The Friday Five: DeLillo

In celebration of the release of Falling Man, which I plan to begin reading tonight, and inspired by James Tata’s post, I’m bringing back the long lost “Friday Five” (a.k.a “my method for killing the last mind-numbing minutes of another lost work week”).

My Favorite Don DeLillo Novels

1. Underworld — Generally speaking, I’m suspicious of novels this long, but Underworld, I think, achieves its massive ambitions. One of my few regrets about leaving academia when I did was that I never got to write my DeLillo chapter.

2. The Body Artist — Am I the only person who loves this novel? The Body Artist is short enough to be read in a single setting, which is the only reason DeLillo gets away with this strange little prose experiment about grief. My dream film adaptation would be Claire Denis’s take on it.

3. Libra — Of course DeLillo wrote a great novel about Lee Harvey Oswald. How could he not? What other subject would better encompass DeLillo’s obsessions with conspiracy, image culture, and American history?

4. White Noise — The only time I read White Noise I was still driving my first car, a 1986 Toyota Celica. DeLillo, as you might recall, turns “Celica” into a magically meaningless incantation, and I’ve loved him ever since.

5. Americana — I have a weakness for exuberant first novels, especially when they involve road trips and blindlingly bright metaphors.