How did an obscure book by a total unknown outstrip four of the most highly regarded works of fiction of the past three decades? This is a shame because, throwaway entertainment though it is, Amazons is also a total laugh-so-hard-you-reach-for-your-asthma-inhaler hoot. Before he was anointed our prose laureate of American dread, DeLillo was equally acclaimed for his superb comic gifts for spot-on mimicry and absurdist literary vaudeville. It represented a liberating holiday on ice from those darker themes and allowed him the freedom to make fine sport of the twin American obsessions of sex and professional athletics. Cleo Birdwell, the narrator, who putatively becomes the first woman to play in the NHL, is part Billie Jean King, part Candy, a ravishing woman in a hockey jersey moved to pity and serial fornication by the power of her beauty to reduce men to drooling supplicants.
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What could they do, take me to the walls of the city and stone me? Her long hair and a slung-over-the shoulder black skate cover parts of her uniform, so that the word Rangers appears as the French word for Angel.
In over-the-top comically implausible prose, Birdwell, a twenty-three-year-old from Badger, Ohio, narrates her inaugural season with the New York Rangers. She has a Midwestern practicality and straight-forwardness, a sly humor, and an unusually subversive sexual candor and agency, chronicling—sans any standard female shame or hesitancy—her plentiful sexual liaisons with a gamut of neurotic men. The dialogue is masterful and playful and the humor unremitting.
I came upon Amazons because of my women-centered sports novel The Peerless Four. In all the so-called classic sports novels by men, I claimed in an interview, none have female athletes as subjects. In all the so-called classic sports novels by men, none have female athletes as subjects. Amazons is laugh-out-loud funny and worth reading, and not just for Delillo fans. It has the force of legend and myth. An engorged, murky thing. It loses its playfulness, erect. There is sometimes a purpling along the seams.
It is a little beastly if the truth be known. Eric was Torkelson; his penis was Torkle. He never got over his first erection. He just loved flaunting himself. He was always playing with it. He would study it. His penis was a never-ending discovery, I guess. Birdwell is an object of desire; but with each of the men she chooses, she seduces and observes what makes them tick sexually, and ultimately her desire to know what turns them on and how to accomplish this task takes precedence.
Shaver Stevens is the closest Birdwell comes to having a boyfriend. In fact, it complicates it. He collaborated with his former colleague Sue Buck, who provided background information about hockey and what it was like to grow up in Ohio. An astute critic from Worcester, Massachusetts was the first to call out Delillo, simply on the basis of his style, and Christopher Lehmann-Haupt followed the assertion in his New York Times book review, effectively outing Delillo for good.
Delillo has succeeded in keeping the book out of the cultural mainstream. On Amazon. There is a natural relationship between the penis and the hand.
It fits the hand…Limp the penis is a dubious item compared to the human hand. It just hangs there, backed by the testicles, like a soloist with a rhythm section. Even the word is funny. It is a stupid, funny-looking, funny-sounding word. He signed my copy several years ago. I told him I loved it, and he said he loved writing it.
Pretty simple. Signs and signage — road signs, movie marquees, newspaper headlines real and imaginary, municipal signs, electronic message boards, storefronts, etc. There, DeLillo is obviously using the technique of cinematic narrative known as foreshadowing. I would like to suggest, however, that in this case it does nothing to advance the narrative at all, nor does it enhance the plot, any sense of suspense, our understanding of the characters or the themes, or anything else.
I believe it exists in the novel purely for purposes of style, only to heighten our sense of aesthetic appreciation; it stands as a testament to the degree of care, planning, preparation, and levels of concentration and attention that went into the writing of this novel. These are more or less the remarks I made at the American Literature Association conference in Boston in May, with the exception of some improvisation I injected concerning Bosley Crowther, Manny Farber, and Sam Peckinpah and what I believe their works can contribute to understanding DeLillo.
I also used graphic examples from the films of Tarnatino and Kubrick to illustrate how auteurs repeat images from film to film. Hi mates, how is the whole thing, and what you desire to say regarding this paragraph, in my view its truly awesome in favor of me. Search for:.
Amazons: Don DeLillo’s Obscure “Intimate Memoir”
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Amazons: An Intimate Memoir By The First Woman To Play In The National Hockey League
The book was a collaboration with a former co-worker of DeLillo's, Sue Buck, and represents a commercial, light-hearted effort between his novels Running Dog and The Names. While the book is widely known to have been written by DeLillo, and is technically his seventh novel, it has never been reprinted and he has never officially acknowledged writing it. Additionally, when Viking was compiling an official bibliography for the Viking Critical Library edition of White Noise , DeLillo asked the publishers that the book be expunged from the list. The novel is a fictitious autobiography narrated by Birdwell centering on her experiences as the first woman to play professional hockey in the NHL. It is in some ways similar to DeLillo's second novel, the football-themed End Zone , though more humorous and smaller in scale, replete with social satire and comedy. The story follows Birdwell and her teammates on the New York Rangers , as they travel around North American cities playing games and engaging in sexual adventures. The prose is distinctly and obviously DeLillo's, but as further proof of his authorship, readers cite the appearance of the character Murray Jay Siskind, a sportswriter in the novel, who later appears as the eccentric former sportswriter-turned-"visiting lecturer on American icons" in DeLillo's novel White Noise.
Amazons by Cleo Birdwell
Seller Rating:. Condition: Fair. A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text.