The Small Noise Upstairs

Frank Kermode

  • The Body Artist by Don DeLillo
    Picador, 124 pp, £13.99, February 2001, ISBN 0 330 48495 8

The publishers describe this book as ‘lean’, which may be taken to refer to its style, though it also serves as a euphemism for ‘very short, especially considering the price’. Its immediate predecessor was Underworld, about seven times as long (or as fat). That book, as nearly everybody must know, begins with a chapter about a famous baseball game and a boy who retrieves the ball with which the decisive home run was scored. The Body Artist is about as long as the Underworld ball-game.

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