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The Names Kindle Edition
"DeLillo's most accomplished novel." --Time
"Compelling...strange and wonderful and frightening." --The New Yorker
"Exotic, atmospheric, curiously suspenseful, full of characters at once unusual and fully realized...an extraordinarily original and enveloping piece of work." --Los Angeles Times Book Review --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B005I4UATY
- Publisher : Picador; Main Market edition (19 August 2011)
- Language : English
- File size : 911 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 351 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0679722955
- Best Sellers Rank: #587,865 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top review from India
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Stuff like why language does what it does. How it is powerful. Both the dialogue and DeLillo's notions of language tell you a few things about it.
The characters are very different than your normal characters--as most DeLillo characters seem to be. They have heavy notions, and have sharp tongues. Their snappy dialogue is so absorbing that you want them to keep talking. There's a rhythm to their speech. And well, there's the prose-poetry precision of DeLillo's language.
This book is not a casual reading, but it's a great book still.
Top reviews from other countries
I mention cults because they are at the very center of THE NAMES. In this intriguing but fraught novel, you will find cultish behavior by American businesspeople that live overseas. You will find anti-American political operatives, whose obsessiveness and secretiveness border on the cultish. And you will find one true cult, the marginal and murderous Ta Onὀmata, which means THE NAMES in Greek. Cults... this is a book about cults and their hold on certain imaginations.
I'd say DeLillo explores this cultish theme primarily through three characters. The first is James Axton, who narrates most of the book. "Something in our method finds a home in your unconscious mind," explains Andahl, a renegade member of Ta Onὀmata, to James. "A recognition. This curious recognition is not subject to conscious scrutiny. Our program evokes something that you seem to understand and find familiar...We are working at a pre-verbal level."
The second character offering perspective on cults is Frank Volterra, a film maker who thinks Ta Onὀmata would provide a riveting subject for a film. Frank, in disputation with James, says Ta Onὀmata is different from the Manson family, who murdered only to murder. "Totally different. Different in every respect. These people are monks, they're secular monks. They want to vault into eternity."
Finally, DeLillo creates Owen Brademas, a brilliant talker and archeologist. Initially, his take on the cult is: "They are engaged in a painstaking denial. We can see them as people intent on ritualizing a denial of our elemental nature.... We know we will die." But ultimately, this intellectual approach makes way for the reach and power of a boyhood memory, when he witnessed family members undergo the ecstatic religious experience of "talking in tongues."
I suppose the issue posed by each of these characters is: How far will James, Frank, and Owen allow the release of cult-induced ecstasy to take them? To the level of, say, aggressive seduction? Or perhaps to the level of creepy vicarious witness? Or maybe to the level of complicity and the self-destruction of long held-values?
Anyway, DeLillo takes you on a very disturbing exploration in THE NAMES, where his characters cope (or not) with the pull of ecstasy and their individual needs for immersion in life.
Rounded up to five-stars and recommended.