Here's the copy from the original dust jacket:
Don DeLillo's new masterpiece of a novel, a brilliant story about death and fear of death, is a comedy, of course.
Jack Gladney teaches the history of Nazism at a small liberal arts college in Middle America, where his colleagues include New York expatriates who want to immerse themselves in "American magic and dread." Jack longs for a quiet, plotless existence--thinking, desperately, that this is the way to escape death--and he finds some solace with his beloved wife, Babette, and their ultramodern children.
The Gladneys are trying to navigate the usual passages of family life when an ominous "airborne toxic event"--a black cloud of lethal gaseous fumes released in an industrial accident--threatens to engulf their town. Jack's life then becomes enmeshed in plots: complications, sexual deceptions, and a climactic murder scene.
The poisonous black cloud is a more visible and urgent version of the "white noise" surrounding the Gladney family and all of us. Radio transmissions, sirens, ultrasonic and electronic waves--these omnipresent signals that buzz and hum all over America--both bewitch us and instill fear. Like the ancient music of Pan, white noise pulses with life and at the same time signals death.
This prescient, deeply felt, and wonderfully zesty novel ends as the shocking dramas set off by the "airborne toxic event" force Jack to take surprising, and heroic, action. In White Noise Don DeLillo has accomplished his most daring, most beautiful, and most exciting novel: a work that will surprise, console, and move his many enthusiastic readers.