Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: The Body Artist by Don Delillo

The Body Artist: A NovelTitle: The Body Artist

Author: Don Delillo

Pages: 124

Source: Personal library

Rating: 5/10

Summary (From book flap):

In this spare, seductive novel, he inhabits the muted world of Lauren Hartke, an artist whose work defies the limits of the body. Lauren is living on a lonely coast, in a rambling rented house, where she encounters a strange, ageless man, a man with uncanny knowledge of her own life. Together they begin a journey into the wilderness of time -- time, love and human perception.

My Two Cents:

I just need to learn to stay away from Don Delillo's books. I read White Noise in college and thought it was fabulous. So, I gave Underworld a try. I barely made it through that huge tome, and all I remember about it is that it was about baseball. I figured, though, that maybe that was a fluke of a book and I didn't take to it since I dislike baseball so much. That led me to giving The Body Artist a try.

I had the same issue with this book that I had with Franny and Zooey: Nothing happens. I know this is like the hallmark of all those esoteric modern novels that hipsters worship, but it just doesn't work for me. I found myself, even in just 124 pages, spacing out and wishing for it to be over. I know this sounds harsh, but there just wasn't much about this book that I liked.

The one saving grace of this novel is Delillo's writing. He certainly is one of the great craftsman of the English language currently alive. His sentences are varied and complex, and he has a knack for turning a phrase. But, really, that's about all I found to like about this book.


Anonymous said...

I so agree with you. DeLillo and me just do not gel. I have never liked any of his books that I have read. This book was probably the most tolerable primarily because it was brief.

Underworld was torture!

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