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&quot;Americans persue loneliness in various ways. For me Great Jones Street was a time of prayerful fatigue. I became a half-saint, practiced in visions, informed by a sense of bodily economy, but deficient in true pain.&quot;
- Don DeLillo, Great Jones Street
A good DeLillo, just not a great one. I read this on a flight from SF to Phoenix. While there were parts of it that I loved (again and again DeLillo can throw out a sentence that seems almost electric; a prose version of a perpetual motion machine), he also tried several experiments with this novel that seemed wasted, or perhaps foul balls. Let me list a few:
1. Lyrics - Please GOD don't inspire any future prose writers to suddenly want to fill their novels with lyrics. I understand that this is tempting, especially when writing about a rock legend. However, writing the lyrics of a famous, god-like, rock star is HARDER than writing a good sex scene. That wire is a tricky, slick one to walk.
2. Sex - DeLillo isn't bad at writing sex scenes, but he's not particularly great.
3. The Ending - a real whimper. I'm not sure the book ever was skipping at 4stars or 5, but the ending definitely didn't raise it up in my estimation. If I were to drop this book next to its peers by DeLillo, it would fit closer to 'Point Omega', 'Cosmopolis', and 'The Body Artist' than his great books. And these are all good books, but none great are GREAT DeLillo.
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