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The Names Paperback – Jul 17 1989
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'A serious and complicated novel which deserves praise ... an outstandingly well-written and constructed book' Guardian 'Compelling ... strange and wonderful and frightening' New Yorker --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
Set against the backdrop of a lush and exotic Greece, The Names is considered the book which began to drive "sharply upward the size of his readership" ("Los Angeles Times Book Review). Among the cast of DeLillo's bizarre yet fully realized characters in The Names are Kathryn, the narrator's estranged wife; their son, the six-year-old novelist; Owen, the scientist; and the neurotic narrator obsessed with his own neuroses. A thriller, a mystery, and still a moving examination of family, loss, and the amorphous and magical potential of language itself, The Names stands with any of DeLillo's more recent and highly acclaimed works.
"The Names not only accurately reflects a portion of our contemporary world but, more importantly, creates an original world of its own."--"Chicago Sun-Times
"DeLillo sifts experience through simultaneous grids of science and poetry, analysis and clear sight, to make a high-wire prose that is voluptuously stark."--"Village Voice Literary Supplement
"DeLillo verbally examines every state of consciousness from eroticism to tourism, from the idea of America as conceived by the rest of the world to the idea of the rest of the world as conceived by America, from mysticism to fanaticism."--"New York Times
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Top Customer Reviews
So...how many languages do you speak? These expatriates I mentioned come in contact with a bizarre language cult which is responsible for a series of ritual murders in the area. Our "hero" is James Axton, a "risk analyst" who isn't exactly sure himself just who he's working for (i.e., business insurance...or CIA?). In fact, he's pretty much detached from most things in his life...his ex-marriage, his friends, Greece itself, the cult (when he finally meets them)...you name it. The Outsider. Wishing he could be part of something...never able to get past the *analysis* of risk. His inaction leads to serious consequences.
As always, DeLillo's intense use of language ultimately leads to something nonverbal.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I eagerly began reading The Names, my first Delillo novel, assuming I would be adding him to my rotation of can't-miss authors. Read morePublished on April 1 2004 by Dave Brooks
I found The Names to be relatively intriguing. I was quite disappointed however, because the other reviews had prepared me to read something amazing. Read morePublished on June 22 2001 by Emilia Palaveeva
I had read WHITE NOISE years ago and was surprised by the book's originality, depth and particularly the adeptness of the dialogue. Read morePublished on April 8 2001 by C. Middleton
The Names was the book that gave rise to Delillo's progressive fame and is probably one of Delilo's finest and most unique books. Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2000 by A. Leung
The Names is indeed well-written, and a sensory delight, taking the reader on believable and quite scenic travels with an international bank executive who speaks in short,... Read morePublished on July 26 2000 by Yaumo Gaucho
Thinking back over all the DeLillo I have read since the 1970s, I think THE NAMES is his best. I don't recall a meditation on language being enacted so deeply and compactly... Read morePublished on Dec 11 1999 by W. Christeson
I had never read DeLillo before and a friend suggested that if I never read anyone else again, I should read something that Don DeLillo had written. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 1999
When you travel abroad you return gratefully, happy to once again know the comfort of familiarity. That's how I felt after The Names: as if I'd returned from summer in the... Read morePublished on July 30 1998