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Underworld: A Novel
Underworld: A Novel
Underworld: A Novel
Audiobook (abridged)9 hours

Underworld: A Novel

Written by Don DeLillo

Narrated by Richard Poe

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

Our lives, our half century.

Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life, haunted by the hard logic of loss and by the echo of a gunshot in a basement room. She is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence.

Don DeLillo's mesmerizing novel opens with a legendary baseball game played in New York in 1951. The glorious outcome -- the home run that wins the game is called the Shot Heard Round the World -- shades into the grim news that the Soviet Union has just tested an atomic bomb.

The baseball itself, fought over and scuffed, generates the narrative that follows. It takes the reader deeply into the lives of Nick and Klara and into modern memory and the soul of American culture -- from Bronx tenements to grand ballrooms to a B-52 bombing raid over Vietnam.

A generation's master spirits come and go. Lennny Bruce cracking desperate jokes, Mick Jagger with his devil strut, J. Edgar Hoover in a sexy leather mask. And flashing in the margins of ordinary life are the curiously connectecd materials of the culture. Condoms, bombs, Chevy Bel Airs and miracle sites on the Web.

Underworld is a story of men and women together and apart, seen in deep clear detail and in stadium-sized panoramas, shadowed throughout by the overarching conflict of the Cold War. It is a novel that accepts every challenge of these extraordinary times -- Don DeLillo's greatest and most powerful work of fiction.
Release dateOct 1, 1997
Underworld: A Novel

Don DeLillo

Don DeLillo is the author of many bestselling novels, including Point Omega, Falling Man, White Noise, Libra and Zero K, and has won many honours in America and abroad, including the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his novel Underworld. In 2010, he received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award. He has also written several plays.

Reviews for Underworld

Rating: 3.0149724192277385 out of 5 stars

1,269 ratings41 reviews

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  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    Read the first 100 pages and quit. Didn't catch.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    While I didn't have any trouble reading it, the structure of the book didn't really work for me (jumping back and forth in time & between characters) and I ended up with a feeling of "so what was the point of all that?" I never really became engaged with any of the characters and the connection between some of them seemed extremely thin. Oh well...
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    Don DeLillo's "Underworld" is a very modern novel. The thing is, I despise modern novels. I have no interest in baseball. I couldn't even remember the character's names partway through this.... I just found it so very dull. I didn't care what happened to the baseball, who got killed and why or about Marian and her husband's martial troubles.I know this novel has received heaps of acclaim and praise... so I'm sure it's wonderful if you're into these types of books, but this one definitely wasn't for me.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    Pretty good book.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    I listened to the audiobook version of this book, narrated by the same guy who narrates the Jack Reacher series, by Lee Child, incidentally. He does a good job reading this book, which I'd been meaning to read for a long time, ever since I saw ads for it back on the subway in New York back in 1997/1998, Don Delillo being one of the great white giants of literature.While I liked White Noise, which I read a long time ago, I couldn't help but feel a great portion of this book was like an author's exercise in onanism -- adjectives spurting out needlessly, constantly, extravagantly; the almost verbatim transcript of a Lenny Bruce act was painful, drawn out; mansplaining before mansplaining was even a thing.Thanks to the miracle of audiobooks, I was able to speed it up to try and get through it, and I'm sort of glad I did -- the ending was a good little gut punch, but I have to wonder if it was worth the slog through the rest.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    What a long, strange trip it is.Extraordinary, and truly unique. Its power comes from the layering of seemingly disparate story lines and characters back and forth in time and place. The cumulative effect is ultimately staggering.My wife asked, "What's it about?" and I didn't know where to begin. A baseball? The Cold War? Garbage? Family? Technology? Government and corporate intrusiveness? Marriage and relationships? Crime and punishment and rehabilitation? Art? Race? Celebrity culture? New York City? America? History and memory?Whatever. It doesn't matter. It's an exhilarating and unforgettable joyride.Pair this novel with Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections" and "Freedom" and you won't get a much better sense of America since World War II -- how we live and the world we live in.