Friday, May 13, 2016

Life and Death…DeLillo-style

Zero K – Don DeLillo (Scribner)

Masterful wordsmith Don DeLillo is out with his latest effort Zero K which tracks the ages old questions of life and death and stacks them up against his magical ability to conjure up prophetic prose in his own unique style.

With a futurist’s eye that somehow elicits thoughts of a sci-fi movie where you keeping waiting for the experiment to go wrong, yet things never quite reach that tipping point in the narrative DeLillo somehow manages to stitch this story together. The problem is even with his gift for words and story Zero K just doesn’t quite track as well as DeLillo’s jaw clenching masterpieces Underworld and White Noise.

I couldn’t quite shake the tales of Ted Williams and alt Disney preserved in a cryogenic state as the storyline unfolds of a billionaire investor, his dying trophy wife, the mysterious locale where scientists are trying to bend life and death to our purposes; preserving bodies while we await cures so we can get back to living.

The level of symbolism thread through the story and underlying themes seem to get lost in the peripatetic prose. Like I said it just doesn’t quite hang together and track well for me.

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