Underworld – Don DeLillo

underworld

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This long and ambitious work from postmodern master Don DeLillo stands out for the historical events and figures woven effortlessly into the narrative. The story opens with a young boy sneaking into the 1951 New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers game. He ends up running off with the Giant’s pennant winning ball, famously referred to as “the shot heard round the world.” From here, the novel expands outward to draw the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the very fabric of America into its colossal gravitational pull. Frank Sinatra and Lenny Bruce make cameos; J. Edgar Hoover looms large. DeLillo was born in the Bronx, and his closeness to the city can be felt in the novel’s most sublime moments, the opening especially. A finalist for the National Book Award, Don DeLillo’s most powerful and riveting novel—“a great American novel, a masterpiece, a thrilling page-turner” (San Francisco Chronicle)—Underworld is about the second half of the twentieth century in America and about two people, an artist and an executive, whose lives intertwine in New York in the fifties and again in the nineties. With cameo appearances by Lenny Bruce, J. Edgar Hoover, Bobby Thompson, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason and Toots Shor, “this is DeLillo’s most affecting novel…a dazzling, phosphorescent work of art” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).

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