Book Fortysix: White Noise

White Noise, Don DeLillo

Another book club pick. Admittedly, I read this book over ten years ago, sometime after college. However, as I read it again this week I could not remember anything about it at all. Seriously, it was almost entirely new to me. I did remember the airborne toxic event (because, honestly, how can you not? and hey, look, it's also now the name of a band) and the very last scene in the book seemed remotely familiar, but everything else was completely fresh and new. Well, not all of it was "fresh" as it was sometimes obvious that it was written in 1985 (wow, 1985 is almost 25 years ago!). But Don DeLillo, at the same time, seems somehow prophetic, too.

I finished the book in a mad dash yesterday afternoon, with only 20 minutes to get to book club. As I was driving across town, I had this weird feeling of unease, which I'm sure came from the book. I mean, it's not the happiest message in the world. All that toxic exposure, fear of death, Hitler studies, consumerism stuff does not make for warm fuzzies. And it's one of those books where all the characters speak in the same voice, which, yes, is probably the point of the book (the constant drone, the white noise, if you will), but is rather unsettling. I'm glad the feeling wore off after spending a few hours with some lovely friends, because I would hate to feel that way all the time. I'm sure that's the feeling of depression, of hopelessness, and fear of just having to exist in this sad, screwed-up world.


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