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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the National Book Award, White Noise tells the story of Jack Gladney; his fourth wife, Babette; and four ultramodern offspring as they navigate the rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism.

When an industrial accident unleashes an "airborne toxic event", a lethal black chemical cloud floats over their lives. The menacing cloud is a more urgent and visible version of the "white noise" engulfing the Gladneys - radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, ultrasonic appliances, and TV murmurings - pulsing with life yet suggesting something ominous.

©1984, 1985 Don DeLillo (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    81
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    61
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    78
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    13
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    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Fear of death?

The main character of this book is declassified and the reader uses no intonation. It was difficult to get through this one. Felt more like a book that should be discussed one chapter at a time with a group of philosophers.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator is superlative - danke Herr Prichard

The combination of hard copy and audio copy brings the magic to White Noise. This book deserves a second read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Designed to be analyzed by an English class

I read this because my daughter had to read it for a course. It is plodding and fairly predictable. It's like Jonathan Franzen's Corrections but without any humour. I realize, I'm reading Americana backwards, but the connections are apt anyway. The themes are fairly bluntly beaten over the head: fear of death, yep we're all going to die, loss of faith, etc. etc. The characters are cardboard caricatures without any apparent irony. Maybe DeLillo was first, but the schtick is so weary that it hardly seems worth the effort.
The narration by Michael Prichard was just as plodding, thank goodness for the ability to listen at 1.5 speed on the Audible app.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awful narrator

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Awful narrator. Stilted, nasal voice. Ruined one of De Lillo's best books. Much better narrator on his new book Zero K.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

its okay

the reader reads a little slow. I have the anniversarry edition and i was following along when i noticed the audio was missing a part from the hard copy of the book. three lines to be spesific on page 300

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Typical postmodernism.

Flat, dry, and boring. The narrator presents the story in such a way that it amplifies it's contrived nature.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

World-shattering

Performance left me awestruck.
Descriptions were breath-taking yet easy to understand, very well worded.
If you want a good read on consumerist culture presented through an ironic lens, this is THE book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Strange...like life

Listening to this book was like listening to the random thoughts in your head. Good book although I really did think it was strange.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Wow

The flat delivery was tempered by the mess. Please use your time on a higher pursuit.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Catching up on literary fiction

If you could sum up White Noise in three words, what would they be?

Modern life in middle age

What other book might you compare White Noise to and why?

DeLillo is unique

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Meh - could have been more urgent

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The wife's search for more in life

Any additional comments?

none

1 of 2 people found this review helpful