Libra

Libra

3.9 14
by Don DeLillo
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0143119257

ISBN-13: 2900143119257

Pub. Date: 08/30/2011

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

In this powerful, eerily convincing fictional speculation on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Don Delillo chronicles Lee Harvey Oswald's odyssey from troubled teenager to a man of precarious stability who imagines himself an agent of history. When "history" presents itself in the form of two disgruntled CIA operatives who decide that an unsuccessful attempt on

Overview

In this powerful, eerily convincing fictional speculation on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Don Delillo chronicles Lee Harvey Oswald's odyssey from troubled teenager to a man of precarious stability who imagines himself an agent of history. When "history" presents itself in the form of two disgruntled CIA operatives who decide that an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the president will galvanize the nation against communism, the scales are irrevocably tipped.

A gripping, masterful blend of fact and fiction, alive with meticulously portrayed characters both real and created, Libra is a grave, haunting, and brilliant examination of an event that has become an indelible part of the American psyche.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900143119257
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/30/2011
Edition description:
Penguin Ink
Pages:
480

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Libra 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Libra¿, to say this book is about the assassination of JFK is to miss the point of the book. By using basically the same exact cast of characters as James Ellroy does in his The Cold Six Thousand, DeLillo comes to a likewise and evenly frightening conclusion. Unlike many novels relating to JFK assassination DeLillo's attempt details events from two unlike perspectives. The first which explores Lee Harvey Oswald's life is well accounted by the authors fulgurous creativity. The other more schematic plot construes the infamous conspiracy to assassinate the President. By the end the quality of the author¿s delivery and characterization, we are left with empathizing Lee Harvey Oswald, Who is known to the mass public as one of the most notorious men of the twentieth century. Libra is a fictional novel about the history of the assassination of President John Kennedy and an insightful narrative about the man who is said to have pulled the trigger: Lee Harvey Oswald. This dead obligating novel was found to be confusing by some people, but I really enjoyed reading it. What fascinated me for the most was how DeLillo takes this historical event, tear it up, and remodels it, playing with all different types of stereotypes that were made, and fighting the challenging hypothesis. He follows Oswald life from a young boy, to manhood, and to an assassin (is he?). Don DeLillo delivers many sides of Oswald giving readers a chance to come to their own conclusion. The meaning of the title itself if given a second look, deliver multi-levels of meaning to what DeLillo is actually conveying. The assassination scene finally hails after 400 pages of reading and is worth the waiting. Very well written, I found the events to flash in slow motion. It¿s gripping and intense, the examining descriptions of his time spent in USSR, his wife and his mother. Libra contains Delillo's most accomplished characterizations, especially of women - Oswald's mother and his Russian wife. The dismaying and scary Mrs. Oswald is a proof of her son's insanity. Mrs. Oswald was demented, and so was lee. His cold and brilliant novel begins with thirteen-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald sharing oppressively close quarters with his mother. Lee was the third of three children in the family the youngest of all, the oldest boy Robert Oswald, was Marguerite's son from her previous marriage. As a single mother, Marguerite was often unable to provide for her three sons. They spent several years in and out of orphanages. Lee¿s childhood was marked by constant turmoil, as they had to move from one place to another. It was rare for him to attend more than one semester at any given school. His grades were poor and as he grew older, his attendance became less even. He was characterized as a lonely child. And his mother generally refused to comply with recommendations about counseling and other treatments for her son. 'If she had faced it, if she had seen to it that Lee received the help he needed,' Robert Oswald would state, 'I don't think the world would ever have heard of Lee Harvey Oswald.' (2) His mother is said to have shown excessive affection on him. She has also been characterized as domineering and emotionally volatile similar to Mrs. Iselin in ¿The Manchurian Candidate¿.Oswald, in his later years enlisting himself in the Marines may have also been a way to escape from his overbearing mother. (3)Oswald's mother weighing with self-defining monologues in the book, are a pleasure to read, but a pain to sympathize with. It¿s clear that his mother raised him in a disturbed and wildly disordered environment. But is he truly guilty for his actions and his contemptibly narrow outlooks, or is his mother? A disturbed old lady, who is to be blamed for his ultimate misdeed, DeLillo strongly acknowledges all the random events and smartly incorporates them into his plot. The writer attempts to show that Oswald was, in fact, a victim of his ab
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are going to read DeLillo, read this book. Especially if you tried to read White Noise and failed, read this book. Easily in my 'ten favorite novels' list.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
From the opening paragraph, DeLillo weaves a haunting tale of Lee Harvey Oswald and the managerie of characters (mob bosses, Cuban exiles, private eyes, CIA ops) who may have killed a president. As it is sketched, the shooting of JFK is a Cuban conspiracy that leads naturally to death but no matter what you think of the plot, DeLillo's stunning descriptions are unforgettable. Read the CIA archivist passages and the shooting itself. If you enjoy a master of language setting off poetic fireworks, you will love to read and reread Libra.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don DeLillo's 'Libra' is both unique yet dull, ambitious yet unfocused, interesting yet unengaging, and ultimately a mixed bag. This is the first Don DeLillo novel I've read and it does not leave me wanting to rush to the bookstore and get another one of his novels. 'Libra' takes us behind the scenes of one of the most important historical events of the 20th Century: the Kennedy assassination. He takes us into the mind of Lee Harvey Oswald and explores his motivations and complex personality. He takes us into the CIA and unravels many conspiracy theories before our eyes. DeLillo's intention, however, is not to screw around with history, but to take it seriously and to show how inaccessible the past, as an object, can be. This is where DeLillo succeeds as an author. His thoughts and perceptions on history are prevalent throughout the novel and are some of the novel's biggest themes. What's frustrating about DeLillo, however, is his writing style. At times he's too random and unfocused as he goes from character to character and different plot developments. Much of the dialogue is jerky and bizarre and the story is at times all over the place to the point where you throw up your hands in frustration. The novel contains close to 30 major characters who all float in and out of the main focus of the story. DeLillo is certainly a great talent, however, and should not be dismissed. His writing style, however, may not be for everyone's tastes. Recommended, but not too highly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sits in her house, bored out of her mind. She wanted to dtay with Serena but she wnted to let her little sister have so alone time with her boyfriend.