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Underworld Paperback – 27 Jul 1998

3.4 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 827 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall & IBD; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed edition (27 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684848155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684848150
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 4.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

While Eisenstein documented the forces of totalitarianism and Stalinism upon the faces of the Russian peoples, DeLillo offers a stunning, at times overwhelming, document of the twin forces of the Cold War and American culture, compelling that "swerve from evenness" in which he finds events and people both wondrous and horrifying. Underworld opens with a breathlessly graceful prologue set during the final game of the Giants-Dodgers pennant race in 1951. Written in what DeLillo calls "super-omniscience" the sentences sweep from young Cotter Martin as he jumps the gate to the press box, soars over the radio waves, runs out to the diamond, slides in on a fast ball, pops into the stands where J. Edgar Hoover is sitting with a drunken Jackie Gleason and a splenetic Frank Sinatra, and learns of the Soviet Union's second detonation of a nuclear bomb. It's an absolutely thrilling literary moment. When Bobby Thomson hits Branca's pitch into the outstretched hand of Cotter--the "shot heard around the world"--and Jackie Gleason pukes on Sinatra's shoes, the events of the next few decades are set in motion, all threaded together by the baseball as it passes from hand to hand.

"It's all falling indelibly into the past," writes DeLillo, a past that he carefully recalls and reconstructs with acute grace. Jump from Giants Stadium to the Nevada desert in 1992, where Nick Shay, who now owns the baseball, reunites with the artist Kara Sax. They had been brief and unlikely lovers 40 years before, and it is largely through the events, spinoffs, and coincidental encounters of their pasts that DeLillo filters the Cold War experience. He believes that "global events may alter how we live in the smallest ways," and as the book steps back in time to 1951, over the following 800-odd pages, we see just how those events alter lives. This reverse narrative allows the author to strip away the detritus of history and pop culture until we get to the story's pure elements: the bomb, the baseball and the Bronx. In an epilogue as breathless and stunning as the prologue, DeLillo fast-forwards to a near future in which ruthless capitalism, the Internet, and a new, hushed faith have replaced the Cold War's blend of dread and euphoria.

Through fragments and interlaced stories--including those of highway killers, artists, celebrities, conspiracists, gangsters, nuns, and sundry others--DeLillo creates a fragile web of connected experience, a communal Zeitgeist that encompasses the messy whole of five decades of American life, wonderfully distilled. --Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Salman Rushdie

"Underworld" is magnificent book by an American master.



Michael Ondaatje

The book is an aria and a wolf-whistle of our half century. It contains multitudes.



Malcolm Jones

Newsweek

There's pleasure on evey page of this pitch-perfect evocation of a half-century.



Joan Mellen

The Baltimore Sun

"Underworld" is a page-turner and a masterwork, a sublime novel and a delight to read.



Greg Burkman

The Seattle Times

Masterpieces teach you how to read them, and "Underworld" is no exception....Anastonishing piece of prose and a benchmark of twentieth-century fiction, "Underworld" is stunnigly beautiful in its generous humanity, locating the true power of history not in tyranny, collective political movements of history books, but inside each of us.



Salman Rushdie"Underworld" is magnificent book by an American master.

Michael OndaatjeThe book is an aria and a wolf-whistle of our half century. It contains multitudes.

Malcolm JonesNewsweekThere's pleasure on evey page of this pitch-perfect evocation of a half-century.

Joan MellenThe Baltimore Sun"Underworld" is a page-turner and a masterwork, a sublime novel and a delight to read.

Greg BurkmanThe Seattle TimesMasterpieces teach you how to read them, and "Underworld" is no exception....Anastonishing piece of prose and a benchmark of twentieth-century fiction, "Underworld" is stunnigly beautiful in its generous humanity, locating the true power of history not in tyranny, collective political movements of history books, but inside each of us.

"A decade after 9/11, it's worth rereading Don DeLillo's 1997 masterpiece, "Underworld," to appreciate how uncannily the author not only captured the surreal weirdness of life in the second half of the 20th century but also anticipated America's lurch into the terror and exigencies of the new millennium...The prologue is such a bravura display of Mr. DeLillo's literary powers, odds are the reader will be propelled through the rest of this dazzling and prescient novel."--Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times"""

Michael Ondaatje Author of "The English Patient" You pick up and travel with DeLillo anywhere -- the bliss of a baseball game, the meeting of old lovers in a desert. He offers us another history of ourselves, the official underground moments. He smells the music in argument and brag. He throws the unbitten coin of fame back at us. The book is an aria and a wolf-whistle of our half century. It contains multitudes.

"Underworld" is a "dazzling and prescient novel...A decade after 9/11, it's worth rereading Don DeLillo's 1997 masterpiece to appreciate how uncannily the author not only captured the surreal weirdness of life in the second half of the 20th century but also anticipated America's lurch into the terror and exigencies of the new millennium...A breathtaking set piece...the prologue is a bravura display of Mr. DeLillo's literary powers."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"

"Underworld" is a dazzling and prescient novel A decade after 9/11, it s worth rereading Don DeLillo s 1997 masterpiece to appreciate how uncannily the author not only captured the surreal weirdness of life in the second half of the 20th century but also anticipated America s lurch into the terror and exigencies of the new millennium...A breathtaking set piece the prologue is a bravura display of Mr. DeLillo's literary powers." Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"

Malcolm Jones Newsweek There's pleasure on evey page of this pitch-perfect evocation of a half-century.

