Monday, July 16, 2007
It's been six years since 9/11 and I still have mixed feelings reading or watching fictional works that deal with the subject. I've never read DeLillo but have read enough effusive praise of him that I was willing to give a novel of his about 9/11 a try. The main character is Keith, who survives the attacks. He walks from the falling towers to the home of his estranged wife, Lianne, and son, Justin and then stays. Other characters include Lianne's mother and her lover, Martin; another survivor named Florence, a performance artist who recreates the falling man jumping from the towers, and one of the hijackers, Hammad. For me, the book had a lot of great moments that really felt like authentic responses to that day. Justin and his neighbors' obsession with the planes and ''Bill Lawton" (bin Laden) was especially poignant for me. But many of these threads have frustratingly little resolution. I also found the dialogue to be jarringly unnatural in a few places. Overall, I found it to be a compelling, if somewhat incomplete, read.