©2001 Don DeLillo, All Rights Reserved; (P)2001 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
“DeLillo’s most affecting novel yet...A dazzling, phosphorescent work of art.” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
“The clearest vision yet of what it felt like to live through that day.” (Malcolm Jones, Newsweek)
“A metaphysical ghost story about a woman alone…intimate, spare, exquisite.” (Adam Begley, The New York Times Book Review)
I'd give this one six stars if I could. DeLillo isn't everyone's cup of tea. The earlier negative reviewer is fair: the painstaking exactitude with which he documents our (contemporary American people's) thoughts and speech could, I suppose,--if you're not attuned--seem to have a pointless obsessiveness. But man alive, if you let yourself go with it, you'll find that he's speaking thoughts you yourself have had, speech you yourself recall having heard someplace (you can't quite recall where); and it's all absolutely true, often funny, and continually disconcerting. What's even more odd about the sense of familiarity is that this book, really, is a bizarre ghost story in the tradition of James' Turn of the Screw or Conrad's Secret Sharer.
About the narration: Laurie Anderson is perfect for this book in every way, aurally and temperamentally. I could listen to her tell stories for days on end. Audio quality excellent, too.
With DeLillo's usual expertise, this story is an excellent slant on the grieving process. I felt that I wanted to listen to it again as soon as it had ended, afraid that I had missed so much of the important details. This is definitely one that bears repeating and I would highly recommend it. It is not one to be casually listened to in the background, however. It required concentration. I found myself rewinding whenever I got to engrossed in traffic while I drove...but well worth the effort!
Why did I buy this book? The write up looked interesting but the book is proving to be a big disappointment. I am not enjoying it at all. So far it has been description after endless description of the most mundane aspects of life - with a little story thrown in if you can find it. This is the first audio book I will not finish. I recommend listening to a sample before buying - you may find this as boring as I have.
DeLillo's take on the grieving process is fascinating, unique and, admittedly, sometimes confusing. As one reviewer noted, you can't listen to The Body Artist in traffic and fully appreciate its complexity. Laurie Anderson's narration is superbly nuanced. Hers is just the right voice, just the right articulation.
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