Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian October 17, 2011 - 11:46pm

Thoughts on him?  I'm not sure yet.  I've just started White Noise and haven't read anything of his previously.  After that, I've got Cosmopolis to read.  £2 each from HMV--be rude not to.

Part of Ellis's blurb on the cover of Fight Club is, 'Maybe our generation has finally found its Don DeLillo.'  Do we agree?  There's slight stylistic similarities, I've noticed--choppy fragments and the like.  I can't say any more until I've finished White Noise.

Any fans?

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts October 17, 2011 - 11:55pm

I have Underworld which I either sped through too fast or didn't finish. But still, his prose is almost painful to read because he's so good and I'm so not. I am definitely looking to get more of his books.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading October 18, 2011 - 12:04am

I struggle with DeLillo. I've read very little by him (Falling Man is the only one I finished), but I suspect, deep within my secret heart, that even though his writing is controlled and seductive, he doesn't have much to say.

.'s picture
. October 18, 2011 - 12:05am

The quote was on the back of Survivor but I only have an ebook of Fight Club so maybe it's on there too I don't know. I still need to read DeLillo, tell me what you think of White Noise.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club October 18, 2011 - 12:09am

I started White Noise over the summer, but didn't get too far into it.  Something about the story just didn't hold my interest, though I wouldn't be able to say what that something is.  The plan is to revisit it...eventually. 

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian October 18, 2011 - 12:12am

I've had many plans like that, Rae.  I had a plan like that for Infinite Jest.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club October 18, 2011 - 12:18am

I can think of three others that I never finished (with plans to revisit of course): Grapes of Wrath, Beloved, and, Survivor.

I hope I don't get shot here for that last one.

 

 

.'s picture
. October 18, 2011 - 12:21am

We will hit a woman...

Kidding, but seriously you should finish Survivor first. It's probably my favorite Palahniuk book.

razorsharp's picture
razorsharp from Ohio is reading Atlas Shrugged October 18, 2011 - 12:23am

White Noise is the only book by DeLillo I've read. I enjoyed it. The prose is extremely eloquent, but it does take quite a while for the plot to develop.

I don't think the writing has much in common with Palahniuk. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say that Ellis was comparing their status as writers rather than the writing itself.

White Noise has a really basic theme that is scrutinized from every angle. What I've read from Palahniuk had more elaborate and vague themes that are more alluded to and demonstrated through metaphor. Basically, it'd be tough to describe Fight Club's theme in a single sentence whereas White Noise is about something very specific. I'm not going to reveal what that is as you're reading the book and it doesn't totally come into focus until about half-way through.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club October 18, 2011 - 12:23am

The only Palahnuik books I've read are Fight Club and Invisible Monsters.  It's almost embarrassing to admit, but I'm just too squeamish for his story telling.  

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian October 18, 2011 - 12:30am

Thanks, razorsharp.  I'll be sure to let you know what I think.  And you will listen.

Gareth's picture
Gareth from Melbourne is reading Franz Kafka October 18, 2011 - 12:46am

Delillo before the release of White Noise seemed to be a writer's writer.  At least that's how I read it.  I'm a fan but there are books of his which I really don't like and others which I think are brilliant.  Underworld to be honest I couldn't stand.  After 800 pages I just wanted to throw the book across the room - brutally vacant - I think that's his point but still.

Libra is outstanding.  A big reason Ellroy wrote American Tabloid was cause of Libra.  Haven't read White Noise.  Looking forward to picking it up someday.  

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. October 18, 2011 - 3:16am

Never read any Delillo. Keep meaning to check him out but i've yet to spot any of his books for sale round these parts. I'll have to order one online at some point.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 18, 2011 - 4:52am

I've read White Noise, Underworld and Libra - saw the play Valparaiso.

The first bit of Underworld with the baseball game is the best episode I've read in his work. I find that he riffs with his character more than develops them. If you don't mind high level cultural observation and criticism from a tween, then you'll get along with Don just fine.

