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あらすじ・解説

In this powerful, eerily convincing fictional speculation on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Don DeLillo chronicles Lee Harvey Oswald's odyssey from troubled teenager to a man of precarious stability who imagines himself an agent of history.

When "history" presents itself in the form of two disgruntled CIA operatives who decide that an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the president will galvanize the nation against communism, the scales are irrevocably tipped.

A gripping, masterful blend of fact and fiction, alive with meticulously portrayed characters both real and created, Libra is a grave, haunting, and brilliant examination of an event that has become an indelible part of the American psyche.

©1988 Don DeLillo (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

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  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • 2017/03/05

Life's Too Short

I like to finish what I start. Having started close to 300 audiobooks, this is maybe the fourth or fifth time I'm bailing out. That's a pretty good record, 98-99% completion rate. My lifetime rate with print books, of which I must have read thousands in my 60 years, has got to be the tiniest fraction under 100% -- I always finish what I start. Not this time. 3 hours in, all I can say is, life's too short to waste another 15 hours on this.

If nothing else, the narration is dreadful. Releasing an audio edition of a classic novel nearly 30 years after its heralded release, from a boundless choice of narrators, these folks landed on a guy another reviewer aptly described as Joe Friday (before seeing that, I was thinking General Jack Ripper from Dr. Strangelove). If all it took me was two minutes of skimming Audible reviews to conclude that readers routinely hate this narrator no matter what he reads, surely the producers of this audiobook could have done better.

But it's not just that. With the public still clamoring to learn what really happened to JFK al; these many years later, who in tarnation needs a fictional account, one where you can't tell the real bits from the made up ones? And who in tarnation wants to hear a disinterested morally ambiguous take on Oswald as a protagonist? I'm not going to waste another 15 hours trying to figure out if that person is me, not after such an awful first 3 hours.

And yet, even if you're OK with all of that, what kind of writing is this? We first see Oswald as truant youth uninterested in school, we next see him as a devout communist, devouring the works of Marx and Lenin. How in tarnation did he make that leap? Not explained, not in the first 3 hours. We get a capsule summary of the back story of one of the prime conspirators, none of which is elucidated other than to list his characteristics, to which is tacked on, oh by the way, his career was ruined by his proclivity for young boys. Bazinga! Never explained.

An independent author I like to read once said, give us a chance, try our stuff out, if you don't like it, if it doesn't grab you, put it down and move on to something else. Don DeLillo is not an independent author relying on chance discovery, he is one of the most celebrated and influential literary novelists of the past half century. Nevertheless, I'm putting this one down, and I don't expect to waste any more of my time on him.

  • 総合評価
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dan in DC
  • 2016/12/03

Narrator's Monotonous Tone Ruined Book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different narrator. It sounded as if Joe Friday from Dragnet was reading the book.

Would you recommend Libra to your friends? Why or why not?

No. The narrator ruined the book for me.

How could the performance have been better?

It sounded like he was reading the phone book. There was no modulation between characters. It made listening an unpleasant chore.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I might read it one day. I think I would have liked it much better.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • 2020/07/29

alternative, speculative fiction

Libra by Don DeLillo is a work of speculative fiction, or alternative history, which tells the story of the assassination of President Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald. Sort of. This is book that is based on the premise that Oswald was part of a conspiracy with the CIA, and was hired to kill the president. DeLillo wrote a convincing story that could easily convince a reader to believe in conspiracy theories. This one talks about the Bay of Pigs and surrounding anti-Cuban sentiments, the U2 spy missions, and loads of espionage. This book is filled with actual history intertwined seamlessly with the speculative history created by the author. It all fits so well together that I found myself turning to Google often.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew C Conlan
  • 2020/02/05

Well researched and imagined

As the book that inspired James Ellroy to write American Tabloid, Libra also serves as an excellent companion to that novel. While many of the events from Libra are well researched, DeLillo imaginatively fills in the gaps to create a seemingly plausible conspiracy behind the JFK assassination. Some reviewers have complained about Michael Pritchard's narration (too monotone) but I feel it goes perfectly with the novel's staccato style of sentence structure which at times also seems similar to Ellroy's, albeit with deeper observations of human interactions. The entire read was enjoyable.