©1985 Don DeLillo; (P)2000 Books on Tape, Inc.
“…stick with this book, and Prichard, through the rough spots. You will be rewarded with the never-wavering magic of DeLillo, and some good laughs.” (AudioFile)
I bet this is a good read, but the narrator is so bored with the text that he ruins everything that is supposed to be quirky in this story. Don't bother with this one!
I picked up this book (on audio) because of the passage that B.R. Myers tore apart in "A Reader's Manifesto: An Attack on the Growing Pretentiousness in American Literary Prose".
There were some brilliant bits, and when something was actually happening, it was d@mn near riveting. The comments on society and consumerism were laugh out loud funny, and all of the female characters were surprisingly developed. Sadly, whenever the protagonist was talking with any of the other male characters, they droned on and on. (Think "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance")
Glad I read (listened) to it, probably wouldn't reread
I have read this book before, and love it, I find it hilarious! As I was about to start on a road trip (mostly night driving) I decided to get this audio version to keep me company and awake. BAD idea! This wonderful book has been turned boring by the bored sounded narrator, whose voice just drones on and on. Rather than having an inside-joker voice like the book seems to have, his is old and dry...
Definitely worth reading, but skip the audio version...
I have really enjoyed this book. The narrator sounds, to me, exactly like Paul Harvey on NPR, which amuses me for some reason. Maybe an odd choice of narrator for an audiobook, but for the context of this book, I think he's great. His narration adds to the sense of impending doom that is such an important part of the book! (If you feel he's a bit flat, as some folks do, it helps to bump the speed up a notch if you are using an iPod).
I have to read this book for a class that I am taking. The person that is doing the reading has such a horrible monotone, and reads so slow it just puts me to sleep! I just hope I can get my money back it is so bad! I have switched back to reading the book because it'll take less time, and I'll get more from it. What a shame.
I wanted to like this, I really did. But the reader's monotone killed it. I've been listening to a lot of audio books and have often admired the many different intonations and even dialects that one reader can use to transform the characters. This book, not so much. I can't even get past that to understand what this book is even about. Sorry!
The narrator was spot on for the book. The characters were very well developed, believable and recognizable.
The angst of the father brings to mind some of John Irving's writing.
There were too many to pick one out. The father, our hero, had such a great voice every scene was well done.
Definitely, the father.
I plan to read more by Don DeLillo!!
The White Noise is that of our society, advertising, media, relationships that is eerily predictive of the societal noise surrounding us 25 years later. Do not expect realistic dialog (which is all so many recent novels promise) but instead expositions on daily life. The book can be challenging at times, annoying at times, perplexing at times. There is always a veneer of contrivance, but I never minded, due to the insights and compelling prose.
Not necessarily. I drive a lot, so audiobooks suit me.
The Airborne Toxic Event
Babette talking about death.
White Noise by Don DeLillo tells the story of Jack Gladney, a professor of Hitler Studies at The-College-on-the-Hill. Gladney is a host of paradoxes. A well-respected professor in his field, Gladney understands no German and must take lessons in secret. He is a family man, but he has been divorced four times. About a third or halfway into the novel, the Airborne Toxic Event occurs. No one really knows what it is, and Gladney finds out that he has been exposed to the Event, meaning that he will die.
White Noise is one of the greatest novels you've never heard of. DeLillo's characters make hilarious mistakes, which make the reader feel smarter than the characters. For instance, one character talks about the “Corolla” of the Sun. Another character replies that a “Corolla” is a car, only to be reminded that, “everything is a car.” Themes include death, rampant consumerism, bureaucracy, psychiatric medication, and existential fear.
The reading by Michael Prichard is very deadpan, and there isn't much variation between the dialogue of Jack Gladney and that of the other characters; however, it works. I don't know if I'd look out for another reading by Prichard unless it's one of DeLillo's novels. His terse reading style does fit the novel, and I wonder how much that style is a result of the novel itself (with him adapting to it) or Prichard himself. The reading gets ****, the story gets *****, and the recording overall gets *****. Recommended.
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