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don delillo usually delves into the national consciousness and does it so well. the body artist is an intimate story about an individual's grief. it's a short concise yet intimate and breathtaking story. Lauren Hartke has returned to a lonely house on the coast to mourn her husband's suicide. she spends her time thinking about the past, her past life with Rey, and going over who she was when suddenly another person appears. the man, mr. tuttle, as she nicknames him, is an enigma. had he been living in the summer rental while she and Rey were vacationing there? is he a ghost in this lonely seaside house? or is he a figment of her imagination created from grief? Regardless of who or why he is there, Mr. Tuttle repeats tid bits of conversations the couple had and his words are like a puzzle that Laura is putting together. His strange utterances are contrasted by her sensuous movements. she's a body artist and contorts herself in a desire to "erase pain." His words and her movements illuminate who she is, who they were, and about existence. it's a good book...but like all of his novels...even this short story...there's a lot of symbolism and clues for you to have fun with to really get at the soul of the story. truly impressive.

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I'm a big fan of DeLillo, but i have to say that i really wasn't impressed with this book. It was a bit too spare and i didn't feel that worked with DeLillo's linguistic style.
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I have to disagree with you, Pug. His prose, while at times borders on sentimental and it is apparent Delillo was grappeling with how to express his idea through his character (especially recurring in the development of Laura's character), the stream of consciousness brilliantly exposes human flaws, passions, and unearthes questions about self! I think he took a big risk moving his postmodernistic style from the national consciousness and using it to expose what is personal and indvidual.

You know, I was reminded of Faulkner reading this. Obviously, the themes and motifs that readers encounters in Delillo and Faulkner are different, but I'm speaking of a remarkable style, a technique that make these authors so profound and literary geniuses. I kept thinking about the Sound and the Fury as I read the Body Artist. So much futitlity and so much people just don't know about themselves...yet yearn to know. The technique employed in both stories....astounding. You have to pay attention to the details in this story, how he tells this story is the story, and you put the pieces together...pieces of a puzzle, a fragmented puzzle, that are the pieces of the characters' lives.

If you don't like postmodernism then stay away from it. easily done, but it's not a novel to be dismissed and nor is the technique. i found it to be awesome in its depth and originality.
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I can appreciate that, but he was coming off of Underworld, so my expectations were a bit on the high side at the time. I felt let down, though i'm glad you liked (or loved) the book. I was also disappointed with Cosmopolis, which i think i called "a middle tier novel from a top tier author". Still, i can't wait to see what the man puts out next.
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Oh, I agree, Underworld is amazing. I haven't read Cosmopolis, though. My favorite is White Noise.
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