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Underworld Audiobook

Underworld

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Publisher's Summary

Our lives, our half century.

Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life, haunted by the hard logic of loss and by the echo of a gunshot in a basement room. She is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence.

Don DeLillo's mesmerizing novel opens with a legendary baseball game played in New York in 1951. The glorious outcome - the home run that wins the game is called the Shot Heard Round the World - shades into the grim news that the Soviet Union has just tested an atomic bomb.

The baseball itself, fought over and scuffed, generates the narrative that follows. It takes the reader deeply into the lives of Nick and Klara and into modern memory and the soul of American culture - from Bronx tenements to grand ballrooms to a B-52 bombing raid over Vietnam.

A generation's master spirits come and go. Lennny Bruce cracking desperate jokes, Mick Jagger with his devil strut, J. Edgar Hoover in a sexy leather mask. And flashing in the margins of ordinary life are the curiously connectecd materials of the culture. Condoms, bombs, Chevy Bel Airs and miracle sites on the Web.

Underworld is a story of men and women together and apart, seen in deep clear detail and in stadium-sized panoramas, shadowed throughout by the overarching conflict of the Cold War. It is a novel that accepts every challenge of these extraordinary times - Don DeLillo's greatest and most powerful work of fiction.

©1997 Don DeLillo (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"Underworld is a page-turner and a masterwork, a sublime novel and a delight to read." (The Baltimore Sun)

There's pleasure on evey page of this pitch-perfect evocation of a half-century." (Newsweek)

"Masterpieces teach you how to read them, and Underworld is no exception." (The Seattle Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (280 )
5 star
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3.9 (245 )
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Story
4.4 (245 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Marissa Toronto, ON, Canada 03-01-13
    Marissa Toronto, ON, Canada 03-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "I loved it."
    What did you love best about Underworld?

    I loved this complex interwoven story; the well developed charaters and how real life and all its strangeness is captured. It's a portrait painted with words. The narrator's voice suits the material perfectly.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Your mom USA 01-14-17
    Your mom USA 01-14-17 Member Since 2017

    ernlet

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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Zzzzz"

    Yes, I finished it. Did not like story or characters. Boring. Long. Self important. Good writing, I guess, but needed more heavy editing. I liked the themes and how the book jumped around in time. Totally plotless though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Whitman 01-02-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "riveting storytelling"

    DeLillo's gift for vivid description is wonderful. He makes the scene come alive. His work is like Proust with a plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 11-08-16
    John 11-08-16 Member Since 2014
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    13
    4
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    "Starts Out Interesting, Quickly Turns To Drudgery"

    I really wanted to like this well-received portrait of it's times, but found it more and more draining as it progressed. I persisted to the end, and regretted it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane 10-22-16
    Shane 10-22-16 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "DeLillo is a master of description"

    I regularly had to stop admiring DeLillo's storytelling skills in order to absorb the novel's content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Broadwell 07-12-16 Member Since 2004

    catsintheattic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too scattered"
    Would you try another book from Don DeLillo and/or Richard Poe?

    I thought this would be an interesting book, and the individual stories are very well told. However I'm 10 hours into it and am so lost I had to stop listening.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Don DeLillo again?

    Probably, I like his writing


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I might. A movie would probably draw the story together more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antonio Aguilar 07-08-16 Member Since 2014
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    22
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    "Complex"

    I found this novel to be a complex marathon of stories set in the second part of XX Century America. While the tread of the story seems to follow a set of characters, the truth is that there is no single story been narrated but a collection of them. Characters come and go as the book matures and then are lost in the maze of the timeline. I liked the book but I failed to grasp its greatness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Albright 05-12-16 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    Story
    ""What A Long Strange Trip It's Been....""

    This was my first engagement with the works of, Don DeLillo. It was at first a challenge to find rhythm but not for long.

    DeLillo paints a portrait here more than telling a story. He makes sure the reader/listener is right in the center of each scene from the types of paper floating around in an October ballgame to the night movements and works of a master graffiti artist to the smell and vision of massive waste dumps to the detonation of atomic bombs, you are an insider not a consumer of this masterpiece. You smell, hear, see, feel the sweat, tension, passion, fear and desperation of a nation railing toward collapse.

    The writer presents his material as a sociologist, psychologist, cultural anthropologist, artist, conversationalist and certainly as a master of his craft.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur 07-25-14
    Arthur 07-25-14 Member Since 2011

    Ghost writer of over 100 unpublished works...;).

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Definitely not for everyone...me included."

    Perhaps if I had taken the time to pause every few minutes to really think about the implications of each passage...the way storylines touch tangentially and the underworld theme...what's beneath, what's just behind the face...consistently recurring, I may have enjoyed the book more.

    But there's a reason I didn't. The writing wasn't interesting. Frankly, I didn't care enough to. I just didn't get DeLilo here. I couldn't follow him down. I quite enjoyed White Noise, but I can't say the same for Underworld.

    And there's no blaming the narrator here. I think Poe did really well with the characters. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for more of his work.

    Brief synopsis: Baseball. Garbage. Art. More baseball. Frank Sinatra. Serial killer. Atom bomb. Infidelity. A baseball game. J. Edgar Hoover. Condoms. Mafia. German movie. Jesuit. Baseball.

    My advice? Unless you know what you're getting into, skip this one. Also, if you're expecting postmod a la Pynchon, you won't find it here. It looks like a lot of postmodern works, with different storylines and timelines...but in my opinion that's a result of postmodern writing, not the goal.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Kelley Homer, AK United States 04-27-14
    A. Kelley Homer, AK United States 04-27-14

    AlaskanAli

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don Delillo's Best, Flawlessly read"
    Would you listen to Underworld again? Why?

    Absolutely. In fact, I've gone back and re-listened to several chapters. It took me forever to get through this as I kept going back to savor passages.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Underworld?

    The parts of a shoe, Matt's chats with his colleague at the desert lab, Clara Sax "ride" with her "childhood" friend, Nick's chat with his co-worker re: "dietrologia." DeLillo's overall fascination with language stirred me to many lookups. The sisters in the 'hood.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Poe – was your favorite?

    Like other male readers, he's weak on women. But his readings for Nick and the priest were my favorites.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Just dread of the impending end. It's hard for me to break up with a book I love when I reach the end.


    Any additional comments?

    Just additional kudos to the reader. Nuance, accents (not overdone), Poe really evoked each character individually. His voice is narcotic with inducing sleep.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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