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Players Paperback – Jul 17 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (July 17 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679722939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679722939
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #380,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The prose can be as dazzling as a waterfall... His disciples are right when they claim that few novelists have their fingers as close to the pulse of the end-of-millennium urban West." -- Afshi Rattansi Guardian "Don DeLillo...is original, versatile, and, in his disdain of last year's emotional guarantees, fastidious... Into our technology-ridden daily lives he reads the sinister ambiguities, the floating ugliness of America's recent history" -- John Updike New Yorker "A witty, harrowing and superbly controlled novel about modern alienation and violence" Washington Post

About the Author

Don DeLillo received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1984. He has won the American Book Award, and the 1989 Irish Times/Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize for his novel, Libra. He has written 16 novels, including the acclaimed works Underworld and White Noise, as well as plays, short stories and essays.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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By Brad on May 23 2004
Format: Paperback
It's interesting to turn to early DeLillo and find that in more than a quarter of a century, the themes that drive his work are more contemporary than ever; as Diane Johnson wrote in the New York Times in 1977, "This elegant, highly finished novel does not shrink from suggesting the complicity of Americans with the terrorists they deplore". The complicity is not direct, even though one of the main characters does become directly enmeshed in a terrorist conspiracy the extent of which he is (and we, the readers, are) not fully cognizant. Rather, the complicity is systemic, terrorism the shadow of the bright waves of electronic capitalism, the anti-thesis, lying only as far away as the reverse side of a thin paper page. In this, as in the sparkling quality of his prose, he resembles Jean Baudrillard, French philosopher-provocateur; both quip and incant their way towards revealing alleged secret truths about the real sources of terror and violence, secrets of systems and alienation. This sort of language I think becomes tiring once you've read more than a few of DeLillo's novels -- he is forever talking about inner meanings, hidden truths, darkly wound secrets, et cetera. It isn't the ideas that are misplaced (contemporary novels are rightfully full of conspiracy), but the language; these are the only passages where DeLillo becomes literal rather than figurative, the only places where it seems DeLillo himself comes out from beneath the narrative guise. And to say he doesn't need to is to credit the complete remainder of the text -- it races, clean and honed, from page to page, reading as quickly as ads flashing past on a subway.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
You can read the tea leaves of any DeLillo novel and see shadows of the WTC disaster, but they are more striking in this novel than any other. One of the main characters works for a grief counseling company in the WTC, her husband works on Wall Street and is casually drawn into a terrorist plot.
"Players" is heavily influenced by Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Agent" and Dostoyevsky's "Demons", but its unmistakably DeLillo. The terrorists in this book are not drawn by religious or political zealotry, they are almost offhand about their deadly work. As he will do later in "White Noise", DeLillo places a disaster in the foreground but finds the real drama in domestic interaction, in characters so caught up in lifestyle that the world around them is dull, unimportant.
In my opinion, "Players" is the transitional book in DeLillo's body of work. It is his first book to touch on his obsessive themes in a serious, sustained manner. However, it does not match the virtuosity of his later works. Not until "The Names" did DeLillo hit his stride, so don't expect as polished a book as those written in the 80s and 90s. But for DeLillo fans who have overlooked this work through the years, "Players" is a gruesome treat.
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By "kurtscar" on March 15 2000
Format: Paperback
I like Delillo's work. It is strong and disturbing. This is no great addition to his ouevre. Even if written by someone else, you still run up against a book w/ uneven quality.
Delillo loves his language here as he does in other books. Languages, those of ideas, suburban life, espionage and other jargons still strike the ear just right. When he deploys these, the effect can be stimulating. We read/listen to dialogue that piques our interest w/out ever laying down in so many words that great silent center where we live our lives.
The first scene...Its relation to the rest of the book is uncertain. Delillo often chooses words with an eye/ear to overall effect. This idea next to that one. They don't cohere as well @ times. This is the problem I had w/ Mao II. (He is a novelist of ideas, but when he loses sight of the narrative for the sake of these juxtapositions, well-you just want to shake him & ask, "Where'd the story go, Don?".) While interesting in the abstract, unless a real connection can be made between events-despite Delillo's contention stated and unstated that disparate events are what make up our lives in contemporary times-sometimes it (the book) seems an amusing mental game he's devised. NOt a story. A game.
Reading him, you think of Orwell's famous language essay of words retaining meaning. As one of his characters might say, "This thing's got levels. Lots of 'em."
Phrase he/she "wondered if (he/she) was too complex" to do whatever is leitmotif that doesn't work.
Read more ›
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By "kurtscar" on March 15 2000
Format: Paperback
I like Delillo's work. It is strong and disturbing. This is no great addition to his ouevre. Even if written by someone else, you still run up against a book w/ uneven quality.
Delillo loves his language here as he does in other books. Languages, those of ideas, suburban life, espionage and other jargons still strike the ear just right. When he deploys these, the effect can be stimulating. We read/listen to dialogue that piques our interest w/out ever laying down in so many words that great silent center where we live our lives.
The first scene...Its relation to the rest of the book is uncertain. Delillo often chooses words with an eye/ear to overall effect. This idea next to that one. They don't cohere as well @ times. This is the problem I had w/ Mao II. (He is a novelist of ideas, but when he loses sight of the narrative for the sake of these juxtapositions, well-you just want to shake him & ask, "Where'd the story go, Don?".) While interesting in the abstract, unless a real connection can be made between events-despite Delillo's contention stated and unstated that disparate events are what make up our lives in contemporary times-sometimes it (the book) seems an amusing mental game he's devised. NOt a story. A game.
Reading him, you think of Orwell's famous language essay of words retaining meaning. As one of his characters might say, "This thing's got levels. Lots of 'em."
Phrase he/she "wondered if (he/she) was too complex" to do whatever is leitmotif that doesn't work.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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