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Point Omega: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, Feb 2 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (Feb. 2 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439169950
  • ASIN: B0048ELEFY
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 14.6 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,071,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Don DeLillo, the author of fifteen novels, including Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra, 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.

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Format: Hardcover
I've been a longtime fan of DeLillo and so when I saw he had a new book coming out I tracked down an advance copy at the bookstore where I work. This is a slim and spare novel. Clocking in at only 117 pages, it's the smallest stand-alone novel that DeLillo has ever written (The Body Artist is the next smallest). Depending on how you look at it, there is either a lot contained in this little book...or not much at all. I say that because the story is bare bones, the plot so thin as to be almost non-existent. But DeLillo has always been a novelist of ideas first and plot second. Each of his books is a philosophical meditation on a subject, with characters and story orbiting around that. Point Omega is about the construct of time and how we experience it. How it can be slowed in certain moments and sped up in others, how it's different in different places, how we are all looking for that moment of transcendence in our life where time ceases to be and we are just there in the moment.

Now if that sounds cheesy, it's only because I'm not as good a writer as DeLillo. The novel begins with an unnamed character watching the movie Psycho slowed down so the film takes 24 hours to play out. We then are transported to the desert, where a filmmaker attempts to persuade a man who had a hand in the creation of the Iraq war to speak for a documentary he wants to make.

This is a novel that is as vast and empty as the desert in which it is set. It's easy to get lost, even among its small page count. DeLillo's prose is not for everyone. Some may criticize that he is overly intellectual, that he shouldn't be writing novels, but nonfiction essays instead. All I can say is that there is something in his writing that really connects with me. This book may not be a fast-paced thriller, but it is engaging nonetheless.

I wouldn't recommend this as a starting point if you have never read DeLillo before. White Noise would be the obvious book you should begin with.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Short and sweet, but thought provoking and full of classic DeLillo quotables. DeLillo doesn't "just" give you a story, but hands you a delicious puzzle to play with.
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Format: Hardcover
Time is the leading thread of this novel. It tells how it affects people and how people are trying to manipulate Time.

I believe that Don Delillo didn't write a novel but a long poem instead. Not modern poetry but an epos if you will or better: a play from antiquity (both limited in Space and Time). And like a Greek tragedy it has only a few characters: Richard Elster an old scientist and philosopher, Jim Finley a film maker and finally Jessica, the daughter of Richard. The main character is Time.
Richard, gloomy and taciturn. Jim, idealistic and has his head in the clouds. Jessica seems to carry a secret and is a little reclusive.

At the beginning of the novel - as a sort of introduction - an unnamed person (Elster or Finley?) - talks about a video performance at The Museum of Modern Art in New-York-City. The performance is an attempt to reach unlimited Time; The movie 'Psycho' by Alfred Hitchcock is electronically slowed down to full 24 hours. So if you stare for only a short while at the video screen it's as if nothing happens. Almost infinite or unlimited Time.
There are not many visitors to the room of the video-show and they stay only for a minute at the most. The mysterious person who explains to the reader the video performance and the behavior of the public, stays in the dark shadow of the room (Jessica?) and only now and then he/she walks around the room for a while.

