White Noise by Don DeLillo
(Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 8 Critic Reviews



Jack Gladney teaches Hitler studies at a liberal arts college in Middle America where his colleagues include New york expatriates who want to immerse themselves in "American magic and dread." Jack and his fourth wife, Babette, bound by their love, fear of death, and four ultramodern offspring, navigate the usual rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism.Then a lethal black chemical cloud floats over their lives, an "airborne toxic event" unleashed by an industrial accident. The menacing cloud is a more urgent and visible version of the "white noise" engulfing the Gladney family--radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, ultrasonic appliances, and TV murmerings--pulsing with life, yet heralding the danger of death.


About Don DeLillo

See more books from this Author
Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In October 2012, DeLillo receives the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his body of work.
Published January 21, 1985 by Penguin Books. 340 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for White Noise

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

DeLillo, whose recent taste for fashionable conspiracy and political/philosophical statement has detracted from his eloquent gifts, is back in top form here: sections of this new novel harken back to his best, early, most generous work—and also extend themselves further into regions of dark...

Sep 22 2011 | Read Full Review of White Noise (Penguin Great Bo...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Chairman of the department of Hitler studies at a Midwestern college, Jack Gladney is accidently exposed to a cloud of noxious chemicals, part of a world of the future that is doomed because of misuse

Jan 01 1986 | Read Full Review of White Noise (Penguin Great Bo...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

The novel's first short section informs us that ''homemade signs concerning lost dogs and cats are posted on telephone poles all over town'' - signs often handwritten by children.

Jan 13 1985 | Read Full Review of White Noise (Penguin Great Bo...

Los Angeles Times

See more reviews from this publication

Three years ago, when Glenn Savan was still wondering if he'd ever make it as a novelist, and the Bantam New Fiction series, which Savan's "White Palace" launches, wasn't even a gleam in the publisher's eye, the rights market for fiction reprints was already inflated.

Aug 02 1987 | Read Full Review of White Noise (Penguin Great Bo...

The Bookbag

On top of all that, there is even something wrong with death itself, even death has changed, the death that Jack fears is an 'artificial death - like stink of burning plastic', not a real one, like a 'proper' fire.

Nov 27 2014 | Read Full Review of White Noise (Penguin Great Bo...

Suite 101

Written in 1985, Delillo's White Noise is a postmodern juggernaut that has earned its reputation as one of the best novels of the twentieth century.

Dec 28 2009 | Read Full Review of White Noise (Penguin Great Bo...

The Atlantic

This morning, "Track 3" from Taylor Swift's new album, "1989," rose to No.

Oct 22 2014 | Read Full Review of White Noise (Penguin Great Bo...


People in “the reality-based community,” he told a reporter, “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality … That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” A year later, The Colbert Report went on the air.

Oct 22 2014 | Read Full Review of White Noise (Penguin Great Bo...

Reader Rating for White Noise

An aggregated and normalized score based on 469 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

JD Fleming

JD Fleming 27 Jan 2016

Liked the book