A brilliant satire of mass culture and the numbing effects of technology, White Noise tells the story of Jack Gladney, a teacher of Hitler studies at a liberal arts college in Middle America. Jack and his fourth wife, Babette, bound by their love, fear of death, and four ultramodern offspring, navigate the rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism. Then a lethal black chemical cloud, unleashed by an industrial accident, floats over there lives, an "airborne toxic event" that is a more urgent and visible version of the white noise engulfing the Gladneys—the radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, and TV murmurings that constitute the music of American magic and dread.
Chairman of the department of Hitler studies at a Midwestern college, Jack Gladney is accidently exposed to a cloud of noxious chemicals, part of a world of the future that is doomed because of misused technology, artifical products and foods, and overpopulation. PW appreciated DeLillo's "bleak, ironic'' vision, calling it ``not so much a tragic view of history as a macabre one.'' January
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A must read
I loved this book the first time I read it, it's by far DeLillo's best work. If you like clever, witty books this will surely become your favorite. I wish they'd make a movie out of this book -- get the Coen brothers to adapt and direct it. Instant best picture of the decade. Yet as great as that would be to see, just reading the book, with DeLillo's brilliant prose, is the best entertainment to be found. I assure you that your iPad is woefully incomplete without "White Noise" in you iBook-shelf.
wow! what an amazing book. a true classic. love the character development. plot is strange, but the writing superb.
Brilliant writing. But dead. DeLillo writes characters as though he hoped never to have to meet or know any of them. Useful puppets. They make the arguments he wants to make about the artificiality of modern consumer society. They—and the events DeLillo drags us through—are otherwise without either depth or interest.