Don DeLillo is an acclaimed American author known for his works exploring postmodernism, the impact of technology, and the complexities of contemporary life. His novels often address themes of isolation, the disintegration of society, and the quest for meaning. Notable works include 'White Noise,' 'Libra,' 'Underworld,' and 'Cosmopolis.' DeLillo has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to literature, including the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
1. White Noise
The novel is a postmodern exploration of death and consumerism in the United States. It follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitler Studies at a small liberal arts college in Middle America. Jack and his fourth wife, Babette, are afraid of death and are obsessed with finding a cure for their fear. Their lives are disrupted by an airborne toxic event, which forces them to confront their mortality and the toxic effects of modern life.
"Underworld" is a sweeping narrative that spans from the 1950s to the end of the 20th century, exploring the interconnectedness of events and the impact of the Cold War on American society. The story revolves around a diverse group of characters, including a waste management executive, a graffiti artist, a nun, and a baseball collector, among others. These characters' lives intertwine in unexpected ways, illustrating the complex web of relationships and influences that shape our world. The novel is renowned for its vivid portrayal of historical events and its profound examination of themes such as memory, technology, and waste.
3. Mao II
"Mao II" is a novel that explores the life of a reclusive novelist who hasn't been seen in public for many years. The protagonist is drawn out of his seclusion when he becomes involved in an international crisis involving a hostage situation in Beirut. The book delves into themes of terrorism, mass culture, and the power of the written word, while examining the relationship between the individual artist and the collective society.
This novel is a fictionalized account of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy. It explores Oswald's troubled childhood, his time in the Soviet Union, his return to America, and his involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate the president. The story is told from multiple perspectives, including that of Oswald himself, his mother, and various fictional characters, creating a complex and nuanced portrait of a man who has become a symbol of one of the most traumatic events in American history.
5. Running Dog
The novel is a fast-paced political thriller set in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, revolving around the search for a possibly mythical pornographic film that may have been shot in Hitler's bunker. As various parties—including a journalist, a government operative, and a group of radicals—vie for possession of the film, the narrative delves into the seedy underbelly of late 1970s New York. The story explores themes of power, obsession, and the commodification of history, all while providing a critique of American culture and the pervasive influence of the media. The characters' intersecting quests lead to a dark and violent confrontation, reflecting the paranoia and disillusionment of the era.