Thursday, May 31, 2012

Paperback 533: End Zone / Don DeLillo (Pocket Books 78282)

Paperback 533: Pocket Books 78282 (1st ptg, 1973)

Title: End Zone
Author: Don DeLillo
Cover artist: photo

Yours for: $8

Best things about this cover:
  • Way outside my normal collection timeframe, but the cover (and author) caught my eye—seemed memorable / remarkable—like the last thing you see before you get strangled (to death, presumably).
  • I like that it's a novel about football, but the cover only barely suggests this (title, font, "New Gladiators").
  • That's the opposite of "Fear Hand"—most mid-century covers have a victim POV, with woman reacting to some kind of impending attack. Here, the attacker (in a context that can be only dimly imagined).


Best things about this back cover:
  • Dang, high praise for a novel I've never heard of.
  • "Is God a Football Fan?" is a pretty good tagline.
  • So much for your Nostradamian powers, Cincinnati Enquirer.

Page 123~
"Gary Harkness. Good name. Promotable. I like it. I even love it."
"Relax and call me Wally."
"Right," I said.
If anyone ever says "Relax and call me Wally," you're gonna want to end the conversation quickly and get out of there.


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Pat said...

Inquirer or Enquirer: does English change on the border of Ohio and PA?

Joe Kenney said...

I read this one a few years ago during a DeLillo kick (so to speak). Yes, it's about football, but also ties into fears of imminent nuclear war. As I recall it was DeLillo's second novel and he was trying for too many things at once. All I recall is the novel ends with some sort of game -- poker or chess, can't recall -- between the narrator and some straight-backed former military type. I also recall the narrator's hippie-chick girlfriend, who opens his right-wing mind to the "new sensibilities."

DeLillo's early material is weird and fun. It's too bad his short stories have never been collected. I got a bunch of them years ago via Interlibrary Loan, all of them photocopied by various lending libraries from the original magazines. One of them, titled "The Uniforms," was pretty great, about a group of hippie terrorists going around and just killing everyone. It was later collected in the 1973 book "Cutting Edges." You can read more here: