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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 listeners say about White Noise

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    206
  • 4 Stars
    123
  • 3 Stars
    70
  • 2 Stars
    28
  • 1 Stars
    26
Performance
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    65
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    21
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    196
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    25

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  • 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.

5 people found this 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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    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.

12 people found this helpful

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

Great book, wrong narrator.

I love this book, but the narrator is all wrong. He doesn’t capture the feeling at all.

1 person found this helpful

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

“All Plots Lead Deathward”

“White Noise” is a wonderfully sad and eloquently written story about a man who’s greatest fear is death. Jack lives out his everyday interacting with his family and professional life as he deals with the internal tolls of his fear. Commenting on the many ways we attempt to ignore death, DeLillo shines a bright and eerie light on consumer culture, modern lifestyle, ignorance, and quiet desperation.

1 person found this helpful

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

An Odd Sort of Book

This is a crazy book in terms of content, not action. The audiobook kept me moving through the story and listening to it on 2x speed often made me laugh because of punchy, unrelated sentences. I need time to digest what just happened.

1 person found this helpful

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

Okay, not great.

On some level, I just don't get what DeLillo is doing. He's funny at some points. really funny. at others, he just seems super bland.

1 person found this helpful

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

3 people found this 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.

5 people found this helpful

  • 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.

9 people found this helpful