6. Underworld, by Don de Lillo


This is said to be a Great American Novel. It is long – 31 hours of audiobook, or apparently 800 pages of print.

I struggled to see the point. Perhaps I’m not clever enough.

This is one of those books that jump around in time. We do not get the chronology in chronological order.

I had a strong sensation for most of this book that it was a kind of spider’s web. There was a core of central events, all in about 1951. Everything reached out from there: sometimes we took a step outwards along a spoke, sometimes we were going around one of a number of concentric circles.

I also felt that about two thirds of the way in, the book lost its way. I kept going in the hope that there would be a big reveal of the point of it all. I’m not sure that there was.

I’m going to give this 5 out of 10.

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