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Mao II (English Edition) Bill Gray, a famous, reclusive novelist, emerges from his isolation when he becomes the key figure in an event staged to force the release of a poet hostage in Beirut As Bill enters the world of political violence, a nightscape of Semtex explosives and hostages locked in basement rooms, Bill s dangerous passage leaves two people stranded his brilliant, fixated assistant, Scott, and the strange young woman who is Scott s lover and Bill sAn extraordinary novel from Don DeLillo about words and images, novelists and terrorists, the mass mind and the arch individualist, Mao II explores a world in which the novelist s power to influence the inner life of a culture now belongs to bomb makers and gunmen Winner of the PEN Faulkner Award, Mao II is the work of an ingenious writer at the height of his powers Bill Gray ist einer jener Schriftsteller, die ein abgeschiedenes Leben f hren wollen und eifrig darauf bedacht sind, dass keine Bilder und keine pers nliche Information an die ffentlichkeit gelangen Bill zehrt immer noch vom Ruf vergangener Tage, da sein neuester Roman seit Jahren auf seine Fertigstellung wartet Als in Beirut ein Zivilist entf hrt wird, hat Bills Verleger eine grandiose Idee, um seinen Autor wieder ins Gespr ch zu bringen Er soll an die ffentlichkeit gehen, um f r die Freilassung der Geisel einzutreten Im Verlauf des Romans hat Bill genug Zeit, um ber Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen Autoren und Terroristen zu philosophieren There is a curious knot that binds novelists and terrorists In the West we became famous effigies as our books lose the power to shape and influence Years ago I used to think it was possible for a novelist to alter the inner life of the culture Now bomb makers and gunmen have taken the territory The make raids on human consciousness 41 Mao II ist so eine Art Anti Tom Clancy Roman In Clancys B chern bildet der Nahe Osten stets eine abenteuerlich spannende Hintergrundskulisse, auf der gutaussehende Amerikaner Feinden von Freiheit und Demokratie das F rchten lehren Bei Don DeLillo, einem der pr zisesten Analysten der nordamerikanischen Kultur, sieht das anders aus Ausgebrannte und desillusionierte Figuren geraten mehr oder weniger zuf llig in einen dreckigen Kampf, in dem es keine klare Grenze zwischen Gut und B se mehr gibt und ein Sinn weit und breit nicht zu entdecken ist Auch Bill muss in Beirut feststellen What terrorists gain, novelists lose The degree to which they loose mass consciousness is the extent of our decline as shapers of sensibility and thought The danger they represent equals our own failure to be dangerous 157.1991 erschienen, ist Mao II heute aktueller denn je DeLillos Bemerkungen ber die Auswirkungen des Terrorismus auf unsere westliche Kultur wissen zu berzeugen Die Schwierigkeit, die heutige Weltlage ad quat darzustellen, spiegelt sich auch in der Struktur des Romans wieder Dennoch, oder vielleicht gerade deshalb, gelingt dem Buch eine spannendere Darstellung unserer Kultur als so manch anderen Werken. This fascinating novel probes the connection between isolation and mass movements in the modern world In doing so, DeLillo is intensely personal, creating memorable characters who are visually and emotionally there, on the page, in full brilliance and confusion He also employs sublime writing, which captures experiences, images, or ideas of individual isolation or mass movements and then juxtaposes them, showing weird but profound connections My favorite pages are 149 153, where DeLillo describes New York City s Tompkins Square in the early nineties Then, drug abusers, the mentally ill, and the homeless turned this lovely neighborhood square into a shambling, threatening shantytown If you missed it, DeLillo has saved the moment.The central figure in this book is Bill Gray, an isolated writer with a wide and discerning following Anyone who wants to write might ponder two of his insights Writing is bad for the soul when you get right down to it It protects your worst tendencies page198 or, It was the writing that caused his life to disappear page 215. I am always torn between recommending Mao II or White Noise to those who want to try some DeLillo Perhaps one can consider Mao II to be a watered down White Noise its characters and events are fleshed out , and it reads like a novel than a collection of clever aphorisms.Mao II lacks the edginess of White Noise, but at the same time, we should applaud DeLillo of not harping on the theme of America is really consumerist for ever and ever A writer of his skill can take on challenging themes than that.So what s it about It s about individuals and crowds, and the frightening equivalence between the lone wolf individual and the composite of crowds Think repeating Mao portrait Think of the name of the reclusive, lone wolf main character Bill Gray There s also stuff about art, and of course DeLillo s ubiquitous novelists are terrorists insinuations.This is probably my second favorite DeLillo, and the one I d recommend to someone looking for something like a traditional novel It was very enjoyable, although perhaps not as intellectually searing as something like White Noise or Pynchon s Lot 49.

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