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"It's all falling indelibly into the past," writes DeLillo, a past that he carefully recalls and reconstructs with acute grace. Jump from Giants Stadium to the Nevada desert in 1992, where Nick Shay, who now owns the baseball, reunites with the artist Kara Sax. They had been brief and unlikely lovers 40 years before, and it is largely through the events, spinoffs, and coincidental encounters of their pasts that DeLillo filters the Cold War experience. He believes that "global events may alter how we live in the smallest ways," and as the book steps back in time to 1951, over the following 800-odd pages, we see just how those events alter lives. This reverse narrative allows the author to strip away the detritus of history and pop culture until we get to the story's pure elements: the bomb, the baseball, and the Bronx. In an epilogue as breathless and stunning as the prologue, DeLillo fast-forwards to a near future in which ruthless capitalism, the Internet, and a new, hushed faith have replaced the Cold War's blend of dread and euphoria.
Through fragments and interlaced stories--including those of highway killers, artists, celebrities, conspiracists, gangsters, nuns, and sundry others--DeLillo creates a fragile web of connected experience, a communal Zeitgeist that encompasses the messy whole of five decades of American life, wonderfully distilled.
This is a HUGE novel, both in length (over 800 pages) and in ambition, but is well worth the effort. Read morePublished on July 11 2004 by D. J. Zabriskie
There's nothing honest here, the author is merely playing tricks with words. His style is boring, pretentious and conceited. Read morePublished on March 17 2004
A boring novel, lacking any significant cohesive thread, written by a man attempting to examine a large chunk of history he is not distanced far enough from to be able to describe... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2004
This book is great for the first 80 pages. Read that. Then put it down. It tries to be the great American novel of the year, decade, century, millennium, space-time continuum, and... Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2003 by Riley James