From one of the greatest writers of our time, his first collection of short stories, written between 1979 and 2011, chronicling - and foretelling - three decades of American life.
Set in Greece, the Caribbean, Manhattan, a white-collar prison, and outer space, these nine stories are a mesmerizing introduction to Don DeLillo's iconic voice, from the rich, startling, jazz-infused rhythms of his early work to the spare, distilled, monastic language of the later stories.
In "Creation", a couple at the end of a cruise somewhere in the West Indies can't get off the island-flights canceled, unconfirmed reservations, a dysfunctional economy. In "Human Moments in World War III", two men orbiting the earth, charged with gathering intelligence and reporting to Colorado Command, hear the voices of American radio, from a half century earlier. In the title story, Sisters Edgar and Grace, nuns working the violent streets of the South Bronx, confirm the neighborhood's miracle, the apparition of a dead child, Esmeralda.
Nuns, astronauts, athletes, terrorists, and travelers, the characters in The Angel Esmeralda propel themselves into the world and define it. DeLillo's sentences are instantly recognizable, as original as the splatter of Jackson Pollock or the luminous rectangles of Mark Rothko. These nine stories describe an extraordinary journey of one great writer whose prescience about world events and ear for American language changed the literary landscape.
©2011 Don DeLillo (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc
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"Stories that seem to anticipate a hidden disaster"
Don Delillo is one of those writers who either hits a home run with me or hits a series of amazing fouls. Mao II made me want to be a writer. White Noise pretty much convinced me I would never be good enough. Reading/Listening to these 9 short stories that span about 30 odd years it is clear that Delillo is a master of the literary universe. There are stories that seem to anticipate disaster and others that seem to translate the quiet terror of the present into more than words. It is almost like there is a hidden text behind the stories that is just sitting there smelling you as you apprehensivly read. This isn't horror, this is a quiet hidden anxiety/terror that dances just out of site. It is the mood of David Lynch with the prose of Proust. I loved almost all the stories, except for the last. It ended with a whimper, but this was still an amazing collection of Delillo caught in fragments at his best
Stories, in order (and by date) are:
1. Creation - 1979
2. Human Moments in World War III -1983
3. The Runner - 1988
4. The Ivory Acrobat - 1988
5. The Angel Esmeralda - 1994
6. Baader-Meinhof - 2002
7. Midnight in Dostoevsky - 2009
8. Hammer and Sickle - 2010
9. The Starveling - 2011
The audio was very well done. However, I needed the book to help me reflect on passages that I cannot grasp in a fleeting moment. Don DeLillo is so precise in his choice of words, that I found myself wanting to stop, often rewind, and listen, once again, to what he said. Using a book along with the audio helps me to do this.
My favorite story was Angel Esmeralda, and both the nuns were my favorite characters.
Expression, intonation, and understanding of what the author intended in his writing.
I found myself being caught up in the writing of the stories, DeLilo's masterful expression and command of making the words say what he intends audiences to hear and feel. Usually, I prefer getting engaged in the story, noting authors talent secondarily.
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