Don DeLillo has been "weirdly prophetic about 21st-century America" (The New York Times Book Review). In his earlier novels, he has written about conspiracy theory, the Cold War, and global terrorism. Now, in Point Omega, he looks into the mind and heart of a "defense intellectual", one of the men involved in the management of the country's war machine.
Richard Elster was a scholar - an outsider - when he was called to a meeting with government war planners, asked to apply "ideas and principles to such matters as troop deployment and counterinsurgency".
We see Elster at the end of his service. He has retreated to the desert, "somewhere south of nowhere", in search of space and geologic time. There he is joined by a filmmaker, Jim Finley, intent on documenting his experience. Finley wants to persuade Elster to make a one-take film, Elster its single character - "Just a man and a wall."
Weeks later, Elster's daughter Jessica visits - an "otherworldly" woman from New York, who dramatically alters the dynamic of the story. The three of them talk, train their binoculars on the landscape, and build an odd, tender intimacy, something like a family. Then a devastating event throws everything into question.
In this compact and powerful novel, it is finally a lingering human mystery that haunts the landscape of desert and mind.
©2010 Don DeLillo (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
“A splendid, fierce novel by a deep practitioner of the form…. Enlivening, challenging, harrowing and beautiful.” (Matthew Sharpe, Los Angeles Times)
"If Underworld was DeLillo’s extravagant funeral for the twentieth century, Point Omega is the farewell party for the last decade.... DeLillo has …. written the first important novel of the year." (Michael Miller, New York Observer)
“A novel of ideas — about how language, film and art alter what we think of as reality. It's for readers ready to slow down and savor the words. It's for those who would watch not just Psycho, but ponder the meanings of ‘24 Hour Psycho’.” (Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today)
Not all titles will be written well and narrated well. But this one such title that is well written and well narrated. I enjoyed listening to this book.
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