Critical Context

End Zone was DeLillo’s second novel, and it displays what have become DeLillo trademarks: an interest in character presentation over plot and of texture over structure. DeLillo is a careful chronicler of modern America, shaping his fabrications around a central character who struggles against the pressures of life in a fast-paced society. In a number of subsequent novels, including such highly praised works as Ratner’s Star (1976) and White Noise (1985), DeLillo has pursued the fascination with intellectual systems and specialized vocabularies that informs End Zone. While DeLillo’s distinctive approach to fiction—deliberately detached, analytic, though often bleakly amusing—has established him as an important voice in contemporary American literature, he has not won a wide readership, and End Zone remains his most accessible and most enjoyable novel.