Finished yesterday. Weird, unique, interesting, at times thoughtful. Not creepy like my sister said. But she had the weird right. I’m not sure I get it, I understand it. I feel like I’m missing something, can’t quite put my finger on it.
The story in a nutshell. Jake Gladney, professor of Hitler Studies at the College-on-the-Hill, small town of Blacksmith, somewhere U.S.A. Gladney family, somewhat atypical, children from different marriages, lost in data, transmissions, streams of noise from the radio, television, magazines, grocery store. A black, toxic cloud billows up over town, which may or may not have lasting effects. And a fear of death.
The book is satire, visible in the strangeness and half believable conversations of the Gladney family and college faculty. A satire of what? Academia, the “culture” of America, family life, consumerism. Take your pick, it’s all there and more. The story moves along, not much happens, almost Seinfeldian “nothing”, then the story takes a turn. It sneaks up on you. I realized I’d actually connected with the characters, I felt betrayed, angry, sad. In the end, amused. I wasn’t sure if I was enjoying the book, or just wanting, hoping to enjoy it. But in the end, the finish, strangely satisfying.
This is my first experience with Don DeLillo, not my last. I have this thought, feeling, that I must read more, that maybe it will help me to understand White Noise.
Rating: 4.0 …I think, pretty sure, yes