Don DeLillo

"White Noise"

(Reviewed by Judi Clark May 03, 1998)

White Noise is the story of Jack and Babette and their children from several previous marriages. They live in a college town where Jack is a Professor of Hitler Studies,Babette teaches posture and reads tabloids to elderly people. Except for the possibility of some drug that Babette seems to be hiding, everything is normal chaos in their lives. And then a deadly toxic accident causes them to seek shelter, bringing to surface this nagging fear of death.

DeLillo has a knack for capturing the essence of American popular culture through intelligence and ironic humor. White Noise essentially is about American's fear of death, but it touches upon so many silly things in our society that it certainly goes far beyond this subject. On the other hand, you can say that it is simply about everyday life and everyday relationships. I find it interesting that this book was first published in 1984, since it seems to point out things that seem even more true today, (like a drug similar to Prozac)  than I recall from 15 years ago. One thing that dates the book is the "generic" food section at the supermarket. Remember the black and white packaging? Now, where did that concept go... 

  • reader rating:from 300 reviews

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About the Author:

Don DeLilloDon DeLillo was born on November 20, 1936.  He grew up in the Fordham section of the Bronx in New York City, a Italian-American neighborhood. He attended Fordham University.  His first job after graduation was as a copywriter for an advertising agency, which he did for about five years. He began his first novel in 1966, which took several years, but it was at this time that he first realized that he was a writer.  Don DeLillo's numerous honors include the 1999 Jerusalem Prize, awarded to an author "whose work expresses the theme of the freedom of the individual in society." He was the first American to receive the honor. In 1975 he married Barbara Bennet.They have lived abroad and many other places but currently live in New York City. About Us | Subscribe | Review Team | History | ©1998-2014