End Zone Paperback – Jan 7 1986
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Don DeLillo's second novel, a sort of Dr. Strangelove meets North Dallas Forty, solidified his place in the American literary landscape in the early 1970s. The story of an angst-ridden, war-obsessed running back for Logos College in West Texas, End Zone is a heady and hilarious conflation of Cold War existentialism and the parodied parallelism of battlefield/sports rhetoric. When not arguing nuclear endgame strategy with his professor, Major Staley, narrator Gary Harkness joins a brilliant and unlikely bunch of overmuscled gladiators on the field and in the dormitory. In characteristic fashion, DeLillo deliberately undermines the football-is-combat cliché by having one of his characters explain: "I reject the notion of football as warfare. Warfare is warfare. We don't need substitutes because we've got the real thing." What remains is an insightful examination of language in an alien, postmodern world, where a football player's ultimate triumph is his need to play the game.
About the Author
Don DeLillo published his first short story when he was twenty-three years old. He has since written twelve novels, including White Noise (1985) which won the National Book Award. It was followed by Libra (1988), his novel about the assassination of President Kennedy, and by Mao II, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
In 1997, he published the bestselling Underworld, and in 1999 he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, given to a writer whose work expresses the theme of the freedom of the individual in society; he was the first American author to receive it. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
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Top Customer Reviews
Pulling from his world of unique characters we are presented with a narrator at his third college in as many years, deep in the heart of Texas, and obsessed with nuclear holocaust. The metaphor of football as war is easily addressed but this story is driven by the quirkiness of its offbeat oddball football players and insane collection of coaches.
The predominatly white, southern team is shaken up with the addition of a potential All-American black running back and their head coaches' desire to retain the gridiron glory he once had. The coach has an undeniable Paul Brown/Woody Hayes quality to him.
The team struggles with each game, their individual neurosis and each other as the country lives in the paranoia and gloom of the nuclear menace.
Without a doubt some of DeLillo's most humorous writing while keeping the aura of his fiction in tact.
Most recent customer reviews
It is always funny to see someone critical of a book, a film, or a piece of artwork they do not understand. Stick to the "Sports Illustrated" and you'll be fine. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2007 by Jared Robinson
I picked up this novel based on the recent Sports Illustrated ranking of top 100 sports books, but it wouldn't make any list of mine. Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2003 by Brian M. Ayres
"Football is life is war." DeLillo takes this old observation and turns it into "football is postmodern life is nuclear war. Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2001 by Yaumo Gaucho
it makes cold siberian days warm. good to read over your dinner of potatoes and vodka.Published on Jan. 29 2000
This is the worst book I've ever read in my entire life. I can't believe it that this book was published. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.Published on Nov. 26 1999
End Zone is better read as a collection of short stories rather than a continuous narrative. The main protagonist's interactions with his fellow students are fascinating, but... Read morePublished on Sept. 22 1999
Please read this novel if you are interested in current American fiction. Delillo is an excellent writer, and this novel provides a great introduction to his style. Read morePublished on July 28 1998