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Extended Audio Sample Mao II Audiobook, 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: January 1900 ISBN: 9781415919712
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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.”

    Newsweek

  • “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.”

    Details

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Derek | 1/13/2014

    " My first DeLillo book, I'd definitely read another. At first I was a little annoyed at the looseness with which the various stories intertwined with one another. But then I remembered how annoying I find it when an author makes his or her various subplots cohere with perfect Seinfeldian irony, and I felt better about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brad Wenner | 1/11/2014

    " Don DeLillo is so insightful he's almost prophetic - I had to look up the publication date to make sure this really was written before 9/11 and social media. I think this is now my favorite novel of his, even better than 'White Noise'. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 1/1/2014

    " As with all his works, I love the themes/commentary/messages behind the story... I just did not find the story itself all that interesting. His ideas about the very public unified masses compared to the extreme, reclusive individual, along with the death of the individual mind are extremely interesting. I just wish the actually story had been equally as compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alastair Metcalf | 12/29/2013

    " Not the best DeLillo, but better than most other authors out there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noelle | 12/1/2013

    " Pretty great. The introduction sets the book up perfectly and i was intrigued by the ruminations during the photography session. I'm still thinking about it and i finished it a while ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted | 11/21/2013

    " This is an extremely well-written book. Published in 1991 the almost prophetic vision of terrorism replacing art, and the connection to the World Trade Center is almost too eerie to comprehend. At times I could only read a page or two at a sitting, other times I couldn't put it down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sherry | 11/16/2013

    " Can't remember if I finished it so it couldn't have been that good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 11/12/2013

    " What can I say. I'm a fan of Don DeLillo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 8/24/2013

    " Not my favorite Delillo, but still good "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 5/21/2013

    " A pretty good DeLillo book about terrorism, fame, iconography. You know, postmodern stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ramsey | 10/26/2012

    " Wow, that was postmodernism on steroids. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 BAKU | 9/27/2012

    " Read it, don't recall anything much about it now "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mariel | 9/12/2012

    " Well written but hard to get into because of a disjointed story line. The whole time reading it feels like the book's characters are in on something that we aren't privy to, making us feel left out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robertdenton | 3/26/2012

    " Prescient and apt -- written in 1991, the author describes terrorism, power, and powerlessness in a great mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 anya ventura | 3/9/2012

    " Not the ideal choice of literature to be reading while wandering alone and hungover in a foreign Asian country, for sure. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kat | 2/17/2012

    " Ack! I HATED it! Nothing in common with White Noise... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 1/1/2012

    " Not enough story. And what story there was totally unresolved. I tried DeLillo's "White Noise" and abandoned it. I don't connect with this author! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Polizzi | 11/8/2011

    " Has my vote for DeLillo's best. The horror of the earlier 20th century leaking into every country of the world in the form of political sequels. The cult of personality, charisma and power coupled with the decline of the novelist-- that strange solitary human who builds empathy from afar. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine Mustread | 11/4/2011

    " A bleak nightmarish novel which disjointedly shows scenes directly and indirectly impacting the main character, Bill Gray, a writer who has been living in seclusion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 4/21/2011

    " i liked it, but i don't think i got the point "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shaudee | 3/28/2011

    " It's DeLillo. How can you go wrong with that? Awesome and fascinating.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Manda | 1/24/2011

    " Explores the role of art and literature in the postmodern world. Theme development seems shifty; lots of topics revealed and promptly abandoned or subverted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brad | 12/12/2010

    " Don DeLillo is so insightful he's almost prophetic - I had to look up the publication date to make sure this really was written before 9/11 and social media. I think this is now my favorite novel of his, even better than 'White Noise'. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barry | 11/26/2010

    " for me, the most approachable DeLillo, which may not be saying much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colin | 11/6/2010

    " An interesting look at the relationship of the writer to (post-)modern society. Raises a lot of interesting questions and was definitely compelling enough to keep me reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Less_cunning | 9/18/2010

    " "...but all the bursts are in one spot and there is no sound." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonas | 7/31/2010

    " A perfect intermixture of individualism and mass mind. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 6/18/2010

    " Delillo's powerful novel takes as its themes identity and the person's place in modern society. Powerfully written and dazzlingly inventive. "

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About the Author
Author Don DeLillo

Don DeLillo is an acclaimed essayist, playwright, short story writer, and novelist. Some of his works include Underworld, Falling Man, Players, Running Dog, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize, the Jerusalem Prize, and the William Dean Howells Medal. DeLillo graduated from Fordham University with a degree in communications in 1958; before becoming a writer, he worked for the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. Currently, he lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Michael Prichard is a Los Angeles-based actor who has played several thousand characters during his career, over one hundred of them in theater and film. He is primarily heard as an audiobook narrator, having recorded well over five hundred full-length books. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award for Tears in the Darkness by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman and six AudioFile Earphones Awards. He was named a Top Ten Golden Voice by SmartMoney magazine. He holds an MFA in theater from the University of Southern California.