Underworld

      Don DeLillo
Underworld

While Eisenstein documented the forces of totalitarianism and Stalinism upon the faces of the Russian peoples, DeLillo offers a stunning, at times overwhelming, document of the twin forces of the Cold War and American culture, compelling that "swerve from evenness" in which he finds events and people both wondrous and horrifying.

Underworld opens with a breathlessly graceful prologue set during the final game of the Giants-Dodgers pennant race in 1951. Written in what DeLillo calls "super-omniscience" the sentences sweep from young Cotter Martin as he jumps the gate to the press box, soars over the radio waves, runs out to the diamond, slides in on a fast ball, pops into the stands where J. Edgar Hoover is sitting with a drunken Jackie Gleason and a splenetic Frank Sinatra, and learns of the Soviet Union's second detonation of a nuclear bomb. It's an absolutely thrilling literary moment. When Bobby Thomson hits Branca's pitch into the outstretched hand of Cotter—the "shot heard around the world"—and Jackie Gleason pukes on Sinatra's shoes, the events of the next few decades are set in motion, all threaded together by the baseball as it passes from hand to hand.

"It's all falling indelibly into the past," writes DeLillo, a past that he carefully recalls and reconstructs with acute grace. Jump from Giants Stadium to the Nevada desert in 1992, where Nick Shay, who now owns the baseball, reunites with the artist Kara Sax. They had been brief and unlikely lovers 40 years before, and it is largely through the events, spinoffs, and coincidental encounters of their pasts that DeLillo filters the Cold War experience. He believes that "global events may alter how we live in the smallest ways," and as the book steps back in time to 1951, over the following 800-odd pages, we see just how those events alter lives. This reverse narrative allows the author to strip away the detritus of history and pop culture until we get to the story's pure elements: the bomb, the baseball, and the Bronx. In an epilogue as breathless and stunning as the prologue, DeLillo fast-forwards to a near future in which ruthless capitalism, the Internet, and a new, hushed faith have replaced the Cold War's blend of dread and euphoria.

Through fragments and interlaced stories—including those of highway killers, artists, celebrities, conspiracists, gangsters, nuns, and sundry others—DeLillo creates a fragile web of connected experience, a communal Zeitgeist that encompasses the messy whole of five decades of American life, wonderfully distilled.

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    Ratner's Star

      Don DeLillo
Ratner's Star

Ratner's Star follows Billy, the genius adolescent, who is recruited to live in obscurity, underground, as he tries to help a panel of estranged, demented, and yet lovable scientists communicate with beings from outer space. It is a mix of quirky humor, science, mathematical theories, as well as the complex emotional distance and sadness people feel. Ratner's Star demonstrates both the thematic and prosaic muscularity that typifies DeLillo's later and more recent works, like The Names (which is also available in Vintage Contemporaries).  

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    Great Jones Street (Contemporary American Fiction)

      Don DeLillo
Great Jones Street (Contemporary American Fiction)

A troubling satire of the romantic myth of stardom and the empty heart of rock and roll, more relevant than ever in our celebrity-obsessed times.

Bucky Wunderlick is a rock and roll star. Dissatisfied with a life that has brought fame and fortune, he suddenly decides he no longer wants to be a commodity. He leaves his band mid-tour and holes up in a dingy, unfurnished apartment in Great Jones Street. Unfortunately, his disappearing act only succeeds in inflaming interest. As faithful fans await messages, Bucky encounters every sort of roiling force he is trying to escape.

DeLillo’s third novel is more than a musical satire: it probes the rights of the individual, foreshadows the struggle of the artist within a capitalist world and delivers a scathing portrait of our culture’s obsession with the lives of the few.

"Brilliant…deeply shocking… Looks at rock music, nihilism, and urban decay." The New York Review of Books

"DeLillo has the force and imagination of Thomas Pynchon or John Barth, with a sense of proportion and style which these would-be giants often lack." The Irish Times

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    Running Dog

      Don DeLillo
Running Dog

DeLillo's Running Dog, originally published in 1978, follows Moll Robbins, a New York city journalist trailing the activities of an influential senator. In the process she is dragged into the black market world of erotica and shady, infatuated men, where a cat-and-mouse chase for an erotic film rumored to "star" Adolph Hitler leads to trickery, maneuvering, and bloodshed. With streamlined prose and a thriller's narrative pace, Running Dog is a bright star in the modern master's early career.

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    Libra

      Don DeLillo
Libra

From the author of White Noise (winner of the National Book Award) and *Zero K*

In this powerful, eerily convincing fictional speculation on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Don DeLillo chronicles Lee Harvey Oswald's odyssey from troubled teenager to a man of precarious stability who imagines himself an agent of history. When "history" presents itself in the form of two disgruntled CIA operatives who decide that an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the president will galvanize the nation against communism, the scales are irrevocably tipped.A gripping, masterful blend of fact and fiction, alive with meticulously portrayed characters both real and created, Libra is a grave, haunting, and brilliant examination of an event that has become an indelible part of the American psyche.

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    White Noise

      Don DeLillo
White Noise

Part of the Penguin Orange Collection, a limited-run series of twelve influential and beloved American classics in a bold series design offering a modern take on the iconic Penguin paperback

For the seventieth anniversary of Penguin Classics, the Penguin Orange Collection celebrates the heritage of Penguin’s iconic book design with twelve influential American literary classics representing the breadth and diversity of the Penguin Classics library. These collectible editions are dressed in the iconic orange and white tri-band cover design, first created in 1935, while french flaps, high-quality paper, and striking cover illustrations provide the cutting-edge design treatment that is the signature of Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions today.

