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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I've had many plans like that, Rae. I had a plan like that for Infinite Jest.
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.
We will hit a woman...
Kidding, but seriously you should finish Survivor first. It's probably my favorite Palahniuk book.
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.
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.
Thanks, razorsharp. I'll be sure to let you know what I think. And you will listen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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?
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.:)
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?
Read Falling Man. Good, but no White Noise.
Cool. Thanks Josh.
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.)
Sorry to all--just noticed the option for italics.
@SurLeQuai: If you like Delillo short, might I suggest his recent short story collection, The Angel Esmeralda? Conveniently reviewed for LitReactor HERE?
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.
Underworld came this morning. I'm going to beast it.
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.