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian October 19, 2011 - 3:25am

Had to give up on White Noise.  Voice is often the main drawing point for me, and I just didn't like it.  I just couldn't get through the pages.  Three days to read 46 pages.  I've got other stuff to get through.  I haven't given up on him completely; I'm starting Cosmopolis this afternoon.  Hope it's better.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine October 19, 2011 - 4:03pm

Loved White Noise. Think it's probably Delillo at his funniest. I second Libra, @ Gareth. Definitely one of his best. But I gotta say, I think Mao II might be my fave. I think it is one of the best books written about America post 9-11, even though it came out a decade before 9-11. I didn't love Cosmopolis, but I'm curious to see how the movie turns out, Robert Pattinson and all.

I don't really feel like Delillo and Chuck are that similar, stylistically, but there used to be a "Palahniukesqe authors" section on The Cult, and Delillo contacted Dennis at one point and wanted to know why he wasn't listed. True story.

Gareth's picture
Gareth from Melbourne is reading Franz Kafka October 20, 2011 - 2:36am

@Josh, yeah I didn't take to Cosmopolis much but I didn't regret reading it which is a good sign.  As for the movie, with Robert Pattinson how bad could it be?

Clayton Blue's picture
Clayton Blue from Arizona is reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides December 5, 2011 - 7:05pm

I've read White Noise and Cosmopolis. I feel the characters are stronger than the stories. The nude pile up in Cosmopolis might be interesting to see in a movie.:)

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 5, 2011 - 7:17pm

Read White Noise. I liked it, but it wasn't until after I finished it that I realized I liked it. Someone above mentioned that Delillo is a writers writer. I agree. I can really appreciate his prose, style and handle on theme. He's a brilliant writer, but I think to fully grasp it, the reader needs to be a writer. I have Falling Man on my shelf waiting for me. Has anyone read it? How does it compare to White Noise?

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine December 5, 2011 - 9:58pm

Read Falling Man. Good, but no White Noise.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 6, 2011 - 6:27pm

Cool. Thanks Josh.

SurLeQuai's picture
SurLeQuai from Indiana is reading The Night Circus January 6, 2012 - 7:29pm

Must comment, since I happened upon this--my situation's kinda funny. Read The Body Artist and Point Omega and loved them; thought DeLillo might become one of my favorites. Then dropped White Noise a third in, Americana halfway in. My conclusion: I like DeLillo when he's short. The language in those first two were haunting. Too long, and I start to wonder (like you all) where and what the plot is. I really suggest picking up The Body Artist or Point Omega--short (100-something pages) and a much faster, tighter read. That's the DeLillo I like, though I may not be in the majority. (Well, maybe in this thread I am.)

SurLeQuai's picture
SurLeQuai from Indiana is reading The Night Circus January 6, 2012 - 7:31pm

Sorry to all--just noticed the option for italics.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine January 6, 2012 - 11:25pm

@SurLeQuai: If you like Delillo short, might I suggest his recent short story collection, The Angel Esmeralda? Conveniently reviewed for LitReactor HERE?

SurLeQuai's picture
SurLeQuai from Indiana is reading The Night Circus January 19, 2012 - 8:59pm

Just saw that, Josh. Thanks--I've been meaning to check it out, but as a poor college student, I'm kinda sheepishly waiting till it gets to library shelves...which could be forever...or until somebody gets me an Amazon/B&N/etc gift card.

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian January 20, 2012 - 3:50am

Underworld came this morning. I'm going to beast it.

MattF's picture
MattF from Tokyo is reading Borges' Collected Fictions January 20, 2012 - 7:56am

Agree with Gareth that Libra is outstanding.  Funny quote from Ann Beattie's Paris Review interview:

"I remember that I was working on a very early draft of a novel when I got Libra, and I read the first sentence and thought, I can quit right now, or I can try to forget I ever read this."

I had the same general reaction to the prologue of Underworld (the first 60 pages or so).  I think it's one of the best pieces of writing I've ever read.  The rest of the novel I honestly don't remember--read it over a decade ago--but I remember it was not an easy read.

I'm not burning through the Delillo canon, but I do consider him one of our very best.  His story "The Starveling" in the latest Granta is a fine example for me. The prose is exquisitely simple--"There is a kind of uneventfulness that resembles meditation."--and at first I wasn't particularly enjoying the story, but the longer it went the more I felt something significant was happening, and when it was over I was damned impressed.