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Don DeLillo: Great Jones Street

Bucky Wunderlick – love that name – is a burnt out famous rock star, hiding out in a room in Great Jones Street, New York. He had walked away from his band’s tour. His manager, Globke – we first meet him with his arm down the toilet, apparently because he had dropped a dime in it – soon tracks him down. Globke works for a large multinational called wittily enough Transparanoia. But somehow this novel does not hang together like the others. Taking the piss out of megadinosaur rock stars and wicked multinationals involved in drug conspiracies seems almost redundant, as anything DeLillo can invent is likely to have been already done in reality. The obsession with death is a total cliché and would be even if we had never had Cobain, Hendrix, Morrison and Co. DeLillo may seem prescient, anticipating everything from Cobain’s suicide and Johnny Rotten’s lyrics to Jagger’s business obsession and Camilla Paglia’s writing style but, really, anyone could have guessed any of it. It’s DeLillo and it mocks the rock business but it’s not one of his best.

Publishing history

First published 1973 by Houghton Mifflin