oriented, audience. Oliver Stone in the years following JFK had been a quite staunch conspiracy theorist - on one occasion forcing the late JFK Jr. to leave a dinner by consistently turning the conversation with lines like "you can't seriously believe the Warren Commission?" - but Oldman's quote and the subsequent response showed that the events of November 22, 1963 still have an effect on Americans as the fiftieth anniversary looms, and possibly the wrong effect.
I start with this grim reminder as I could not help but feel that DeLillo's book must have, at some point, been considered as a Hollywood project. Published in 1988, long before Stone picked up a copy of On the Trail of the Assassins, DeLillo's writing plays upon the reader's images of Oswald and Ruby in such a way that its translation to screen would have been seamless. A further positive would be that DeLillo, unlike Stone, Garrison or Marrs, readily admits that his piece is fiction - a positive step in story telling which neither of the other two acknowledged about their own. It would not be hard to imagine this book with fifty pages of footnotes and placed on the `Alternate History' shelves of your local bookstore. But it is this which DeLillo has done so well, he has taken an existing subject, gone down the "what if?Read more ›
The thing is, it's interesting if true. But the parts that aren't true lose that interest value, and because this can't work as a thriller, because we already know the outcome, it fails as an entertaining novel. Facts should be interesting, fiction should be entertaining, but mixing the two is difficult, and in my view it doesn't really work here.
I found the opening chapter, written in short, blunt sentences that soon grated on me, rather poor, but luckily it began to pick up soon after, and gradually the novel grew in stature, till it reached a peak towards the end when we get to the assassination scene, which I thought was really good. This is followed by a weaker last chapter seen from Oswald's mother's point of view. So overall, rather a mixed bag: not bad, not great.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I never did find the appeal of "Underworld" but this along with "White Noise" is a cracker of a read. Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2015 by keen reader
id recommend this book to any one interested in the jfk conspiracy.reads like a thriller,with interesting and believable characters.also gives you a good insight into 1960s dallas.Published on 17 Jan. 2014 by andy
Fact and fiction merge in this rich reimagining of the Kennedy assassination told through the lives of some of its main protagonists. Read morePublished on 3 Jan. 2014 by Sera69
I have now read half this book and I've given up, I just can't get into it and find it extremely boring. I note all the very positive reviews on amazon but I just don't get it. Read morePublished on 31 May 2013 by Jonathan A. K. Cummins
Don DeLillo spins a good story that is very readable. At the end of this one feels that Lee Harvey Oswald was always destined to do something dramatic in Russia or the USA. Read morePublished on 9 Feb. 2013 by John F. E. Wright
i thought this was a truly great book.
it is not a "conspiracy" novel as such, because while it deals with a lot of that kind of material surrounding the assassination of... Read more
DeLilo before he became too much of a `great' novelist for his own good. Brilliant, cold, precise - whether it's `true' or not doesn't matter in the literal sense. Read morePublished on 1 Jan. 2010 by A. Willard