Recommended by: Rik Andes, College of Humanities & Social
Why you should think about reading this book: Despite being
written over 30 years ago, DeLillo’s examination of how people living in a
modern society shield themselves from the painful realities of life is
still incredibly relevant today. The “white noise” of the title references
the kind of random noise produced by a badly tuned radio which is sometimes
used to mask other unwanted noises. In DeLillo’s Midwestern college town,
life is filled with white noise produced by a symphony of sources:
technology and commercialism, disjointed and misinformed families,
experimental pharmaceuticals and Airborne Toxic Events, and even Hitler.
Follow J.A.K. Gladney, professor and founder of Hitler Studies at
College-on-the-Hill, as he moves through the waves and radiation of modern
life and tries to avoid the most unwanted information around him: his own
Favorite quote: “Who will die first?
This question comes up from time to time, like where are the car keys.
It ends a sentence, prolongs a glance between us. I wonder if the thought
itself is part of the nature of physical love, a reverse Darwinism that
awards sadness and fear to the survivor. Or is it some inert element in the
air we breathe, a rare thing like neon, with a melting point, an atomic
weight? ... Sometimes I think our love is inexperienced. The question of
dying becomes a wise reminder. It cures us of our innocence of the future.
Simple things are doomed, or is that a superstition?
The Airport Marriott, the Downtown Travelodge, the Sheraton Inn and