White Noise: Text and Criticism (Critical Library, Viking) (Paperback)
This is one of the greatest satires I've ever read. Absolutely hilarious, but in a morbid way. Kind of like a less tedious Catch 22. In the not too distant future/the 80s/now, individualism has been almost entirely stripped away by the forces of mass media and rampant consumerism, to be replaced by general complacency. But death looms heavy on the horizon, both literally and in the minds of the characters who despite the constant media over stimulation are deeply unhappy. What if, however, a pill could be created to nullify their fear of death?— ben
Winner of the National Book Award, from the author of The Silence
White Noise is the story of Jack and Babette and their children from their six or so various marriages. They live in a college town where Jack is Professor of Hitler Studies (and conceals the fact that he does not speak a word of German), and Babette teaches posture and volunteers by reading from the tabloids to a group of elderly shut-ins. They are happy enough, until a deadly toxic accident and Babette's addiction to an experimental drug make Jake question everything.
White Noise is considered a postmodern classic and its unfolding of themes of consumerism, family and divorce, and technology as a deadly threat have attracted the attention of literary scholars since its publication. This Viking Critical Library edition, prepared by scholar Mark Osteen, is the only edition of White Noise that contains the entire text along with an extensive critical apparatus, including a critical introduction, selected essays on the author, the work, and its themes, reviews, a chronology of DeLillo's life and work, a list of discussion topics, and a selected bibliography.
About the Author
Don DeLillo published his first short story when he was twenty-three years old. He has since written twelve novels, including White Noise (1985) which won the National Book Award. It was followed by Libra (1988), his novel about the assassination of President Kennedy, and by Mao II, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
In 1997, he published the bestselling Underworld, and in 1999 he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, given to a writer whose work expresses the theme of the freedom of the individual in society; he was the first American author to receive it. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
"One of the most ironic, intelligent, grimly funny voices to comment on life in present-day America . . . [White Noise] poses inescapable questions with consummate skill."
--Jayne Anne Phillips, The New York Times Book Review
"DeLillo's eighth novel should win him wide recognition as one of the best American noveslists. . . . the homey comedy of White Noise invites us into a world we're glad to enter. Then the sinister buzz of implication makes the book unforgettably disturbing."
"A stunning book . . . it is a novel of hairline prophecy, showing a desolate and all-too-believable future in the evidence of an all-too-recognizable present. . . . Through tenderness, wit, and a powerful irony, DeLillo has made every aspect of White Noise a moving picture of a disquiet we seem to share more and more."
--Los Angeles Times
"It's brilliance is dark and sheathed. And probing. In White Noise, Don DeLillo takes a Geiger-counter reading of the American family, and comes up with ominous clicks."
"A stunning performance from one of our most intelligent novelists . . . Tremendously funny."
--The New Republic