White Noise

Winner of the 1985 National Book Award, White Noise tells the story of Jack Gladney, his fourth wife, Babette, and their four ultramodern offspring, as they navigate the rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism.

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    Americana

      Don DeLillo
Americana

The first novel by Don DeLillo, author of White Noise (winner of the National Book Award) and *Zero K*
At twenty-eight, David Bell is the American Dream come true. He has fought his way to the top, surviving office purges and scandals tobecome a top television executive. David's world is made up of the images that flicker across America's screens, the fantasies that enthrall America's imagination.

And the the dream—and the dream-making—become a nightmare. At the height of his success, David sets out to rediscover reality. Camera in hand, he journeys across the country in a mad and moving attempt to capture, to impose a pattern on his own, and America's past, present, and future.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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    End Zone

      Don DeLillo
End Zone

The second novel by Don DeLillo, author of White Noise (winner of the National Book Award) and *Zero K
At Logos College in West Texas, huge young men, vacuum-packed into shoulder pads and shiny helmets, play football with intense passion. During an uncharacteristic winning season, the perplexed and distracted running back Gary Harkness has periodic fits of nuclear glee; he is fueled and shielded by his fear of and fascination with nuclear conflict. Among oddly afflicted and recognizable players, the terminologies of football and nuclear war—the language of end zones—become interchangeable, and their meaning deteriorates as the collegiate year runs its course. In this triumphantly funny, deeply searching novel, Don DeLillo explores the metaphor of football as war with rich, original zeal.
From the Trade Paperback edition.*

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    Cosmopolis

      Don DeLillo
Cosmopolis

It is a stunningly eventful day in the life of Eric Packer, a multi-billionaire who has recently married the heiress of a vast European fortune. A violent protest is being staged by anti-globalist groups and Eric fears that he may be a target. He is very much the target, but not by the protestors.

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    Players

      Don DeLillo
Players

In Players DeLillo explores the dark side of contemporary affluence and its discontents. Pammy and Lyle Wynant are an attractive, modern couple who seem to have it all. Yet behind their "ideal" life is a lingering boredom and quiet desperation: their talk is mostly chatter, their sex life more a matter of obligatory "satisfaction" than pleasure. Then Lyle sees a man killed on the floor of the Stock Exchange and becomes involved with the terrorists responsible; Pammy leaves for Maine with a homosexual couple.... And still they remain untouched, "players" indifferent to the violence that surrounds them, and that they have helped to create.

Originally published in 1977 (before his National Book Award-winning White Noise and the recent blockbuster Underworld), Players is a fast-moving yet starkly drawn socially critical drama that demonstrates the razor-sharp prose and thematic density for which DeLillo is renown today.

"The wit, elegance and economy of Don DeLillo's art are equal to the bitter clarity of his perceptions."--New York Times Book Review

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    Zero K

      Don DeLillo
Zero K

The wisest, richest, funniest, and most moving novel in years from Don DeLillo, one of the great American novelists of our time—an ode to language, at the heart of our humanity, a meditation on death, and an embrace of life.

Jeffrey Lockhart’s father, Ross, is a billionaire in his sixties, with a younger wife, Artis Martineau, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a remote and secret compound where death is exquisitely controlled and bodies are preserved until a future time when biomedical advances and new technologies can return them to a life of transcendent promise. Jeff joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say “an uncertain farewell” to her as she surrenders her body.

“We are born without choosing to be. Should we have to die in the same manner? Isn’t it a human glory to refuse to accept a certain fate?”

These are the questions that haunt the novel and its memorable characters, and it is Ross Lockhart, most particularly, who feels a deep need to enter another dimension and awake to a new world. For his son, this is indefensible. Jeff, the book’s narrator, is committed to living, to experiencing “the mingled astonishments of our time, here, on earth.”

Don DeLillo’s seductive, spectacularly observed and brilliant new novel weighs the darkness of the world—terrorism, floods, fires, famine, plague—against the beauty and humanity of everyday life; love, awe, “the intimate touch of earth and sun.”

Zero K is glorious.

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    Mao II

      Don DeLillo
Mao II

"One of the most intelligent, grimly funny voices to comment on life in present-day America" (The New York Times), Don DeLillo presents an extraordinary new novel about words and images, novelists and terrorists, the mass mind and the arch-individualist. At the heart of the book is Bill Gray, a famous reclusive writer who escapes the failed novel he has been working on for many years and enters the world of political violence, a nightscape of Semtex explosives and hostages locked in basement rooms. Bill's dangerous passage leaves two people stranded: his brilliant, fixated assistant, Scott, and the strange young woman who is Scott's lover—and Bill's.

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    Great Jones Street

      Don DeLillo
Great Jones Street

A troubling satire of the romantic myth of stardom and the empty heart of rock and roll, more relevant than ever in our celebrity-obsessed times.

Bucky Wunderlick is a rock and roll star. Dissatisfied with a life that has brought fame and fortune, he suddenly decides he no longer wants to be a commodity. He leaves his band mid-tour and holes up in a dingy, unfurnished apartment in Great Jones Street. Unfortunately, his disappearing act only succeeds in inflaming interest. As faithful fans await messages, Bucky encounters every sort of roiling force he is trying to escape.

DeLillo’s third novel is more than a musical satire: it probes the rights of the individual, foreshadows the struggle of the artist within a capitalist world and delivers a scathing portrait of our culture’s obsession with the lives of the few.

"Brilliant…deeply shocking… Looks at rock music, nihilism, and urban decay." The New York Review of Books

"DeLillo has the force and imagination of Thomas Pynchon or John Barth, with a sense of proportion and style which these would-be giants often lack." The Irish Times

Read online