Libra by Don Delillo JFK 50TH

libra_first_ed

Libra by Don Delillo 

US fiction 

Source – personnel copy 

Well today is the 50th anniversary of the shooting of JFK and I have chosen two books to remember or mark the occasion this is the first that I did read a year or so after it came out in 1988 the year of the 25th anniversary.Don Delillo is probably alongside Paul Auster my favourite American writer. I have read most of his books and even read his huge Underworld twice I loved it so much ,If you fancy try that book Jackie and a few others have done a read-along that starts in two weeks .Don Delillo grew up in an Italian part of the Bronx , New York .He has written more 15 novels . 

Earlier that day a young man walked into the outer office at Guy Banister associates in New Orleans .Delphine Roberts was at her desk typing a revised list of civil rights organizations for Banisters files .The young man stood patiently waiting in jeans with rolled cuffs two days stubble on his chin .

Oswald in Guy Banisters office where he also meet David Ferrie both big character in the film JFK . 

Well Libra is a fiction account of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald the man who shot JFK .from his early life ,joining the marines ,his journey to Russia to become a defector  where he met and married  his Russian wife Marina and then his return to the US with his wife  .Then he settled in Dallas after spending time in New Orleans working for the Free Cuban Movement and pro Castro causes .He finally start working at the book depository in Dallas where he Shot JFK from .Now he comes across as a strange man , almost outcast ,a man who  is never really part of anything a man who has communist leanings ,but he  can also be  easily be swayed by others it seems .The book has a similar feel to the film JFK by Oliver stone that did actually come out a few years after the book ,but isn’t based on the book and actually the book is far more in-depth and connects the dots a lot more in regards to Oswald’s life .

Well it is fifty years to the day ,since the events in this book The death of JFK at the hands of Oswald .So reading this book brought the events of that day and what lead to the assianation ,things like the Cuban crisis ,JFK personnel views .On the other side is Oswald this guys life is strange to say the least a man who was not once but twice a traitor ,the first time is his decision to escape the Us and to become a Soviet citizen ,where he is suspected of giving away secrets to the U2 spy plane .But even after doing this he returns to US and has no real action taken against him and has his wife allowed to be with him .He even appears of TV as a communist .I still wonder who he was Delillo has lifted the lid on his life a bit more in this novel but Oswald is still one strange man and his history just in my mind seems very strange .The book is of course a novel so what is real and what is made by Delillo mix but we get a real feel of the man and the times he lived in .Also a look at what drove this man who shot the president ,almost like he is destined to do this one thing as he gets more and more desperate .

Have you read Delillo ?

What are your thoughts on JFK and the Assassination ? 

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. farmlanebooks
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 08:14:25

    This sounds far more interesting than Underworld! I really hope I enjoy Underworld as much as you did, but I wonder if I should have started with this one.

    Reply

  2. Lisa Hill
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 09:30:07

    Oh Jackie, I have started Underworld, but – fatally, I suspect – put it aside, and am having trouble resurrecting any interest in it!

    Reply

  3. farmlanebooks
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 10:05:20

    Lisa, How far did you get? Hopefully we’ll be able to make it through and perhaps if you keep an eye on our conversations you might be inspired to pick it up again?

    Reply

  4. Brian Joseph
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 11:17:50

    I have been meaning to read Delillo for several years but have not done so yet.
    Also of course, This is truly a great reading choice for this week.

    Reply

  5. TJ McAvoy
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 16:12:17

    One of my favorite novels. In Oswald, DeLillo creates his best character. I’ve read all of DeLillo’s work multiple times, including the plays, but I always return to Libra for its intensity and language. Thank you for this post.

    Reply

  6. Col
    Nov 24, 2013 @ 10:14:59

    I’ve recently finished DeLillo’s Falling Man which I was really impressed by. I’ve got Underworld waiting on a shelf but not tried it yet. However I like the sound of this so will read this next. As for JFK, I went to visit the Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library near Boston a few years ago. It was a fascinating insight into their lives and their story. Well worth a visit.

    Reply

  7. TJ McAvoy
    Nov 24, 2013 @ 19:09:43

    Underworld is the great American novel. Make no mistake.

    Reply

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