Wednesday, May 09, 2007

New DeLillo Novel

The New York Times reviews Falling Man, the new novel by Don DeLillo. Unfortunately, Michiko Kakutani's review is mixed at best. It appears likely that DeLillo may never recapture the magic of his late 1980s/1990s ouvre, which matches the best run of any 20th century writer. Falling Man is DeLillo's attempt to deal head on with the terrorist attacks of 2001, but it's an oddly slim book, only 246 pages, for such a topic, almost like trying to capture America post-9/11 in a one-hour movie. The first DeLillo book I "tried" was White Noise, which blew me away, even changed my life, as Eric Clapton used to say about every group in every VH1 Behind The Music special. Then I moved on to Americana, End Zone, Mao II and Libra, his great take on how the Kennedy assassination likely went down. The thing about DeLillo's books is that they stand up to repeat reading like the work of few other contemporary writers. In this way they resemble Kurt Vonnegut's novels, but DeLillo's books will stay with you and haunt you long after you've finished the final page, as cliched as that sounds.

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