Ratner's Star

Ratner's Star

5.0 1
by Don DeLillo
     
 

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One of DeLillo's first novels, Ratner's Star  follows Billy, the genius adolescent, who is recruited to live in obscurity, underground, as he tries to help a panel of estranged, demented, and yet lovable scientists communicate with beings from outer space. It is a mix of quirky humor, science, mathematical theories, as well as the complex emotional

Overview

One of DeLillo's first novels, Ratner's Star  follows Billy, the genius adolescent, who is recruited to live in obscurity, underground, as he tries to help a panel of estranged, demented, and yet lovable scientists communicate with beings from outer space. It is a mix of quirky humor, science, mathematical theories, as well as the complex emotional distance and sadness people feel. Ratner's Star demonstrates both the thematic and prosaic muscularity that typifies DeLillo's later and more recent works, like The Names (which is also available in Vintage Contemporaries).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679722922
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/1989
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
197,293
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

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Ratner's Star 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ratner's Star is among DeLillo's earliest novels to achieve the status of a true masterpiece. However, it is not among his more accessible works, and I do not recommend it as an entry into his canon. It is a highly conceptual novel with very little plot to speak of, and only minimal character development, which in this case is not a flaw but rather the basis of the novel's strength. DeLillo crafts a maddening trek through the universes of mathematical and linguistic thought that is, at times, as disorienting as Kafka's The Castle, but does cohere, in stages, to a satisfying conclusion. Structured into two distinct sections along the lines of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Ratner's Star extends and updates the academic and scientific satire of the Laputa episodes in Swift's Gulliver's Travels. While superficially a parody of the insularities and incompatibilities of specific schools of scholarly discourse, the novel builds in the second book to a complete disintegration of logic, language, and concept. Along the way, Delillo packs in dozens of episodes rich enough to spawn conceptual novels on their own.