DeLillo is the patient archeologist, brushing away the dust to reveal a rich and intertextual narrative which explores the landscapes of history, philosophy, morality and religion. Yet in all this the author reserves the right not to judge his characters, but to observe and contextualise; the upshot being a thickening in the sauce of the stories mysteries and a deepening of focus away from plot, to character, subtext and setting. With the precision of a brain surgeon (where so many authors are gynecologists) DeLillo dissects the souls of his characters in all their complexity and absurdity. Like the ancient alphabets which the story deals with, DeLillo has carved a haunting mythology which will outlive us all. The Names is a historical lament for our time which will continue to be read in a far away future.