(Harsh) review of Don DeLillo’s Underworld

UnderworldUnderworld by Don DeLillo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh, where to begin with this book? First, let me say that I LOVED DeLillo’s White Noise and am such a fan of his writing. There are few better writers. He’s right up there at the top. But this book, oh, this book. I saw him read from it in L.A. at a Lannan Foundation lecture when the Lannan Foundation was still in L.A. I bought a hard cover then. And I started reading. I made it to page 400 and almost was crushed under its weight. But I always wanted to finish.

So I got it on Audible last spring. Love the reader. Same reader as for a bunch of Richard Ford’s books. LOVE the reader. But this time I’m not going to make it as far as page 400. I’m on the page where a character is asking another character if he knows what hospitals do with all the legs and arms they cut off of people, and that’s it. That’s it!

The book is too long. What I want to read about are Nick and Clara, and this story line is hardly in the book. I wish all the other story lines would go away and just focus on Nick and Clara. They would be enough.

I feel like DeLillo is constantly bursting with ideas and thoughts and theories and he had to pour them all into this book. He’s brilliant–of course he is, but enough already.

Once again, I will put the book aside. I love his writing and his use of metaphor and simile–we could all take a lesson here–but the story is a stew, a ratatouille, a casserole comprised of too many ingredients.

The end.

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