Friday, November 14, 2008

White Noise by Don DeLillo

Finally, a book review. I just checked out this book The Wedding Cake in the Middle of the Road: 23 Variations on a Theme from the library and decided not to read it, so I can't review it and no one can make me read it. (I ordered it a few weeks ago for one reason or another, this happens all the time, but hey, it's free.)

Now, I did not have to read White Noise, since I was part of the group doing the first book (The Handmaid's Tale, which I love), so I didn't have to lead the discussion or look for reviews or anything but discuss it in class.

But I'm a stickler. So I read it. I finally finished Wednesday night, and it was my first feeling of satisfaction associated with the book - I'm done!

Even my professor agrees that this is not a book to sink into and enjoy. It is post-modern and you are supposed to know that and never forget it.

The plot has potential, but we never get a conclusion, and we never care because the characters aren't developed well. There is an "Airborne Toxic Event" and everyone is evacuated. And then the narrator, Jack, discovers that his wife has been taking a medication, Dylar, that is supposed to suppress the fear of death. And she's been sleeping with somebody to get it, since she couldn't get it through the trial study of the drug.

The book has one thing going for it for those assigned it - it is very easy to read, it just slides right through, so it can be quick and painless. (Say, compared to assigned James Joyce.)

I've read a few negative reviews at Amazon (what, I like to see my opinion restated again and again sometimes) and a few people said that the children talk like adults. It's true, they do. The children say wrong things and believe they're right, as do the adults. And there are some conversations where I just could not tell who was talking.

The book is not meant to be read for fun. While you may identify, at times, with the characters, you rarely empathize with them. The setting is meagerly set up, besides the sunsets. (which, of course, represent death. Everything does in this book.)

Next up is All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. I'm a little nervous because I have some problems with comprehending written violence, since shoot-outs are chaotic and the final printed word is not. It trips me up a bit, in most instances.

In History, I'm reading Confederates in the Attic and it is a great book. The only problem is it was written in the mid-90s, and I am really curious to see how September 11th and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have shaped the views of the people in the book.

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