Finished, I Am

Last month I declared that after trying to read Underworld by Don DeLillo several times over the course of a decade I'd be finishing it by July 16th. And, 4 days early, I finished it yesterday.

Finished, I am [source]. Random, yes.
Thank Buddha/God/Mother Earth/Yoda.

I'm still coming to terms with what it was even about (all 826 pages), if I like DeLillo, and if this a text I actually enjoyed. Unfortunately, I think it's the type of book that would be best comprehended if read a few times, which sure as hell is not happening. I mean I understand it, but I know there are things I'm missing. There are many, many different characters and their lives span across decades, all connecting in ways big and small. The book delves into nuclear warfare, class, religion, marriage, gender, politics, the significance of waste, baseball, family dynamics, incarceration- basically any sort of theme imaginable. It's exhausting to even think about.  

A huge part of me is relieved and excited to be done- I want to read something else and am happy to have the nagging feeling of an unfinished off my back. But, I'm a little sad too- the exaggerated hatred for DeLillo and the book was a little fun. 

So now what?

Now that I've spent half a day pondering this beast, I'm going to start poking around online and reading some analysis and critical essays. Part of me feels like such a fraud doing this, but, frankly, I need some guidance. I have a lot of jumbled up ideas that would probably turn into a decent term paper... if I was in college and had to write one (if I was, possible topics would include: the symbolic nature of garbage, DeLillo's use of repetition, the paradoxical presence of the "mystery ship," or the subtle importance of heroin) . Don't worry, this is it- I'm not going to bore everyone with a 5,000 word analysis once I've thought and researched.

Finally. It's over. And I'm still leaving the nonsensical tags of yesteryear on. 


  1. Great timing! I just started this beast earlier this week - with the idea of finishing by mid-August or so. I find myself promising I'll sit down to read 20 pages, but then 40 pages later, I'm still reading. I really like DeLillo. (I'm also reading other things at the same time - so I don't get burned out by how long this is.) We should compare notes when I'm finished! :)

    1. I would really, really love that. I don't know anyone else who has read it. Good luck and enjoy.

  2. Don't feel like a fraud. If you'd skipped the actual book and read the analyses instead, all the while telling people you read the book, THEN you'd be a fraud.

    No matter which books I read, I like looking at other people's thoughts about them.

  3. Reading other peoples thoughts and analysis about a book before writing your own opinions isn't fraud. It's responsible reading. All good.