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Extended Audio Sample Mao II, by Don DeLillo Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,438 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Don DeLillo Narrator: Michael Prichard Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In Mao II, Don DeLillo presents an extraordinary new novel about words and images, novelists and terrorists, the mass mind and the arch-individualist. At the heart of the book is Bill Gray, a famous, reclusive writer who escapes the failed novel he has been working on for many years and enters the world of political violence when he gets the chance to aid a hostage trapped in a basement in war-torn Beirut, a nightscape of Semtex explosives. Gray’s dangerous departure leaves two people stranded: his brilliant, fixated assistant, Scott; and the strange young woman who is Scott’s lover, and Bill's. Mao II is a series of set-pieces built around the theme of searching for meaning in a post-modern world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the most original, intelligent, and visionary novelists now writing in America. Mao II contains a series of extraordinary images presented with a complex intensity that no photograph or Warhol silk-screen, or even a film sequence could achieve.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Mr. DeLillo is the preeminent novelist of the political nightmare…A spellbinding writer.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A riveting novel of ideas…Some of DeLillos’ most penetrating insights into the relationship between fiction and current events.”

    San Diego Union

  • “A dark satire on the manipulation of images by artists, terrorists, and news hounds…[DeLillo] creates scenes of memorable and disturbing clarity.”


  • “Another remarkable achievement. Mao II reconfirms DeLillo’s status as a modern master and literary provocateur.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Don DeLillo is one of the truly enigmatic figures in modern American letters.”

    San Francisco Review of Books

  • “This is Don DeLillo at his best, on the verge of identifying the ineffable, of capturing the essence of what has been a vague suspicion, of fashioning sentences that themselves seem to contain multitudes.”

    Detroit News

  • “A luminous book, full of anger deflected into irony, with moments of hard-earned transcendence.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “DeLillo’s words, by virtue of their arranger’s consummate skill, are a pleasure to read.”

    Arizona Daily Star

  • “A taut, intense novel of ideas that pack the menacing warning of a cocked trigger…DeLillo’s themes are firmly rooted in spare, graphic prose and a gripping narrative.”

    Virginian Pilot & Star Ledger

  • “With DeLillo we are in the hands of a master.”

    New York Newsday

  • “Open-ended, resonant, and challenging.”


  • “His concepts, his thoughts on the relationship between art and terror, are brilliant and original.”

    Los Angeles Reader

  • “A splendidly written, unnerving book. Quick sentences and brisk dialogue…Just a tremendous book.”

    Indianapolis Star

  • “A riveting study of the individual and the mob.”

    Detroit Free Press

  • Mao II digs deep into themes, with intelligence and insight. The plot roads with force and intent. DeLillo has a gift for capturing dialogue that is a constant revelation…DeLillo also captures the condition of late-twentieth-century culture better than anyone else writing today.”

    Baltimore City Paper

  • “A beautifully readable, haunting tale that jolts along at its own unsettling, disjunctive pace.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A funny, fierce novel. For new readers, it’s a perfect introduction to his nervy storytelling. For eager fans, it’s a potent distillation of his themes.”

    Boston Sunday Herald

  • “DeLillo has staked a claim in the mineral heart of postmodern lit. A Lone Ranger, he fires his perceptions like a belt-load of silver bullets. His novels are guaranteed IQ boosters.”

    Vanity Fair

  • Winner of the 1992 PEN/Faulkner Award
  • A 1992 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rikki | 2/14/2014

    " dean gave me this book. and it is still so relevant, about the war between novelists and terrorists. he is a great story teller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by AK | 1/30/2014

    " This probably deserves that one more star...i hate these rating scales. This book is excellent. I don't read much fiction but I will read another one of his. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James | 1/28/2014

    " I would probably give this book 4.5 stars if I could. DeLillo's use of language is just exquisite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Shan | 1/16/2014

    " Beautiful writing trapped inside and i feel constricted by "I live in the woods in Vermont" self-importance/paranoia. Whenever I read Don Delillo I feel myself having an "it's not you, it's me" moment. It's not Don Delillo's fault that I love his way of writing but hate his plots and themes, it's mine. I just wish he would move back to New York City. I see his repetitive narratives as the result of living in a writer's physical and social bubble. In short, writers hanging out with only writers and writing about writers and writing as if they are the first generation to consider the importance/lack of importance of writing is one of my pet peeves. The Information Age did not beget this conflict, dammit. It's not new. Friggin Chaucer was doing it in the 1300s. Grrrrr... See, it's not him, it's me. "

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