Point Omega by Don DeLillo
A Novel

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Synopsis

DON DELILLO HAS BEEN "WEIRDLY PROPHETIC about twenty-first-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.
 

About Don DeLillo

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Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In October 2012, DeLillo receives the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his body of work.
 
Published March 25, 2010 by Scribner. 132 pages
Genres: War, Literature & Fiction, History, Humor & Entertainment, Business & Economics, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure, Law & Philosophy. Fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for Point Omega

The New York Times

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Like many of Mr. DeLillo’s earlier books, “Point Omega” has an ingenious architecture that gains resonance in retrospect.

Feb 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

The New York Times

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Don DeLillo got the idea for his new book, “Point Omega,” when he happened upon Douglas Gordon’s video installation “24 Hour Psycho” at the Museum of Modern Art.

Feb 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

The New York Times

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Don DeLillo explores the radical manipulation of time in this novel, which brings an Iraq war planner, his daughter and a filmmaker together at a house in the desert.

Feb 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

BC Books

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In a finely-honed, harrowing novel, a filmmaker visits a retired war official and his daughter in the desert when a devastating and mystifying event occurs.

Jan 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

BC Books

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Don DeLillo's latest novel opens as a meditation on film-making, but finds tragedy in moments when no camera is watching.

Feb 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

Star Tribune

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One of DeLillo's most abstracted works, told with a poetic grace that softens the despair.

Feb 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

AV Club

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The author of White Noise returns with a book that's more personal, but less purposeful.

Feb 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

Dallas News

By WALTON MUYUMBA / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News University of North Texas professor Walton Muyumba's was recently published by University of Chicago Press.

Feb 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

Tampa Bay Times

But Elster may not have convinced himself the omega point means transcendence;

Feb 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Others saw continuities with recent titles, claiming that in Omega Point, DeLillo finally achieves the mystical minimalism he sought in books like Falling Man.

Feb 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

New York Magazine

The strongest material in Point Omega is only tangentially related to the book’s main story, and is essentially just art criticism: DeLillo’s deeply engaged description of what it’s like to stand and watch 24 Hour Psycho.

Jan 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

New York Magazine

one suspects that DeLillo haunted it much like his nameless character does.) In super-slow motion, all of the hyperefficient building blocks of Hitchcock’s suspense—the quick cuts, the gestures, the landscape shots—drag on interminably, forcing viewers to focus on what DeLillo calls the “submicro...

Jan 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

Esquire

And if you go back to DeLillo's earlier work — White Noise or Great Jones Street or Ratner's Star — you'll be struck by the laughs that accompany the impending doom.

Jan 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Point Omega: A Novel

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Ben Labovitz

Ben Labovitz 23 Nov 2013

Has read the book