©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 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 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 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.
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 would not. The book barely has a plot, which is fine, I don't necessarily need a book to have a plot, but if it doesn't, it needs characters I like. The characters in White Noise were all nihilist faux-intellectuals, and while I get the commentary, it meant that I hated absolutely everyone during the long stretches where absolutely nothing happened. Pages upon pages of contrarian, nihilist conversation where nobody just answers a question, they must pontificate on nonsense first. I found White Noise to be an exercise in patience in terms of the nearly non-existent plot, and an exercise in frustration with every single person who inhabits the story.
The climax was the only moment where I genuinely related to the character and found the story to be compellingly written. Once it is done, however, the story returns to a frustrating slog during the falling action and epilogue.
I absolutely despised the narrator, who seemed to be reading from a time period where audiobook narrators were trained to read with absolutely no emotion or temperance or anything. He is far and beyond the most boring narrator I've ever heard, and I feel he nearly killed the humor of the book, which is by nature super dry and, well, monotonous.
The story is pretty well wrapped-up.
I'd heard that Delilo was a difficult read, but when I hear that, I expect a book to use complex language, have spindly uninteresting prose, or have indecipherable metaphoric imagery. White Noise has none of the above. The book is metaphoric, but no more than any other literary novel-- this isn't Old Man and the Sea. This isn't Kafka. What makes this book a difficult read is its impossibly slow narrative and monotonous dialog. I would not say that Delilo is incapable of writing good characters because the fact that everyone seems to be obnoxious seems to have a point-- the writing seems to be making commentary on those that purport intellectual are bs, but it leaves me with absolutely no one to grasp on to, so when things do happen-- which literally takes hours of reading before it does-- I do not care. A difficult read indeed, but for none of the reasons I thought.
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