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Zero K: A Novel Paperback – May 16, 2017
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The Amazon Book Review
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“Mr. DeLillo’s haunting new novel, Zero K — his most persuasive since his astonishing 1997 masterpiece, Underworld — is a kind of bookend to White Noise: somber and coolly futuristic, where that earlier book was satirical and darkly comic. . . . . All the themes that have animated Mr. DeLillo’s novels over the years are threaded through Zero K — from the seduction of technology and mass media to the power of money and the fear of chaos. . . . like a chamber music piece. . . . reminds us of his almost Day-Glo powers as a writer and his understanding of the strange, contorted shapes that eternal human concerns (with mortality and time) can take in the new millennium.” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)
"One of the most mysterious, emotionally moving and formally rewarding books of DeLillo's long carer... Unexpectedly touching... [DeLillo offers] consolation simply by enacting so well the mystery and awe of the real world... I finished it stunned and grateful." (Joshua Ferris, The New York Times Book Review)
“Brilliant and astonishing… a masterpiece… full of DeLillo's amazing inimitable scalpel perceptions, fluent in the ideas we'll be talking about 20 years from now… ZERO K somehow manages to renew DeLillo's longstanding obsessions while also striking deeply and swiftly at the reader's emotions….The effect is transcendent.” (Charles Finch, Chicago Tribune)
“Daring... provocative... exquisite... captures the swelling fears of our age.” (Ron Charles, Washington Post)
“Among many delights, Don DeLillo’s extraordinary new novel offers a bracing revision of our certitude about death and taxes. . . . DeLillo has created a mysterious, funny, and profound book out of a cultural gag usually reliant on metal cylinders and dry ice. . . . ZERO K deserves to win old and new readers alike. It’s a marvelous blend of DeLillo’s enormous gifts. His bleak humor and edged insight, the alertness and vitality of his prose, the vast, poetic extrapolations are all evident. So is the visceral quickness and wit in the sentences. . . . This is one of the constant pleasures of a DeLillo novel, the talk, the shop talk, the comic talk, the cosmic talk, the way the characters feel language, its sonics, the moral and emotional pressures.” (Sam Lipsyte, BookForum)
“In this intriguing novel, Don DeLillo trains his intense and singular vision on a future where people with the imagination and resources to achieve it may succeed in rewriting [the necessity of death].” (Shelf Awareness)
"Among DeLillo's finest work... DeLillo sneaks a heartbreaking story of a son attempting to reconnect with his father into his thought-provoking novel." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
"Lush in thought and feeling... Intently observant and obsessively concerned with language and meaning, Jeffery is a mesmerizing and disquieting narrator as he describes the “eerie and disembodying” ambiance of the Convergence and its ritualized, morally murky amalgam of mysticism and science, from the “post-mortem décor,” punctuated by unnerving sculptures and violent cinematic montages, to the sarcophagus-pods containing naked, cryopreserved voyagers to the unknown... DeLillo infuses the drama with metaphysical riddles: What of ourselves can actually be preserved? What will resurrection pilgrims experience in their cold limbo? With immortality reserved for the elite, what will become of the rest of humanity on our pillaged, bloodied, extinction-plagued planet? In this magnificently edgy and profoundly inquisitive tale, DeLillo reflects on what we remember and forget, what we treasure and destroy, and what we fail to do for each other and for life itself... DeLillo reaffirms his standing as one of the world’s most significant writers." (Booklist, starred review)
“DeLillo homes in on what may be the ultimate—and deceptively simple—lesson of his novel, which is that in the end, the questions we ask about where death takes us are the same ones we ask about where life takes us.” (The Atlantic)
“Reveals itself as perhaps the author’s most fully animated exploration of human feeling.” (Andrew Martin, Vice)
About the Author
Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Zero K, Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won 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. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. His story collection The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
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This is really too bad. I counted DeLillo as one of my favourite author's for quite some time, but I'm really not sure I'm going to buy another book of his. The string of disappointments is now too long, and I don't see any turnaround in sight.
I guess his publishing firm just didn't have the guts to tell him this was a huge mistake. He sets up the premise early in the book which appears promising and then the story goes nowhere. A total disappointment and a waste of time.
Unfortunately, the story never takes off. Perhaps the use of the first person narrative limited the scope of what could be told. The main character, whose name I can’t even remember, is lonely, rootless and really not very interesting. He spends a lot of his time defining words (“define rock”, “a hard substance, mineral...”) and giving names in his head to his interlocutors. The dialogue is flat. I felt nothing for the characters. The descriptions of the surroundings are repetitive. And nothing really happens. Oh well.
One good thing though, it is short, so at least it doesn’t require a lot of time to read it if you must.