Joan Mellen The Baltimore Sun "Underworld" is a page-turner and a masterwork, a sublime novel and a delight to read.

Greg Burkman The Seattle Times Masterpieces teach you how to read them, and "Underworld" is no exception....Anastonishing piece of prose and a benchmark of twentieth-century fiction, "Underworld" is stunnigly beautiful in its generous humanity, locating the true power of history not in tyranny, collective political movements of history books, but inside each of us.

Salman Rushdie "Underworld" is magnificent book by an American master.

Michael Ondaatje The book is an aria and a wolf-whistle of our half century. It contains multitudes.

"There's pleasure on evey page of this pitch-perfect evocation of a half-century."--Malcolm Jones "Newsweek "

""Underworld" is a page-turner and a masterwork, a sublime novel and a delight to read."--Joan Mellen "The Baltimore Sun "

"Masterpieces teach you how to read them, and "Underworld" is no exception....Anastonishing piece of prose and a benchmark of twentieth-century fiction, "Underworld" is stunnigly beautiful in its generous humanity, locating the true power of history not in tyranny, collective political movements of history books, but inside each of us."--Greg Burkman "The Seattle Times "

""Underworld" is magnificent book by an American master."--Salman Rushdie

"The book is an aria and a wolf-whistle of our half century. It contains multitudes."--Michael Ondaatje

""Underworld"'s intellect, itsview, its fabulous drama, its soul, its passion and compassion, and the beautyof the writing, just the size and generosity of it, are all of some spectacularhigh order. I can't imagine any writer reading it without complete admiration anda kind of gratitude, because if a book like that can be written in a culturelike this, it's terrific for all of us."--Michael Herr

""Underworld"'s intellect, its view, its fabulous drama, its soul, its passion and compassion, and the beauty of the writing, just the size and generosity of it, are all of some spectacular high order. I can't imagine any writer reading it without complete admiration and a kind of gratitude, because if a book like that can be written in a culture like this, it's terrific for all of us."--Michael Herr

"Astonishing. A sprawling and spectacular look at a half-century in American life as seen through a series of multiple visions that come flashing into our consciousness in ways that are endlessly enlightening and awesome in their insights. DeLillo has raised literary standards to new highs here, and yet the book is a page-turner, a scene-stealer, a triumph of language that takes us everywhere we've never been."--Gay Talese

"The profundity, the intricacy, the beauty of "Underworld "leaves me in a state of awe. It's one of a handful of novels that will come to define our culture in this century."--Bradford Morrow

"Underworld" s intellect, its view, its fabulous drama, its soul, its passion and compassion, and the beauty of the writing, just the size and generosity of it, are all of some spectacular high order. I can t imagine any writer reading it without complete admiration and a kind of gratitude, because if a book like that can be written in a culture like this, it s terrific for all of us. --Michael Herr"

Astonishing. A sprawling and spectacular look at a half-century in American life as seen through a series of multiple visions that come flashing into our consciousness in ways that are endlessly enlightening and awesome in their insights. DeLillo has raised literary standards to new highs here, and yet the book is a page-turner, a scene-stealer, a triumph of language that takes us everywhere we ve never been. --Gay Talese"

The profundity, the intricacy, the beauty of "Underworld "leaves me in a state of awe. It s one of a handful of novels that will come to define our culture in this century. --Bradford Morrow"

"Underworld is a page-turner and a masterwork, a sublime novel and a delight to read."--Joan Mellen "The Baltimore Sun "

"Masterpieces teach you how to read them, and Underworld is no exception....Anastonishing piece of prose and a benchmark of twentieth-century fiction, Underworld is stunnigly beautiful in its generous humanity, locating the true power of history not in tyranny, collective political movements of history books, but inside each of us."--Greg Burkman "The Seattle Times "

"Underworld is magnificent book by an American master."--Salman Rushdie

Underworld s intellect, its view, its fabulous drama, its soul, its passion and compassion, and the beauty of the writing, just the size and generosity of it, are all of some spectacular high order. I can t imagine any writer reading it without complete admiration and a kind of gratitude, because if a book like that can be written in a culture like this, it s terrific for all of us. --Michael Herr"

The profundity, the intricacy, the beauty of Underworld leaves me in a state of awe. It s one of a handful of novels that will come to define our culture in this century. --Bradford Morrow"

"Underworld's intellect, its view, its fabulous drama, its soul, its passion and compassion, and the beauty of the writing, just the size and generosity of it, are all of some spectacular high order. I can't imagine any writer reading it without complete admiration and a kind of gratitude, because if a book like that can be written in a culture like this, it's terrific for all of us."--Michael Herr

"The profundity, the intricacy, the beauty of Underworld leaves me in a state of awe. It's one of a handful of novels that will come to define our culture in this century."--Bradford Morrow

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