Richard Elster and Jim Finley live in a house with a corrugated metal roof above a clapboard exterior and located at the edge of a desert. They only stay for a few weeks. Jim tells Richard that he would like to make a video-film with Richard as the only character. He doesn't have to say or do anything.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars 75 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars June 27 2016
By coreen - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great book
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging, mysterious, haunting and beautifully written gem Feb. 6 2010
By Federico (Fred) Moramarco - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this to be a mesmerizing book, DeLillo's best, I think, since Underworld. I was disappointed by his last three efforts: Falling Man, The Body Artist, and Cosmopolis, although the latter had its moments. But here he sharpens his sentences with a laser and sandwiches a tale about a filmmaker who wants to make a documentary about one of the architects of the Iraqi War between two episodes of "Anonymity," the same filmmaker watching a video installation called "24 Hour Psycho" (an actual video work which showed at the Museum of Modern Art in Summer 2006) in which the Hitchcock film is shown in ultra slow motion to screen in 24 hours instead of 2. There are a number of interconnections between the two stories having to do with men and relationships, psychological dependence, filmic reality versus actual life, fathers and daughters as opposed to mothers and sons, imagined and actual violence, and the obsessions of the artist to get things right. It's filled with the kind of insights we've come to expect from DeLillo. Like this: "I wondered what he meant by everything. It's what we call self, the true life, he said, the essential being. It's self in the soft wallow of what it knows, and what it knows is that it will not live forever."Or this: "If you reveal everything, bare every feeling, ask for understanding, you lose something crucial to your sense of yourself. You need to know things the others don't know. It's what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself." I'd have liked to have seen the middle story--depicting the filmmaker, the Iraqi war architect and his daughter--fleshed out a little more fully. It's sort of a teasing mystery that doesn't quite get worked out, but then again, that's part of its allure.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, Elegant, Unsettling and Recommended April 17 2010
By dmontag - Published on
Format: Paperback
In this book, DeLillo sets the initial scene in museum in which the art work, "24 Hour Psycho" is being shown. The piece consists of a projection on a scrim of Hitchcock's film, "Psycho", in vastly slowed frame-by-frame style lasting 24 hours. DeLillo eloquently describes how the setting, presentation and altered time transform the film from its original form, creating an entirely different perceptual and conceptual experience. In the gallery, as a man experiences the piece, the reader is confronted with questions of the role of perspective, expectation and time on one's personal perception. In the process, DeLillo very effectively projects a sense of the disorientation and intellectual challenge provoked by the art piece. The next location is in the desert, where a film producer attempts to involve a academic war planner in a proposed documentary. A kind of symmetry occurs here, with the war planner's own concepts forming the basis of his individualized abstract notion of what war would be and what his role would be in planning it. The planner's abstract concept of military planning and government then parallels his difficulty in interacting and understanding his own daughter, and is no less personalized and disconnected from reality than that of the film producer and, for that matter, the man viewing 24-hour Psycho. DeLillo's presentation of the thoughts and perceptions of the man in the museum, the war planner, the film maker all focus on questions of perception and reality, and the characters are themselves disoriented and sometimes confused about what they are experiencing. Interestingly, the daughter is described but her thoughts and perceptions are never revealed. The narrative in this book is important but not foremost. It is a skeleton on which to hang important ideas and questions that are hard to shake off.

This book is austere in its writing and DeLillo's prose is beautifully economical. There is not an excess word, but at the same time the writing is vivid and frequently arresting. Although the writing is clear and very accessible, the book is not a "read" or page-turner, it needs a deliberate and attentive approach and rewards with a rich experience.

This book is food for some interesting thoughts about the influence of time, personal experience and point-of-view perception as they relate to whatever reality might be. It is another important work by DeLillo and it should be read.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Liked it i think March 7 2010
By Miguel - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an aerated novel that wants to be a condensed, stylized short story, or maybe even a play... It is a novel that is supposed to be finished in the reader's head, completed by all the connections the reader finds between the long aftershocks of Bush's war on terror and the modern-day obsession with images and information flickering across screens large and small... I do wish it were longer - that is, I wish DeLillo had more omnivorously taken in the contemporary moment and fed it into the gears of his literary intelligence, because his spare rooms and stark screens are too concept-driven, too slight for the monumentality of his observations... But I will take what I can get from the master.As a raging DeLillo fan, I'd be more excited to see him branch out to another genre--an experimental autobiography, or essayistic micro-observations of his favorite art and literature--than write another short novel about detached and largely interchangeable characters.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert "Unconsciousness" Sept. 21 2010
By danielsden - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novella had immense meaning for me. Living myself in the severe isolation of the desert, it hammmered the mindlessness that develops, the struggle for consciousness, if you will, against an ageless and eternal backdrop.
Behind my house stands a strange and elusive monolith of pure granite, a billion years old, over which the sun rises each morning, that might make you believe you were living in the early stages of the film "2001: A Space Odyssey". In fact, you might think at any time that an "apeman" carrying a club was going to stumble on your property (I don't mean a "golfer".) Delillo here, I think, captures what Sartre discusses in "Being and Nothingness". Nature is a mass up against which human consciousness is dwarfed as ephemeral and fleeting. There really is no meaning in Nature to the thoughts or words of men, and I'm afraid we have forgotten that this unique characteristic of humanity "knowing the other" is incredibly beautiful, but limited and, alas, probably headed for a massive transformation that might indeed be called "extinction", at least in the way we have known it. It takes little thought to understand that the complete vanishing of "Jessica" is simply the most concrete way of presenting this. This, being set up against a World of upheaval, the planning of a War, the meeting of strange men in a solitary room, all beckons the reader to understand that Elster has "given up" on consciousness and his own humanity. Elster, like Nietsche, has begun to believe "that consciousness is a disease". With Consciousness gone, time in now out of sync. There is no future, but only an endless and eternal "now", the single glimpse of an eyeball or a bird's feather at each moment as in the "Psycho" scenes. Do we remember the past? Can there be a future? These are some of the incredible "moments" built into the fabulous prose of Delillo's sometimes frightening, but always fascinating, novella.