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Great Jones Street (Contemporary American Fiction) Paperback – January 1, 1994
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"Luminous...finally, a novel that understands rock and roll!" --Jon Pareles, The Village Voice Literary Supplement
About the Author
In 1997, he published the bestselling Underworld, and in 1999 he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, given to a writer whose work expresses the theme of the freedom of the individual in society; he was the first American author to receive it. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately for contemporary readers, that Cobain imagery is likely to stick with you throughout this 1973 novel and become a distraction. Bucky Wunderlick, DeLillo's rock idol, is neither as tortured or talented as Cobain. As other critics have noted, his lyrics are awful. DeLillo doesn't have an ear for rock lyrics (or at least didn't in the early 70s.)
Like Running Dog, Great Jones Street is a great premise and an awkward delivery. DeLillo had yet to develop his signature style of putting subtext before story. He also hadn't developed his micro-detail style of painting an environment, which he used to such brilliant effect in describing the supermarket in "White Noise" and the Bronx of his youth in "Underworld." What we're left with is conventional dialogue-and-plot story telling -- which is what DeLillo has always done worst.
If you've read the masterworks of the DeLillo canon -- Ratner's Star, The Names, White Noise, Libra, Mao II and Underworld -- Great Jones Street is a worthwhile diversion. If you haven't read DeLillo's best, come back when you're done.
As a musician, Bucky finally decides he "needed a route back". But will his route back resemble that of his band mate Azarian, who evolves and affirms his own musicality in soul music? Or will Bucky's route back follow the vision of Globke, his agent, who has brilliant ideas about promoting Bucky's celebrity and is indifferent to his music. Or will Bucky follow the path of the musician Watney, who realized his own mediocrity and evolved through business? Or, will Bucky find a musical equivalent of Fenig, his upstairs neighbor, who is a writer seeking success through the exploitation of market niches?
In offering these alternatives to Bucky, DeLillo also begins in a very dark space. In particular, all these options for Bucky's personal evolution are opposed by the sinister Happy Valley Farm Commune. This sees Bucky's musical withdrawal as a principled stand for independence and privacy. Happy Valley, by the way, apparently has two factions, one of them nihilistic and violent as it enforces its beliefs.
As Bucky is exposed to these musical possibilities, he also becomes a passive participant in a dangerous drug deal.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very odd book, I was looking for fine arts stories with regard to Jones street.Published 2 months ago by Ed Angell
I have read five DeLillo books (six counting Underworld which I'm reading now) and this was my least favorite. Read morePublished 2 months ago by BrokenArrow
"Great Jones Street," Don DeLillo's 1973 reflection of rock music, fandom, urban decay and (I would say) good old self-imposed alienation. Read morePublished on October 23, 2012 by McGill
This is the third book that I've read by DeLillo, and I'm honestly glad that it wasn't the first. I'm not sure that I would have been motivated to pick up anything else if I had... Read morePublished on December 18, 2008 by frumiousb
Let's start with this: the lyrics that DeLillo writes for Bucky Wunderlich, I mean Wunderlick are just short of pathetic. Read morePublished on April 26, 2008 by Lynn Hoffman, author:Radiation Days: A Comedy
This is the one Delillo novel I consistently re-read. I love Bucky Wunderlick! People are rating this as a Delillo novel and not on its own merit. Read morePublished on October 1, 2007 by Ned Ludd
This is a great postmodern novel that really examines what it means to be human through the lenses of Bucky, the superstar who has chosen to withdraw himself from the public. Read morePublished on November 22, 2003 by Viola L.