In Players, DeLillo explores the dark side of contemporary affluence and its discontents. Pammy and Lyle Wynant are an attractive, modern couple who seem to have it all. Yet behind their "ideal" life is a lingering boredom and quiet desperation: Their talk is mostly chatter, their sex life more a matter of obligatory "satisfaction" than pleasure. Then Lyle sees a man killed on the floor of the Stock Exchange and becomes involved with the terrorists responsible; Pammy leaves for Maine with a homosexual couple...and still they remain untouched, "players" indifferent to the violence that surrounds them and that they have helped to create.
Originally published in 1977 (before his National Book Award-winning White Noise and the recent blockbuster Underworld), Players is a fast-moving yet starkly drawn socially critical drama that demonstrates the razor-sharp prose and thematic density for which DeLillo is renowned today. "The wit, elegance, and economy of Don DeLillo's art are equal to the bitter clarity of his perceptions" (The New York Times Book Review).
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Occasional flashes of DeLillo's Brilliance
My least favorite DeLillo so far. But it is STILL a DeLillo and seems to capture and color a specific zone of the pre-9/11 America well. It produced occasional flashes of earlier and later DeLillo Brilliance. I saw elements that would grow into Mao II, White Noise, etc. This was a homonculous for those later, far better novels, in my opinion. If you are a DeLillo fanatic, I'd read this. But if this is your first exposure to DeLillo, check out: White Noise, Underworld, Mao II, Libra first.
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