Author: Don Delillo
Date Released: 0000
Page Count: 0
Isbn10 Code: -
Isbn13 Code: -
White Noise is the eighth novel by Don DeLillo, and is an example of postmodern literature. Widely considered his breakout work, the book won the National Book Award in 1985 and brought him to the attention of a much larger audience. Time included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitler Studies (though he doesn't speak German). He has been married five times to four women and has a brood of children and stepchildren (Heinrich, Denise, Steffie, Wilder) with his current wife, Babette. Jack and Babette are both extremely afraid of death; they frequently wonder who will die first. The first part of White Noise, called Waves and Radiation, is a chronicle of absurdist family life combined with academic satire. There is little plot in this section, and it mainly sets the scene for the rest of the book. Another important character introduced here is Murray, who frequently discusses his theories, which relate to the rest of the book. In the book's second part, The Airborne Toxic Event, a chemical spill from a rail car releases an airborne toxic event over Jack's home region, prompting an evacuation. Frightened by his exposure to the toxin, Gladney is forced to confront this mortality. An organization called SIMUVAC (short for simulated evacuation)is also introduced in Part Two, an indication of simulations replacing reality. In part three of the book, Dylarama, Gladney realizes that Babette has been cheating on him in order to gain access to a fictional drug called Dylar, an experimental treatment for the fear of death. Soon the novel becomes a meditation on modern society's fear of death and its obsession with chemical cures as Gladney seeks to obtain his own black market supply of Dylar. However, Dylar does not work for Babette, and it has many possible side effects, including losing the ability to distinguish words from things, so that if someone said speeding bullet, I would fall to the floor to take cover.
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