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Don DeLillo's Underworld: A Reader's Guide (Continuum Contemporaries) Paperback – January 11, 2002

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0826452412 ISBN-10: 0826452418 Edition: New title

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Study Aids Get Chic
Concerned about keeping up at the book club? Stuck for something to say when dinner party talk turns to Zadie Smith? Or no time to read Captain Corelli’s Mandolin before the movie comes out? Never fear, cool new study aids are here in the form of Continuum Contemporaries....The Novel Approach, a series of handy readers’ guides to contemporary fiction. Launching in September, with further waves in January and May 2002, they’re much slicker than the frumpy cheat-aids of yore, including everything from website links to review buzz, and deliberately featuring new novels such as Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Shipping News, Trainspotting, and even the Harry Potter books." —Time Out (London)

"A brilliant idea—short, perceptive books which tell you what you need to know about some of the most vibrant and challenging writing around today—a bit like having a reading group in your pocket."—Ian Rankin

"The series comes as near to squaring various circles - popular / academic, 'good read' / 'classic Lit', novel / film of the book as any I know. And at best it goes a fair way towards reshuffling those categories and redrawing the boundaries. With the first volume, I was relieved. After two or three, I was hooked.

The books are invaluable for gathering out-of-the-way or ephemeral comment from TV and radio interviews and the web as well as from literary reviews.

Refreshingly upfront and up-to-date…

Given the space, there are remarkably balanced film/novel comparisons of the most well-known examples…

An important feature is the fully referenced bibliographies, including reviews and copious website addresses - the latter ranging from fanzines and authors' and publishers' own sites to academic discussion lists and online journals.

In method as in subject matter, these guides move freely on the interface between print culture and multimedia. Highly finished and pleasantly handleable as books in their own right, they gesture accommodatingly to both words and worlds beyond.

Taking the series as a whole, it also confirms two things: that narrative nowadays is generically highly hybrid and increasingly cross-media; and that an understanding of the processes of writing and reading 'contemporary classic' (or at least 'currently famous') fiction cannot be separated - yet must be distinguished - from the processes of making and marketing books and films."
— The Times Higher Education Supplement, May 31, 2002


"Indeed, we did lack a book on this book and Duvall has filled the gap effectively."
-Christian Moraru

From the Publisher

This is an excellent guide to Don DeLillo’s acclaimed novel. It features a biography of the author, a full-length analysis of the novel, and a great deal more. If you’re studying this novel, reading it for your book club, or if you simply want to know more about it, you’ll find this guide informative and helpful.
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Product Details

  • Series: Continuum Contemporaries
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; New title edition (January 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826452418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826452412
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,161,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
An excellent explication of DeLillo's most massive, sprawling fustercluck of brilliance. Along with DeLillo's White Noise, Underworld will still be read when we're all dead, and Duvall concisely crystallizes many of the reasons why. Underworld burrows beneath the sometimes shiny, sometimes scary surfaces of an enormous range of seemingly disparate Cold War territory, and Duvall goes a very long way (in a remarkably short space) toward putting together its pieces, and illuminating its insights. I read this reader's guide after reading Underworld, and it made me want to read the novel again. Bravo!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
How do you even begin to analyze the magnitude of DeLillo's achievement in 'Underworld'? This little book is a good place to start. Professor Duvall gives a brief and informative sketch of DeLillo's life and career to date and then dives into the meat of his book, wrestling with some of the themes - it would be impossible to do them all - of the novel. He comes over as well-informed, sharp and widely read, without ever being pretentious about it. And the book is even up-to-date enough to discuss the post 9/11 resonance of the novel's cover image.
At times a little dry for my taste, but that is a minor quibble. Duvall has packed a lot of thought into a nicely packaged book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K on March 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
1) This book is very short. It's even shorter since some of it is stuff like telling you were to look on the internet for more information (so if you don't know how to use google maybe its helpful).
2) I didn't find much insight here, it's mostly showing how literary terms like "politicizing the aesthetic" and "aestheticizing the political" relate to the book. I don't find it added to my understanding of Underworld.
3) There are tons of typos in this book.
It basically reads like some college student's senior thesis that they turned in without even proofreading. Don't buy it. It exists for one purpose only - to get your money. Just my opinion, the other reviewers seemed to think it was good, but that wasn't my experience.
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