Townhouse Books

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mao II: Don Delillo

I finished this a few weeks ago and should have posted then, as now I've forgotten much of this book. Which says something about it too.

Impressions: depressing, sometimes exhausting to read, sad people floating about barely impacting each other's lives. Fascinating description of a Moonies' mass wedding. Some neat though mostly unbelievable characters, Karen "Are you here to deprogram me" being the most interesting.

The plot centers around Bill Gray, an reclusive Thomas Pynchon sort of novelist, and the mental and physical route he takes to eventually try to help a writer being held hostage in Beirut. He is taken care of by his almost stalking assistant and their former-Moonie mutual lover. Bill agrees to meet with a photographer who is creating a collection of pictures of writers, and his consent to the photo indicates that his metamorphosis is already in progress.

The only other Delillo I've read is "White Noise." I was going to read "Libra" next, but I think I'll take a break from him. Although there were images and situations I enjoyed in the book, not a single line of dialog rang true or even possible. Imagine "Gilmore Girls" on speed. In the book, the subjects the characters address are far bigger and smarter than the snarky mother and daughter's, but it's still as annoying.


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