Mao II

Mao II

4.0 7
by Don DeLillo
     
 

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Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award

From the author of White Noise (winner of the National Book Award) and Zero K

"One of the most intelligent, grimly funny voices to comment on life in present-day America" (The New York Times), Don DeLillo presents an extraordinary new novel about words and images, novelists and terrorists, the mass mind and

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Overview

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award

From the author of White Noise (winner of the National Book Award) and Zero K

"One of the most intelligent, grimly funny voices to comment on life in present-day America" (The New York Times), Don DeLillo presents an extraordinary new novel about words and images, novelists and terrorists, the mass mind and the arch-individualist. At the heart of the book is Bill Gray, a famous reclusive writer who escapes the failed novel he has been working on for many years and enters the world of political violence, a nightscape of Semtex explosives and hostages locked in basement rooms. Bill's dangerous passage leaves two people stranded: his brilliant, fixated assistant, Scott, and the strange young woman who is Scott's lover—and Bill's.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This novel's a beauty. A vision as bold and a voice as eloquent and morally focused as any in American writing" —Thomas Pynchon

The writing is dazzling; the images, so radioactive that they glow afterward in our minds." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Michiko Kakutani
Disturbing, provocative and darkly comic, Mao II reads, at once, as a sociological meditation on the perils of contemporary society, and as a kind of new-wave thriller....The writing, as usual, is dazzling; the book's images, so radioactive that they glow afterward in our minds. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Each of DeLillo's previous nine novels (White Noise; Libra; etc.) has been a tour de force. This newest work is another remarkable achievement. It is almost as if DeLillo's words have value apart from the story they recount; sentences chill, scenes amaze, chapter endings reverberate, and the reader is transfixed. A reclusive novelist, Bill Gray, is drawn back into the world by acts of terrorism and by the visit of a woman who has come to photograph him for her ongoing and endless project to capture the images of the world's authors. Gradually, the novel, dense but accessible, concerns itself with the inevitable conflict between the power of the crowd and the power of the individual. Which is the motor of the world: The novelist, who may write alone in his room and yet affect masses? The terrorist, who is an individual working in concert with a larger movement which he may or may not control? The "master'' who controls masses? (The lover of Gray's assistant has been a Moonie: the opening scene, a mass wedding, is a brilliant set piece). The beauty of DeLillo's prose enlivens such seemingly dry questions. Mao II reconfirms DeLillo's status as a modern master and literary provocateur.
Library Journal
This extraordinary story focuses on one Bill Gray, a reclusive writer whose legend abounds while he slowly deteriorates from drinking, drugs, and depression. His assistant Scott keeps his image alive yet mysterious. "Years ago there were stories that Bill was dead, Bill was in Manitoba, Bill was living under another name, Bill would never write another word. . . . . Now Bill was devising his own cycle of death and resurgence. It made Scott think of great leaders who regenerate their power by dropping out of sight and then staging messianic returns. Mao Zedong of course.'' Enter Brita Nilsson, photographer of writers and terrorists, who captures Bill's likeness on film for the first time in more than three decades and pushes him to publish his last great novel. Publisher Charlie gives Bill a PR offer he can't refuse, and the story concludes on the violent streets of Beirut. DeLillo's style is wonderfully expressive yet dark in tone. Readers will thoroughly enjoy it. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/91.-- Kevin M. Roddy, Oakland P.L., Cal.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140152746
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/1992
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
296,744
Product dimensions:
5.04(w) x 7.72(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"This novel's a beauty. A vision as bold and a voice as eloquent and morally focused as any in American writing" —Thomas Pynchon

The writing is dazzling; the images, so radioactive that they glow afterward in our minds." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Meet the Author

Acclaimed novelist, poet, and essayist Don DeLillo published his first short  story when he was twenty-three years old. He has since written twelve novels, including  White Noise (1985), which won the National Book Award. It was followed by  Libra (1988), his novel about the assassination of President Kennedy, and by Mao  II , which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In 1997, he published the  bestselling Underworld , and in 1999 he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, given to a  writer whose work expresses the theme of the freedom of the individual in society;  he was the first American author to receive it. DeLillo is also a member of the  American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Westchester County, New York
Date of Birth:
November 20, 1936
Place of Birth:
New York City
Education:
Fordham University, 1958

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Mao II 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
rich with themes relevant to today's society, well though out and well written. not the best attention grabber, but still worth the read.