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Ruido de fondo (1984)

por Don DeLillo

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaConversaciones / Menciones
9,767144583 (3.79)1 / 335
Jack Gladney, a professor of Nazi history at a Middle American liberal arts school, and his family try to handle normal family life as a black cloud of lethal gaseous fumes threatens their town.
  1. 30
    Crash por J. G. Ballard (ateolf)
  2. 10
    Ensayo sobre la ceguera por José Saramago (chrisharpe)
  3. 21
    Ubik por Philip K. Dick (ateolf)
  4. 11
    Submundo por Don DeLillo (David_Cain)
    David_Cain: Everything good in White Noise is better in Underworld
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Inglés (139)  Finlandés (2)  Hebreo (1)  Italiano (1)  Todos los idiomas (143)
Mostrando 1-5 de 143 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
What a novel this would be to discuss in a class. The academic satire, the consumerism, the need for/expectation of a drug to fix things, the airborne toxic event. News, TV, weather reports. It's all very funny but also so frustratingly true. And so much of this is still true, though somehow this book feels innocent (naive might be a better word). Maybe because Jack Gladney is so convinced the airborne toxic event won't affect his town/neighborhood/family because they are the kind of people that "aren't" affected by such things. (Also, California is for disasters.) I'm not sure there are still largely white upper-class Americans that think that way. I may be completely wrong though. ( )
  Dreesie | Jan 13, 2022 |
i read a different edition
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
Boring and pretentious ( )
  dualmon | Nov 17, 2021 |
Don DeLillo won the National Book Award for White Noise in 1985. Theoretically, as marked as our Great Minds as a Great American Novel, I should be very for this book. I picked it up because I am a fiend for all things David Foster Wallace and I know he had an ongoing professional relationship with Don DeLillo and took some of the craft of his dialogue for Infinite Jest from this novel.
So why didn't I love it?
It's a couple of things. The Kindle edition has a double space between each paragraph which throws off the flow of the dialogue which, I'm sure, was a mitigating factor. Some of the black comedic assessments of our media culture seem dated simply because they were so prescient. (A friend recently pointed out that science fiction that fails to come true is fascinating; science fiction that does is cliche. Think of the 20 page digression on SSH in Cryptonomicon. It was certainly interesting for its time and a pointless digression today.) Partly because the book seems, in the end, like it is trying to be a meaningful meditation on modern existence and it tries too hard.
Jack (J.A.K.) Gladney is a professor at a small midwestern college in Hitler Studies. He and his current wife Babette have numerous children from previous marriages. One day there is an enormous industrial spill -- the Airbourne Toxic Event -- where they all pile in the car and flee. During which, Jack is infected with a small dose of industrial compound and is informed that, some day in the future, it will kill him. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. Eventually. The last half of the book is consumed with Babette's addiction to a drug Dylar, Jack's obsession with the way Babette acquires the Dylar and the Dylar itself, and Jack's obsession with death.
So we have the big themes: rampant consumerism (lots of scenes in the grocery store), death, more death, media saturation, underground conspiracies, the family, and violence.
Not really for everyone, no. White Noise is a black satire. It is humorous in places, and has some incredible bits of craft in imagery and language. I found myself highlighting some of the better and more interesting passages. But in the end, the story didn't hang together as well as it could. This novel is definitely Your Milage May Vary. ( )
  multiplexer | Jun 20, 2021 |
I picked this up at a charity shop recently based on the fact that I've seen Don DeLillo mentioned many times in the '1001 Books' list. The synopsis on the back sounded interesting to me and I started with loads of enthusiasm for it. Sadly this was short lived.

While I didn't dislike the book I can't say that I get what all the fuss is about really. I found the writing style ok, nothing earth shattering stood out to me. There is also no real plot to speak of and I found the characters very unrealistic. I found myself wondering during some parts of the book where it was going as it seemed to drift here and there at times. I really hope there is more for me in some of DeLillo's other books as he has many more in the '1001 Books' list but this one seems to be widely regarded as his best. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 14, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 143 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
The book is so funny, so mysterious, so right, so disturbing … and yet so enjoyable it has somehow survived being cut open for twenty-five years by critics and post-grads. All of that theoretical poking and prodding, all of that po-mo-simulacra-ambiguity vivisection can’t touch the thrill of reading it
 
''White Noise,'' his eighth novel, is the story of a college professor and his family whose small Midwestern town is evacuated after an industrial accident. In light of the recent Union Carbide disaster in India that killed over 2,000 and injured thousands more, ''White Noise'' seems all the more timely and frightening - precisely because of its totally American concerns, its rendering of a particularly American numbness.
 
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The station wagons arrived at noon, a long shining line that coursed through the west campus.
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"The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear". Jack to Babette when talking about genetically engineered micro-organisms that would digest the 'airborne toxic event'.
"The airborne toxic event is a horrifying thing. Our fear is enormous. Even if there hasn't been great loss of life, don't we deserve some attention for our suffering, our human worry, our terror? Isn't fear news?" Television carrying man's speech when the family is stranded in Iron City.
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Jack Gladney, a professor of Nazi history at a Middle American liberal arts school, and his family try to handle normal family life as a black cloud of lethal gaseous fumes threatens their town.

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