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PLAYERS by Don DeLillo


by Don DeLillo

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1977
ISBN: 0679722939
Publisher: Knopf

For one over-extended, under-involved Manhattan couple--stockbroker Lyle and Pammy of the Grief Management Council--"What seemed to be missing was the desire to compile." For gifted Don DeLillo, what seems to be missing is the dark exuberance that transformed the strange happenings of End Zone, Great Jones Street, and Ratner's Star into more than mere oddities. Lyle, tuned out of everything but Dial-a-Steak, the TV dial, and the "overample thighs" of new liaison Rosemary, compulsively follows up a bizarre Stock Exchange shooting; soon he has entangled himself with a klutzy radical splinter group eager for his services as inside man in a plan to bomb "the floor of floors," the seat of Money. Pammy, notwithstanding tap-dancing lessons and her brochure-writing career ("Let Professionals Help You Cope"), also needs some expanded horizon, some other connection--for her, a mutually destructive affair with one half of her favorite homosexual couple while on a threesome Maine vacation. Odd, attention-holding happenings indeed, but Pammy and Lyle's simultaneous trips in search of something more have neither the pull of recognizable desperation nor--despite the political chatter and the active-crater urban ambiance--the resonating push into bigger themes. What remains? Two clinical cases, spitting out DeLillo's arch/bitchy, telegraphic dialogue and surrounded by DeLillo's switchblade-carved prose, where every word counts, and sometimes twice. A talent reaffirmed, then, but a talent that this time doesn't quite connect.