The Silence: Don Delillo

I have not read a novel by Don Delillo before but I was more than aware of his fame to be attracted by this apparent zeitgeist novella about what would happen if, god forbid, the wifi went down. There are so many variations of this scenarioI I am sure there will be more stories to follow. Delillo largely ignores the outside world losing its power and instead rotates the idea around a group of friends gathering to watch an American football match only for the electricity to go down before it starts. It could have still be a character driven moment of anxiety. Instead it was far less interesting.

DeLillo turns it the prose into a theatrical thoughtfest of phrases that failed to grip me with any intensity. I did not care about any of the characters even the couple that crashlanded in their plane yet still made to the party with barely more than a scratch.

At times themes are thrown out with a stream of words that don’t seem to go anywhere. “Here, in the air, much of what the couple said to each other seemed to be a function of some automated process,” DeLillo writes, which confirms my own reactions to the stiff dialogue.

In fact all the characters lack much in the way of concern or feeling.  Non one in the real world talks this way and that either illuminates the story or not. For me they felt inhuman.

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