White Noise by Don DeLillo

Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitler Studies (though he doesn't speak German). He has been married five times to four women and has a brood of children and stepchildren (Heinrich, Denise, Steffie, Wilder) with his current wife, Babette. Jack and Babette are both extremely afraid of death; they frequently wonder "who will die first". The first part of White Noise, called "Waves and Radiation," is a chronicle of absurdist family life combined with academic satire. There is little plot in this section, and it mainly sets the scene for the rest of the book. Another important character introduced here is Murray, who frequently discusses his theories, which relate to the rest of the book.

The 263rd greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 4th on 50 Books to Read Before You Die (Complex)
  2. - 30th on Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books (Harvard Book Store)
  3. - 63rd on Koen Book Distributors Top 100 Books of the Past Century (themodernnovel.com)
  4. - 82nd on Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels (Radcliffe Publishing Course)
  5. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)
  6. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)
  7. - National Book Award - Fiction (National Book Foundation)
  8. - What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years? (New York Times)
  9. - The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993 (Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
White Noise (Contemporary American Fiction) Paperback 324672 $4.00 $0.01 1986
White Noise (Lib)(CD) Audio CD 4716400 $186.57 $9.97 2002
White Noise (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Paperback 338811 $2.95 $0.01 1999
White Noise Audible Audio Edition 7450 $23.95 2004
White Noise (Picador Books) Hardcover 6589670 $27.09
White Noise 1ST Edition Hardcover 9584403 $95.00
White Noise Kindle Edition 16286 $13.99 1999
White Noise Audible Audio Edition 4408 $20.95 2016
White Noise Audio CD 6788157 $173.00
White Noise (Contemporary American Fiction) Paperback 10713633 $20.36 1991
White Noise Paperback 42363 $9.99 $1.95 2009
White Noise: (Penguin Orange Collection) Paperback 75252 $12.41 2016
White Noise Hardcover 1006725 $92.40 $3.15 1985
White Noise (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) by DeLillo, Don unknown Edition [Paperback(1999)] Paperback 572016 $5.99 $1.60 1998
White Noise (Contemporary American Fiction) Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) Paperback 364163 $13.57 $7.30 1985
White Noise Hardcover 11598099 $8.00
White Noise Paperback 1296731 $5.00 $4.79 2012
Don DeLillo: Three Novels of the 1980s (LOA #363): The Names / White Noise / Libra (Library of America, 363) Hardcover 546164 $45.00 2022
White Noise: Text and Criticism (Viking Critical Library) Paperback 253745 $16.30 $1.91 1998