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“I move past the scaffolding and walk down the steps, hearing one language after another, rich, harsh, mysterious, strong. This is what we bring to the temple, not prayer or chant or slaughtered rams. Our offering is language.”
― Don DeLillo, The Names
For 4/5 of this book Don DeLillo was surfing in Mao II, White Noise, Underworld, and Libra territory. I was jamming. Words. Names. Cults. Terrorism. It was fantastic. But there was 1/5 (yup, math works) of this book right before the last few pages where DeLillo just let go of the narrative kite. It was like I was meditating and almost ready to escape the wheel with this book Don, and at the very end your chanting just put me to sleep. Still, 4/5 of this book rocked. And maybe it was me and not you Don. Maybe. I'll review tomorrow some more. Maybe I'll even re-read the last 60+ pages. See if I can detect God or meaning in those words. Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe I'm not thinking right. Tomorrow, I'll look at this again with fresh eyes.
[Post Rest] I'm still not ready to make it five stars. It doesn't quite belong to the same orbit as those DeLillo novels listed above. HOWEVER, there was something visceral about this novel that grabbed me (and yes lost me for a bit). I remember going to high school in Turkey in the late 80s. Hell, Kurdish Marxist terrorists inadvertently saved my life (long, but true story). DeLillo's novel is an archeology or words, a history of terror, a hunt for God and the economics of understanding. It is at times a frustrating prose poem and at times glorious burp in a cave. It gives serious echoes of MAO II. It is infinitely quotable. It whirls like a dusty dervish on sacred Name of God. Reducing memory and history to the initials of the Great unknown.
13 of 16 people found this review helpful
not an easy read. not sure if it is worth the bother. great narration though
1 of 3 people found this review helpful