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Point Omega by [DeLillo, Don]
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Point Omega Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

"A splendid, fierce novel by a deep practitioner of the form.... Enlivening, challenging, harrowing and beautiful."--Matthew Sharpe, "Los Angeles Times"

Review

"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"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 224 KB
  • Print Length: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (5 Mar. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003E1BGSM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,335 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book takes the novel to a new level. It is very sophisticated and very adult. It does not use a traditional story arc, instead leaving so much to the reader's own interpretation. But I can highly recommend it for readers who want to be treated as grown ups.
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Format: Paperback
'Point Omega' is the latest of a group of short novels or novellas that Don DeLillo has published since the appearance of the very long and much admired 'Underworld' in 1997 underlined his claim to be the best living American writer of prose fiction. All four books are short and sparely written; all are haunted by a sense of time running out.

In one reading 'Point Omega' is an existential thriller about a disappearance, perhaps a murder. In another, a warning about the dangers of looking into the abyss. In a third, it is a meditation on cultural and psychic exhaustion.

DeLillo takes an idea of Teilhard de Chardin's - the 'omega point' of absolute concentration of information and communication towards which de Chardin believed mankind was being drawn - and inverts it. The book presents an alternative to the view of technological optimists who believe in an evolution of human consciousness towards a 'singularity' - a takeoff point beyond which humanity will begin to transcend its limitations. In DeLillo's dark parable, complexity and selfconsciousness, ever-finer attention to ever-greater detail, ever-greater knowledge, lead over an event horizon into a black hole of solipsism and ultimate insignificance. For one of the central characters, human beings want to become stones again, giving up the burden of consciousness.

As a long-time admirer, I expected to enjoy 'Point Omega', but I hadn't expected it to be so good. The book is beautifully written, in what I suppose we are obliged to call DeLillo's late manner. There is nothing flashy here, and the opening section demands a little patience as the author conceals his intentions. But there is a plain continuity of thought with earlier novels - particularly 'End Zone' and 'The Names' - that makes it very much a part of DeLillo's distinctive artistic achievement. On this showing, 'late' DeLillo still has a lot to offer.
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Format: Paperback
Note to the publishers, putting "A Novel" under the title of a novella does not make it a novel.

De Lillo can write really nicely and many parts of this reminded me of Coetzee and Auster. I enjoyed the way the desert captures the sense of other worldliness and isolation and how it plays with our concept of time. The heat and daze of the desert acting like some insidious drug that slowly bleeds into your mind, along with the hard liquor inducing a languid, borderline surreal head space. I started to get quite engrossed in this story as it slowly built in the desert but then it just seemed to peter out. I found it too short and this did leave me wanting more and I felt frustrated by the unresolved nature of the ending.
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Format: Paperback
Delillo, the master of clean, spare prose, tackles the difficult subject of time, mortality and the mystery of human relationships in this slim novella. Despite the brevity of the story, it is framed in three parts, which some critics have observed that it reads like the 3 lines of a haiku.

The first part details a nameless character who obsessively views a conceptual art installation called "24 hour Psycho", which is a deliberate slowing down of Hitchcock's film so that it spans 24 hours. To the unnamed viewer, "the original movie was fiction, this was real." The main story forms the second part, where a filmmaker, Jim Finley seeks out a retired war strategist or "defense intellectual" Elster, who has become a recluse in the middle of a desert, in order to persuade him to be the subject of a one-take bio-documentary that objectively tells it as it is. In the blankness of the landscape and uncontained space, the two men form an unusual bond that encompasses Elster's detached daughter, who is sent to her father's by her divorced mother as an attempt to set some distance between her and a dubious suitor. The story resolves, or rather, comes full circle when it reintroduces the anonymous viewer at the same exhibit, where inexplicably, only one day has passed since we last met the viewer, though there are telltale signs that the world of intermediate story intersects with this world, which confuses and enthralls at the same time. Is this part of the slowed down time or is Delillo pushing home the point that time is only relative to our experience?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I often find DeLillo's work dull and hard to digest. Having read the blurb I expected an action-packed, fast-paced novel. I didn't get it. It was only when I was mulling over the book having finished it that I truly appreciated the message behind the work. I'd now rate this as my favourite DeLillo novel. Give it a go- if you don't like it then its so short that it doesn't really matter...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On the title page the words "A Novel" follow on from "Point Omega". This seems an almost willful act of confrontation. Point Omega is not a novel, it's barely a novella, maybe even a long short story. But maybe it's length is as much a deliberate comment on the themes of the book as the words contained within.

It is an ostensibly simple premise.

A filmmaker, Jim Finley, visits an old man, Richard Elster, in a house in a desert, to convince him to be the subject of his latest film. The old man was an advisor in the Iraq war, a scholar not a warrior, whose job it was to form an intellectual frame work for the war. Finley stays with Elster for a number of days and they talk deeply. Elster's daughter, Jessie, visits and then abruptly vanishes.

This story is bookended by scenes of a man (probably Finley, but this is never disclosed) obsessively viewing an art installation called '24 hour Psycho', which slows down the Hitchcock film so that it lasts for exactly 24 hours.

And that is it.

But what you get in this intense and deeply affecting piece of writing is a study of the nature of time; how it affects us as humans, how our concept of time is affected by our locations, and ultimately how we use use our time on Earth.

DeLillo also looks at the purpose of art, and in particular film, as a medium to discuss the frailty of human existence. In this way Point Omega references his earlier short story Baader Meinhof. In themes and style it is reminiscent of his early novels such as White Noise. This is not the indulgent, wide reaching DeLillo of Underworld. This is a writer taking one specific point and using all his creative faculties to produce something crystalline.
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