Universal blackout

A minimalist with much content
by
December 2020, no. 427
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Don Anderson reviews 'The Silence: A novel' by Don DeLillo

The Silence: A novel

by Don DeLillo

Picador, $29.99 hb, 116 pp

Buy this book

Universal blackout

A minimalist with much content
by
December 2020, no. 427

‘Literary talent,’ writes Martin Amis in his new ‘novel’, Inside Story, ‘has perhaps four or five ways of dying. Most writers simply become watery and subtly stale.’ Not so the eighty-three-year-old Don DeLillo, who has published seventeen novels over the last fifty years, all of them muscular, intelligent, prescient. In 1988, he told an interviewer from Rolling Stone, ‘I think fiction rescues history from its confusions.’

This is true of his mammoth 827-page Underworld (1997); it is no less so of this year’s brief but brilliant The Silence, which clocks in at a slender 116 pages. Truly it might be said of late-phase DeLillo as Australian poet Laurie Duggan has of himself: ‘I’m a minimalist with a lot of content.’ Or as a character in a Donald Barthelme ‘novel’ says: ‘Fragments are the only forms I trust.’

Don Anderson reviews 'The Silence: A novel' by Don DeLillo

The Silence: A novel

by Don DeLillo

Picador, $29.99 hb, 116 pp

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