The Silence

The Silence

Book - 2020/10
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From one of the most dazzling and essential voices in American fiction, a timely and compelling novel set in the near future about five people gathered together in a Manhattan apartment, in the midst of a catastrophic event.

Don DeLillo completed this novel just weeks before the advent of Covid-19. The Silence is the story of a different catastrophic event. Its resonances offer a mysterious solace.

It is Super Bowl Sunday in the year 2022. Five people, dinner, an apartment on the east side of Manhattan. The retired physics professor and her husband and her former student waiting for the couple who will join them from what becomes a dramatic flight from Paris. The conversation ranges from a survey telescope in North-central Chile to a favorite brand of bourbon to Einstein's 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity.

Then something happens and the digital connections that have transformed our lives are severed.

What follows is a dazzling and profoundly moving conversation about what makes us human. Never has the art of fiction been such an immediate guide to our navigation of a bewildering world. Never have DeLillo's prescience, imagination, and language been more illuminating and essential.

"Mysterious...Unexpectedly touching...[DeLillo offers] consolation simply by enacting so well the mystery and awe of the real world." --Joshua Ferris, The New York Times Book Review

"DeLillo [has] almost Dayglo powers as a writer." -- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Brilliant and astonishing...a masterpiece...manages to renew DeLillo's longstanding obsessions while also striking deeply and swiftly at the reader's emotions...The effect is transcendent." --Charles Finch, Chicago Tribune

"Daring... provocative... exquisite...captures the swelling fears of our age."
--Ron Charles, The Washington Post
Publisher: Scribner 2020/10
ISBN: 9781982164553
Branch Call Number: ON ORDER


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Nov 13, 2020

The apocalypse has never been so dull and pretentious.

Oct 31, 2020

There is nothing particularly spectacular about this novel beyond the prescient nature of the subject matter. Amidst a global pandemic which has forced generations of people to reconsider nearly everything about their lives, this novel serves as a brief preamble to the tenuous months that have been filled with day-in and day-out agony of living in the unknown present moment of history.
The Silence articulates the feelings of uncertainty which marked the beginning of the current Covid-19 crisis or conspiracy. Whichever you choose to believe, we have all had to suffer through feelings of loss and helplessness, ultimately being left staring blankly at a screen imagining a better time in our lives, just as DeLillo’s characters are left doing in this, his latest novel.

STPL_JessH Oct 24, 2020

I have absolutely no idea what is going on in this novel. I read it and thought, well, okay?! If someone who enjoyed it would like to go to bat for it, let me know. I'm available to hear opinions :) Currently, I'm advising readers, DeLillo fans or not, to approach with caution lest disappointment ensue.

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