I just finished Americana by Don Delillo on my Kindle. The book is about 28-year-old television executive David Bell and his search for some kind of truth that takes him on a strange trip through America.
The book starts well mostly taking place at Bell’s workplace and there is a lot of quite funny office humor. The whole part 1 of the books is actually very good, with a sarcastic tone that entertains and gets you closer to the narrator. But from part 2 the book tries to hard. There is a big chunk about David’s childhood that is too long and when he goes out to shoot a movie somewhere in the American nowhere-land the book loses direction and falls quite flat.
Delillo described the book: “I don’t think my first novel would have been published today as I submitted it. I don’t think an editor would have read 50 pages of it. It was very overdone and shaggy, but two young editors saw something that seemed worth pursuing and eventually we all did some work on the book and it was published.”
I agree with the man himself. He is a great writer, but it’s very obvious that Americana is a debut and not up to scratch with his later works like Libra or Underworld.