Mar. 9. 2023 Blurb of the Week

Reviews and opinions on a current book


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

After watching the 2022 Netflix film adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel, “White Noise”, written and directed by Noah Baumbach, I knew that I would need to go back and read the book that inspired it. It seemed shockingly timely—prophetic, even—that the film’s release immediately preceded another non fictional “airborne toxic event” that took place, as it does in the novel, in the state of Ohio. Both events, real and fictional, not only took place in the flyover state, but were also the result of a train derailment that led to environmental catastrophe. DeLillo’s text explores contemporary life through the lens of the main character Jack Gladly, played by Adam Driver in the film. The book has a sly humor and interiority that allowed for topics including family life, academia, American consumerism, ontology and death to be examined critically and transformed into the absurd, life-affirming and pseudo-religious experience that readers might find elsewhere in poetry such as Allen Ginsberg’s “A Supermarket in California.” According to narrator Gladly, the text, “as all plots do,” moves us “deathward.” My only qualm with the novel, and really more of a nod towards film director Baumbach’s editorial touch, is that the Audible version of the text doesn’t conclude with LCD Soundsystem’s “new body rhumba”—a moving and heightened end punctuation to the film. Eerily timely, and with relentless humor, the book is well worth the time it takes to read and will only add depth and flavor to the film viewing experience.”