This is a tremendous book for book club discussions. Astonishingly, the book is 30-years old. Yet, even before smartphones, the 24-hour news cycle, Breaking Bad, Gawker, the weekly supermarket aisle updates on Jennifer Aniston’s search for Mr. Right…no wait that was around in 1985, Don Delillo was feeling the pressure of what was the ever present, ADD-inducing advertising of the day. With the advent of digital marketing, there is no doubt he’s on prescription Dylar today.
Early in the book you will wonder if you will ever care a lick about the Gladley’s family, with their inane idiosyncrasies and their who’s who to who family structure, but the veracity of the described ambient white noise captured in the writing is absorbing. Dacron, Orlon, Lycra, Spandex. Then just as you are ready to curl up with solid old Hitler in J.A.K.’s worn copy of Mein Kampf, along comes Murray Jay Suskind and his fascination with the psychic data continually at our disposal. Murray becomes Jack’s unacknowledged analyst and they have remarkable conversations throughout the book. Murray appearances are like dumping nitrous oxide into the book’s engine. It just leaps in power when he is present.
There is a lot discuss, e.g., Nyodene-D, fear of death, enhanced sunsets, toxic cloud eating microbes, New York emigres, SIMUVAC, Babette’s important hair, etc… Enjoy. Toyota Corolla, Toyota Celica, Toyota Cressida.