He speaks in your voice, American, and there's a shine in his eye that's halfway hopeful. It's a vast and sprawling crowd that comes together to watch the Dodgers-Giants 1951 National League Final, and when Bobby Thomson hits the Shot Heard Round the World and wins the pennant race for the Giants, ripples are formed in the heavy undercurrent of time. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, another historic shot is fired: the USSR's second atomic detonation. And so Underworld follows the threads that link a symphonic cast of characters: men and women, together and apart, whose search for meaning, survival and connection will spill out over decades.
An epic novel that encompasses fifty years of American history
Shortlisted for Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1998.
Every decade or so the real thing comes along - a work of literature so overwhelmingly good that you know it is a masterpiece which will endure ... huge sections sweep you along in a way that only the greatest books can. -- Michael Shelden Daily Telegraph His longest, most ambitious, and most complicated novel - and his best ... Underworld is the black comedy of the Cold War; it is full of sentences that capture, with the choice of the odd word, a moment in American history. New Yorker Astonishing ... an amazing performance ... Mr DeLillo's most affecting novel yet ... This bravura master of cerebral pyrotechnics also knows how to seize and rattle our emotions ... In this remarkable novel, [DeLillo] has taken the effluvia of modern society, all the detritus of our daily and political lives, and turned it into a dazzling, phosphorescent work of art. New York Times Don DeLillo's latest epic, Underworld, brilliantly interweaves voices, incidents and telling details into a moving, empowering people's history. If Libra, White Noise and Mao II hadn't already done enough to persuade British readers that DeLillo ranks with the best of contemporary American novelists, Underworld surely will. -- Blake Morrison Independent on Sunday DeLillo suddenly fills the sky. Underworld renders DeLillo a great novelist ... [it] surges with magisterial confidence through time (the last half-century) and through space (Harlem, Phoenix, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Texas, the Bronx) ... It isn't every day, or even every decade, that one sees the ascension of a great writer. -- Martin Amis Esquire Among other things, the new novel from Don DeLillo is a remarkable feat of engineering ... he chisels and carves until he has made something that cannot help but lift your heart: a cathedral of prose ... He has built a towering structure and I recommend you climb to the top. The view is sensational. -- Allison Pearson Evening Standard With Underworld, DeLillo confirms himself in the select group of great American writers truly equal to the temper of very strange times. Times Literary Supplement Underworld is nothing less than the story of the States in the Cold War; an epic to set alongside Moby Dick or Augie March. -- Tim Adams Observer
Don DeLillo is the acclaimed author of fifteen novels, including Underworld, White Noise and Libra, and five plays. He has won the National Book Award, the Jerusalem Prize and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize.