Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.00
  • Save: $2.65 (17%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Names has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Back cover is worn. Light creases around the edges. Tight binding. Solid and clean pages.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Names Paperback – July 17, 1989

3.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.35
$6.72 $1.00
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$85.00

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$13.35 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Names
  • +
  • Libra (Contemporary American Fiction)
  • +
  • Mao II: A Novel
Total price: $37.43
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

'A serious and complicated novel which deserves praise ... an outstandingly well-written and constructed book' Guardian 'Compelling ... strange and wonderful and frightening' New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Set against the backdrop of a lush and exotic Greece, The Names is considered the book which began to drive "sharply upward the size of his readership" ("Los Angeles Times Book Review). Among the cast of DeLillo's bizarre yet fully realized characters in The Names are Kathryn, the narrator's estranged wife; their son, the six-year-old novelist; Owen, the scientist; and the neurotic narrator obsessed with his own neuroses. A thriller, a mystery, and still a moving examination of family, loss, and the amorphous and magical potential of language itself, The Names stands with any of DeLillo's more recent and highly acclaimed works.
"The Names not only accurately reflects a portion of our contemporary world but, more importantly, creates an original world of its own."--"Chicago Sun-Times
"DeLillo sifts experience through simultaneous grids of science and poetry, analysis and clear sight, to make a high-wire prose that is voluptuously stark."--"Village Voice Literary Supplement
"DeLillo verbally examines every state of consciousness from eroticism to tourism, from the idea of America as conceived by the rest of the world to the idea of the rest of the world as conceived by America, from mysticism to fanaticism."--"New York Times
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (July 17, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679722955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679722953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jon G. Jackson on July 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
First, let me ask you...how many languages do you speak? That question will take on a whole new meaning once you've read this book. The story (and there *is* one) centers around a group of American and British expatriates living and working in Greece (where DeLillo lived for a while before writing this novel). It was the last of his early novels...meaning the next one was WHITE NOISE, at which point DeLillo started to become famous. Yet, THE NAMES still remains one of my favorites. Yes, it was followed by three truly *excellent* novels (WHITE NOISE, LIBRA, and MAO II), and (after several years) by an undisputedly GREAT novel (UNDERWORLD). But, here we have DeLillo still paying his dues...and paying them remarkably well, too. In this one, he finally brought together the various disparate themes of his earlier works, and he solidified his "outsider in society" motif. It was the first of DeLillo's novels I read, and it made me an instant devotee.
So...how many languages do you speak? These expatriates I mentioned come in contact with a bizarre language cult which is responsible for a series of ritual murders in the area. Our "hero" is James Axton, a "risk analyst" who isn't exactly sure himself just who he's working for (i.e., business insurance...or CIA?). In fact, he's pretty much detached from most things in his life...his ex-marriage, his friends, Greece itself, the cult (when he finally meets them)...you name it. The Outsider. Wishing he could be part of something...never able to get past the *analysis* of risk. His inaction leads to serious consequences.
As always, DeLillo's intense use of language ultimately leads to something nonverbal.
Read more ›
4 Comments 80 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Names was the book that gave rise to Delillo's progressive fame and is probably one of Delilo's finest and most unique books. While the majority of his novels are set in America, this one is set in the exotic premise of Greece and India, with referrals to the Middle East. This proves to be a very absorbing diversion. Overflowing with superbly crafted characters and a solidly structured plot scattered with witty and sharp insightful observations and possessing an almost irresistible writing-style, The Names deserved to be a best seller when it was released.

The novel concerns Americans living abroad, America the Myth as perceived by the rest of the world, a series of chillingly brutal cult-murders, the elusive and haunting cult itself and the concept of separation from family and on-going conflict between modern day couples. The alphabet and the metamorphosis between converging languages is also an essential component in this novel. Gripping as well is the weighty yet expertly condensed history that makes appearances. James the protagonist is a risk analyst, separated from his wife, Kathryn, who digs at archaeological sites. Their son, Tap, writes novels. Stop there. I will not give away any more about the characters involved.

These aspects provide intriguing reading material and Delillo fans will not be disappointed. For newcomers to Delillo, The Names is also a good introduction.

Perhaps what is most worthy of praise is that the prose is incandescently ingenious and profound and that this novel highlights Delillo's ability to create multitudes of characters that possess very well formed individual identities. The dialogue is also thought-provocative, believable and occasionally startling.
Read more ›
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit: I've never given much consideration to cults. To me, cults are simply weird and their allure is inexplicable. Indeed, cults have a presence in my imagination not unlike, say, sophisticated baseball statistics, which bring complex analysis to what is probably evident in simpler patterns.

I mention cults because they are at the very center of THE NAMES. In this intriguing but fraught novel, you will find cultish behavior by American businesspeople that live overseas. You will find anti-American political operatives, whose obsessiveness and secretiveness border on the cultish. And you will find one true cult, the marginal and murderous Ta Onὀmata, which means THE NAMES in Greek. Cults... this is a book about cults and their hold on certain imaginations.

I'd say DeLillo explores this cultish theme primarily through three characters. The first is James Axton, who narrates most of the book. "Something in our method finds a home in your unconscious mind," explains Andahl, a renegade member of Ta Onὀmata, to James. "A recognition. This curious recognition is not subject to conscious scrutiny. Our program evokes something that you seem to understand and find familiar...We are working at a pre-verbal level."

The second character offering perspective on cults is Frank Volterra, a film maker who thinks Ta Onὀmata would provide a riveting subject for a film. Frank, in disputation with James, says Ta Onὀmata is different from the Manson family, who murdered only to murder. "Totally different. Different in every respect. These people are monks, they're secular monks. They want to vault into eternity."

Finally, DeLillo creates Owen Brademas, a brilliant talker and archeologist. Initially, his take on the cult is: "They are engaged in a painstaking denial.
Read more ›
4 Comments 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Names
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Names

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?