Synopses & Reviews
In the middle of a desert “somewhere south of nowhere,” to a forlorn house made of metal and clapboard, a secret war advisor has gone in search of space and time. Richard Elster, seventy-three, was a scholar—an outsider—when he was called to a meeting with government war planners. They asked Elster to conceptualize their efforts—to form an intellectual framework for their troop deployments, counterinsurgency, orders for rendition. For two years he read their classified documents and attended secret meetings. He was to map the reality these men were trying to create. “Bulk and swagger,” he called it. At the end of his service, Elster retreats to the desert, where he is joined by a filmmaker intent on documenting his experience. Jim Finley wants to make a one-take film, Elster its single character—“Just a man against a wall.”
The two men sit on the deck, drinking and talking. Finley makes the case for his film. Weeks go by. And then Elsters daughter Jessie visits—an “otherworldly” woman from New York—who dramatically alters the dynamic of the story. When a devastating event follows, all the mens talk, the accumulated meaning of conversation and connection, is thrown into question. What is left is loss, fierce and incomprehensible.
“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
“DeLillo is, without any doubt or qualification, one of the most influential, brilliant, gifted and insightful of American novelists. There are sentences in this book that are breathtaking.”—Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
“Haunting… DeLillo slows down the whole culture, all of our repertoire of artifacts, words, and gestures.”—Greil Marcus
“DeLillo has achieved a precision and economy of language here that any writer would envy.”—David Ignatius, Washington Post Book World
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 the Author
, the author of fifteen novels, including Underworld
, Falling Man, White Noise,
, 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. Campbell Scott
directed the film Off The Map,
and received the best actor award from the National Board of Review for his performance in Roger Dodger.
His other films include The Secret Lives of Dentists, The Dying Gaul, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle
and Big Night,
which he also co-directed.