'A literary colossus, equal to any (and surpassing most) of the vaulting novels which strive for the immensity of the American mythic' Geoff Dyer, Sunday Telegraph Underworld opens - famously - at the Dodgers-Giants 1951 National League final, where Bobby Thomson hits The Shot Heard Round the World and wins the pennant race for the Giants. But on the other side of the planet, another highly significant shot was fired: the USSR's first atomic detonation. And so begins a masterpiece of gloriously symphonic storytelling. ...
'A literary colossus, equal to any (and surpassing most) of the vaulting novels which strive for the immensity of the American mythic' Geoff Dyer, Sunday Telegraph Underworld opens - famously - at the Dodgers-Giants 1951 National League final, where Bobby Thomson hits The Shot Heard Round the World and wins the pennant race for the Giants. But on the other side of the planet, another highly significant shot was fired: the USSR's first atomic detonation. And so begins a masterpiece of gloriously symphonic storytelling. DeLillo loosely follows the fate of the winning baseball as the book swells and rolls through time. He offers a panoramic vision of America, defined by the overarching conflict of the cold war. This is an awe-inspiring story, seen in deep, clear detail, of men and women, together and apart, as they search for meaning, survival and connection in the toughest of times. 'A rousingly impressive achievement in almost every novelistic department - dialogue, structure, timing, precise description, heartfelt veracity and the rest ...In Underworld we have a mature and hugely accomplished novelist firing on all cylinders, at the sophisticated height of his multifarious powers' William Boyd, Observer
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Though Underworld is a deep book, it is a long, long slog. With over eight hundred pages, multiple POVs, a scrambled chronology, a legion of characters, celebrity cameos, several intertwined themes and very little real action, Mr. DeLillo makes his readers work for very little reward. The book is ambitious. There?s a lot to think about and discuss. It?s a portrait of America during the Cold War and exposes the thin veneer of normalcy that covers the terrifying reality of both society and individual?the underworld. Yes, I get it. An avid reader, it took me almost a month, however, to get through it. For those of us whose reading time is precious and crave at least a modicum of action and entertainment in our stories, Underworld will disappoint. This is a novel only an English professor can love.
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