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The Body Artist

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The Body Artist Cover

ISBN13: 9780743203968
ISBN10: 0743203968
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

The opening chapter of Don DeLillo's massive Underworld ties a 1951 baseball game between the Giants and the Dodgers to the beginnings of both the Cold War (the game was played on the same day the Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb) and of the peculiar paranoia, epitomized in the figure of J. Edgar Hoover, that characterized the era. Arguably the most ambitious novel of the nineties, Underworld made sweeping connections across vast spaces and over decades of time. In the first chapter of his next novel, The Body Artist, a husband and wife have breakfast together. Through the couple's ritualized bickering and evasions, DeLillo reveals their essential isolation and claustrophobia. Where Underworld was epic, The Body Artist is intimate. Where the former explored the movement of the entire culture, the latter explores the personal experience of one individual. It was as though Michelangelo, after completing the Sistine Chapel, had turned around and taken up needlepoint. However, though readers were surprised by the extreme contrast between the two novels, they actually have more in common than is apparent at first glance: both deal with the dehumanizing effects of modern technology on human life; both are written in the clean, evocative prose that has made DeLillo one of the world's most celebrated stylists; and both demonstrate that DeLillo is not only one of our greatest writers, but also one of our most versatile. What Martin Amis wrote after reading Underworld is equally true of The Body Artist: It "may or may not be a great novel, but there is no doubt that it renders DeLillo a great novelist." Farley, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

For thirty years, since the publication of his first novel, Americana, Don DeLillo has lived in the skin of our times. He has found a voice for the forgotten souls who haunt the fringes of our culture and for its larger-than-life, real-life figures. His language is defiantly, radiantly American.

Now, to a new century, he has brought The Body Artist. In this spare, seductive novel, he inhabits the muted world of Lauren Hartke, an artist whose work defies the limits of the body. Lauren is living on a lonely coast in a rambling rented house, where she encounters a strange, ageless man, a man with uncanny knowledge of her own life. Together they begin a journey into the wilderness of time — time, love, and human perception. The Body Artist is a haunting, beautiful, and profoundly moving novel from one of the finest writers of our time.

Review:

"This book marks a departure for Don DeLillo as a novelist and is not calculated to please admirers of his earlier work. With its austere prose, brief compass, and enigmatic narrative, it reads more like a novel by J.M. Coetzee than by the author of White Noise, Libra, and Underworld. The Body Artist lacks the verbal energy, sprawling story, broad canvas, and kaleidoscopic cast of characters that distinguish DeLillo's famous novels. Instead he offers an intense, virtually claustrophobic focus on less than a handful of characters, who remain shadowy and deliberately unrealized. The novel is so quiet that one could hear a pin drop, as it were; indeed DeLillo devotes a whole paragraph to the falling of a paper clip. The mood of the work is captured in a typical passage: 'She took a bite of cereal and forgot to taste it. She lost the taste somewhere between the time she put the food in her mouth and the regretful second she swallowed it.' The Body Artist has a kind of stark beauty all its own, but DeLillo seems to have strayed from what he does best as a novelist." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Review:

"Dazzling, disturbing, and lyrical." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review:

"Eerie and sometimes discomfiting...DeLillo achieves a creepily hypnotic effect with his stark, probing prose....A glimpse at the desolate landscape that all of us inhabit and where no one else is." Gail Caldwell, The Boston Globe

Review:

"A tightly constructed string quartet...[a] spare gem of a novel." Joseph Tirella, People

Review:

"The work of a masterful writer." Newsweek

Synopsis:

From the award-winning, bestselling author of White Noise and Underworld comes a spare, seductive, novel about marriage, loneliness, and the nature of creativity. Widow Lauren Hardke encounters a strange man possessed of knowledge of her life, and accompanies him on an extraordinary exploration of time, love, and human perception.

Synopsis:

“DeLillo’s most affecting novel yet...A dazzling, phosphorescent work of art.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“The clearest vision yet of what it felt like to live through that day.” —Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

“A metaphysical ghost story about a woman alone…intimate, spare, exquisite.” —Adam Begley, The New York Times Book Review

“A brilliant new novel....Don DeLillo continues to think about the modern world in language and images as quizzically beautiful as any writer.” — San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

This is Don DeLillo's twelfth novel. His fiction has won many honors in this country and abroad, including the National Book Award, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his novel, Underworld.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Tistra doBy, September 11, 2009 (view all comments by Tistra doBy)
I enjoyed this short novel by Don DeLillo. The novel is more like a short story. The writing focuses on the nature of time and the inner workings of one's psyche when dealing with grief and loss. The prose is in turns poetic, starkly realist, fantastical and impressionistic.

Cosmopolis, another Don DeLillo novel that, though short in length and much different from The Body Artist, was masterful and a nice departure for the author. Underworld and White Noise, were excellent, but so are The Body Artist and Cosmopolis in their own way.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Sharon Skinner, June 1, 2008 (view all comments by Sharon Skinner)
I couldn't get past the first few pages, which consisted largely of a chain-of-consciousness-type description of the woman eating cereal and her husband reading the paper. Apparently, not my cup of tea, made stronger by leaving the bag in the water, then lifting it and dunking it, lifting it and dunking it and finally lifting it out of the water and placing it on a plate where the remaining water pools darkly around the edges leaving a stain . . .
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743203968
Author:
DeLillo, Don
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Location:
New York, NY
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Man-woman relationships
Subject:
Identity
Subject:
Grief
Subject:
Women artists
Subject:
Widows
Subject:
Spouses
Subject:
Bereavement in art
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Identity (psychology)
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
short novel; ghost story; Underworld; White Noise; novella; Falling Man; storytelling; short stories; fiction; Libra; Americana; Angel Esmeralda; The Names; End Zone
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
B102
Series Volume:
107-261
Publication Date:
February 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in 5.25 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Body Artist Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743203968 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Dazzling, disturbing, and lyrical."
"Review" by , "Eerie and sometimes discomfiting...DeLillo achieves a creepily hypnotic effect with his stark, probing prose....A glimpse at the desolate landscape that all of us inhabit and where no one else is."
"Review" by , "A tightly constructed string quartet...[a] spare gem of a novel."
"Review" by , "The work of a masterful writer."
"Synopsis" by , From the award-winning, bestselling author of White Noise and Underworld comes a spare, seductive, novel about marriage, loneliness, and the nature of creativity. Widow Lauren Hardke encounters a strange man possessed of knowledge of her life, and accompanies him on an extraordinary exploration of time, love, and human perception.
"Synopsis" by , “DeLillo’s most affecting novel yet...A dazzling, phosphorescent work of art.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“The clearest vision yet of what it felt like to live through that day.” —Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

“A metaphysical ghost story about a woman alone…intimate, spare, exquisite.” —Adam Begley, The New York Times Book Review

“A brilliant new novel....Don DeLillo continues to think about the modern world in language and images as quizzically beautiful as any writer.” — San Francisco Chronicle

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