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Americana (Contemporary American fiction) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140119485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140119480
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,001,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Then we came to the end of another dull and lurid year. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
At the outset of "Americana," David Bell has fairly succeeded in securing his place in the power-driven world of Manhatten advertising. At 28, he is prosperous, good-looking, and bereft of that certain purpose and emotional substantiality one must possess to be classified as a fully sensible human being. Although I am a huge fan of Don DeLillo and his deft way of weaving sentences together to produce picturesque settings, I found myself lost in the interminable stretches this book relentlessly thrust upon me. Though DeLillo's story of a man who suspends his conventional life to seek out the American Dream within the desolate wastelands of the barren midwest is an interesting and potentially good idea, the novel falls short within its cornucopia of meandering passages, causing the reader to constantly drop out of the narrative and be reminded that they are in fact reading an overly erudite author; one who spouts bombastic sentiments that may seem a bit gratuitous on occasion. If you are a DeLillo fan, and curious about this novel (since it is his first; the main reason I was compelled to read it) then go for it, but do not expect the brilliance and penetrating qualities of his later works, such as "Mao II" and "Libra." If you are new to DeLillo and unsure of where to start, stay away from this novel, because it will possibly turn you off from an otherwise prodigious talent who has thenceforth transcended the shortcomings of "Americana" to become one of the great contemporary American writers.
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Format: Paperback
this was the first book of his I read. It's a good novel but compard to today's world of Ellis and Palahnuik. I could see the impact it had back when is first came out, since it was a few years after "Easy rider" and has the same counter culture feel
the style and nuance of the book were greatly influtential to ninties independant cinema. the protagnist seems indifferent and at times boring. Delillos has writen fantastic novels, and this is him cutting his literary teeth
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By A Customer on May 17 2004
Format: Paperback
Don Delillo is an amazing writer. His prose, and the ideas contained in his novels, are so powerful they sometimes make me stop and catch my breath, and that's not hyperbole. I can't think of another contemporary author that moves me so much, with the possible exception of Saul Bellow. Reading his novels is pure joy, it's a wonder on every page, it's magic. I don't say that often.
I read somewhere that "The Names" was his first great novel, so I picked up "Americana" expecting to read the work of a budding author showing only flashes of brilliance. I found the writing and ideas expressed in "Americana" to be as fresh, brilliant, and moving as in any other book of his I've read. Delillo writes beautiful, highly intelligent novels that are also page-turners, and that's a rarity. He is, quite simply, a completely original American novelist, and "Americana" is a wonderful first novel.
Delillo should win the Nobel prize for literature some day, and I'd be very disappointed if he doesn't.
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Format: Paperback
Much to the protests of the DeLillo fanbase, I decided to undertake his first novel. And what an undertaking it was. It's been a long time since I had to actually work myself to get to the end of a chapter. While I held out as long as could, wading through endless trite observations and self-congratulatory manic-depressive episodes, the fact is these characters have no substance whatsoever. I'm sure his fans will contend that is exactly the point of the novel, but I'd rather learn that lesson from a read with an actual story. This novel was one meandering paragraph after another. I couldn't shake the overwhelming feeling that I was witnessing a bad reading from an old college writing class. It's the non-violent, deficient love-child of "On The Road" and "American Psycho". In the simplest terms, this is an extremely boring read. Some people can't cross the barrier between different types of writing, nor should they. Americana is an excellent case in point.
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Format: Paperback
To make sure my brain wasn't orbiting the outer limits of literary comprehension, I took a look at the one-star reviews of Don DeLillo's recent "Underworld" and found that many echoed my sentiments about "Americana" exactly. This is the type of book you can only use big adjectives to describe, like, "incredible", "stultifying", "infuriating", "ridiculous". It's a book you should quit reading immediately once your brain clicks on and says, "this isn't going anywhere and isn't going to GO anywhere." It is easily the worst, most time-wasting novel I've ever read. It plays out like an upper-class "On the Road" (which was a pitiful book in and of itself), where a vapid TV executive named David Bell (who could be Patrick Bateman's evil, boring twin) and a gaggle of vacant sycophants go for a drive across America, filming the residents of small towns for a movie. That's the go-nowhere plot, in a nutshell. The thing that irritates me the most is that "Americana" could have been good, but DeLillo is too insistent on churning out wooden dialogue and pointless description that before long, render the book a laborious chore to read. Never mind the fact that DeLillo doesn't seem to put a moment's thought into a single line within these 377 aching pages. In spite of my own anger toward this travesty of literature, I masochistically pushed through it, knowing it would end in even more abiguity and unfunny, self-conscious "irony" than it began with. Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk can be considered disciples of DeLillo's style, but one thing sets them apart--they can actually WRITE, and maintain an audience for the duration of a novel. Read "Americana," put it on your bookshelf, so when having a get-together, you can reveal to your friends the most pathetic work ever published. Thank you.
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