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Most Helpful Favorable Review
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
posted by Anonymous on September 16, 2000Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.
Post-Modern "Masterpiece" Left Me Cold
I not only don't find this is a great book and a "page-turner" as promised in the blurbs, I found the novel a badly written one from the first pages: endless run-on sentences-of-doom, forced and clunky metaphors, random bits forced into sentences where they don't belong. I'm aware, that like the doorstop length, these are all techniques that plenty of critics would find evidence of profundity, but they left me cold.
The book jumps from omniscience with touches of second person in the Prologue to first person in Part One, and much of the rest looking though the novel is third person. You can tell looking at the section title pages that the main story is non-linear; like Pinter's "Betrayal" or the film "Memento," you work yourself backward from the early 90s to the early 50s in each of the six parts until you hit the epilogue set in the near future. Nothing about this book is straightforward--not the prose, point-of-view, narrative, characters or the very thin plot.
Even many reviewers who found the book a mess thought the prologue a work of genius, so if you're not enchanted by it--and I wasn't--I doubt the book will hold you. I think that prologue does say a lot about Delillo. Both it and a great deal of the book hangs on baseball as a metaphor for American culture and is about a legendary game between the Giants and Dodgers in 1951--through it we follow not just a turnstile jumper but characters like J Edgar Hoover and Jackie Gleason--who is described vividly and repellently as throwing up on Frank Sinatra. That turnstile jumper who skipped out of school finds a seat and is befriended by a man who buys him a soda. At the end of the game he'll twist this man's fingers to pry the home-run baseball out of his hands. So, if baseball is America, then the message is America is grasping, greedy, thieving, and repellent.
The bulk of the book then deals with the man who ultimately bought that baseball--Nick Shay--who is in waste management. The first person narrative of Part One is more accessible than the Prologue, but still at times disjointed in the modernist way, and we're headed to another extended metaphor: American culture as trash.
In short, if you're looking for a gripping story with characters you care about and a narrative that sucks you in, you're looking in the
wrong place. But if you're the kind who loves a disjointed narrative with overwrought, pretentious prose that revels in showing us the tawdriness of American life, by all means, go pick up a copy.
posted by Lisa_RR_H on May 26, 2010Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2013
Jordan! *She screamed . Did i meantion that i also excell at swimming in my bios? I dont think i did . She jumped into the bloody water. Eww hydra head i did not need to see that . Murmers something and a path of no water in the middle of the ocean leads to land. I know in my bios i meantoned that auntie artemis favors me but i dont think i said that uncle posidon does too. I think i need to redo my bios. *Hurry the charm only stays a couple minutes.
0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2012
Posted May 4, 2001
i have to agree with the consensus, it's really not for everyone
-which is not a bad thing. some people enjoy its framework, others don't. nothing more. a book that really requires your attention most importantly your thoughts inbetween the times you're actually reading it. otherwise you'll immerse yourself into a lost world of american history's not so newsbreaking yet highly interesting (fictional) events. yet even with so much information packed into the book it manages itself to wrap itself around one central theme in the end - peace.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2011
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