Don DeLillo's Underworld
|“Dig it. These are the guys from the eating clubs and the secret societies. They have fraternity handshakes so complicated it takes three full minutes to do all the moves. One missed digit you’re f*cked for life. Resign from the country club, forget about the stock options and the executive retreat, watch your wife disappear in a haze of secret drinking. You have to be hip to stay connected. These guys wear boxer shorts with geometric design that contain the escape routes they’ve been assigned when the missiles start flying.”|
|-Don DeLillo, Underworld|
Nick Shay and Klara Sax.
Lenny Bruce and J. Edgar Hoover.
Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca.
All are inexorably linked through DeLillo’s latest and largest novel. It all begins in the fifty’s, Giants vs. Dodgers, last game of the pennant race. Ralph Branca throws to Bobby Thomson and it’s hit out of the park. “The Giants win the Pennant!” Forty years later, Nick Shay has a baseball, supposedly the ball Thomson hit out of the park. Only the three tales of Manx Martin can reveal the last hours and prove if it’s the real ball. The Texas Highway Killer has a victim caught dying on camera. The Internet is taking over. A nun is scared of the poor and disease. There are answers to how it all comes together. Lenny Bruce and J. Edgar Hoover exist and reveal history in their own little ways. The story of America is in the lives of Nick Shay and Klara Sax, and Underworld tracks it down by traveling through these peoples’ pasts.
DeLillo is an excellent writer. He comes up with fantastic stories about the world around us and the way things are. His writing style is unparalleled and Underworld delivers it all. There is still the problem of his characters doing things, not really seeming to feel them, but that’s part of it all. This is an excellent novel and I give it my highest recommendation.
Email: Nick Fenris
last updated 4/7/98