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White Noise
White Noise
Author: Don DeLillo
This is the story of a college professor and his family whose small Midwestern town is evacuated after an industrial accident. . . . Jack Gladney is a professor of Hitler studies at the College-on-the-Hill.This is an America where no one is responsible or in control; all are receptors, receivers of stimuli, consumers. Some join Simuvac, which si...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780140077025
ISBN-10: 0140077022
Publication Date: 1/7/1986
Pages: 326
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 157 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed White Noise on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Very well written metaphorical exposition on our obsession with death and trying to escape it. Black humor with meaining.
reviewed White Noise on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Original, thought-provoking and meticulously worded for maximum effect at all times. A must-read for fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Douglas Coupland, both of whom seem to have been influenced by DeLillo's examinations of the effect of consumerism and technology on the individual in modern society.
reviewed White Noise on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Interesting - seems to hit home just how pointless and weird our lives are. Enjoyable to read.
kayprime avatar reviewed White Noise on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This novel is supposed to be an edgy postmodern commentary on materialism, intellectualism, death, perception v reality, etc. However, these ideas were more radical in the 60s. This book was written in the 80s which means DeLillo was at least 20 years behind the curve in his own time and that it was done better by others.

Besides the anti-climactic ending, I enjoyed most of the book even when the dialogue became repetitive and preachy. All of the characters had an annoying habit of answering a question with a question and never actually answered anything. It quickly became obnoxious and made the "controversy" feel forced. Here is a typical exchange:

First character asks, "Is it raining right now?"
Second character answers, "What is rain? Perhaps you perceive rain differently than I do. And when is 'now'? 'Now' at this moment or 'now' when you asked me a few seconds ago? Time is an illusion."

I could have done without reading this one. Perhaps DeLillo does a better job in one of his other works.
reviewed White Noise on + 110 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Truly insightful book on modern day life. Gave me the chills
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jasoncavallaro avatar reviewed White Noise on + 91 more book reviews
Funny and insightful, but not too fun to read
esh712 avatar reviewed White Noise on + 44 more book reviews
This wasn't bad. It took a while for me to get into the story, as I felt it started pretty slowly. An interesting exploration centering around the fear of death and at what lengths the characters go to in order to eradicate it. I'm not sure if I'd consider this the best book out there, but there's no denying that DeLillo's a talented writer.
reviewed White Noise on + 289 more book reviews
Published in 1985, Don DeLillo's White Noise is a prescient commentary on the America that came to be. Jack Gladney is a non-German speaking professor of Hitler studies at a liberal arts school located in College on the Hill. He lives with his fourth wife Babette and their children from various marriages. There is a constant satirical commentary on mass consumer culture which is quite well done. The couple's fears of death are exaggerated as their town faces an "airborne toxic event." Quite funny in an absurd way and thought-provoking at turns, I find myself wondering if this book was really written in the pre-internet era. I can easily see why it won the National Book Award and a spot on the list of 1001 books you must read before you die.

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