White Noise by Don DeLillo

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Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitler Studies (though he doesn't speak German). He has been married five times to four women and has a brood of children and stepchildren (Heinrich, Denise, Steffie, Wilder) with his current wife, Babette. Jack and Babette are both extremely afraid of death; they frequently wonder "who will die first". The first part of White Noise, called "Waves and Radiation," is a chronicle of absurdist family life combined with academic satire. There is little plot in this section, and it mainly sets the scene for the rest of the book. Another important character introduced here is Murray, who frequently discusses his theories, which relate to the rest of the book.

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The 335th greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 4th on 50 Books to Read Before You Die (Complex)
  2. - 30th on Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books (Harvard Book Store)
  3. - 63rd on Koen Book Distributors Top 100 Books of the Past Century (themodernnovel.com)
  4. - 82nd on Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels (Radcliffe Publishing Course)
  5. - What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years? (New York Times)
  6. - National Book Award - Fiction (National Book Foundation)
  7. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)
  8. - The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993 (Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com)

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