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Point Omega

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  4,299 ratings  ·  524 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 ...more
Hardcover, 117 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Scribner Book Company (first published 2010)
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Can't Wait Books of 2010
285th out of 1,185 books — 10,702 voters
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Don DeLillo ranked
4th out of 15 books — 6 voters

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“It takes work, pious effort, to see what you are looking at.” Don DeLillo

Gentle reader, don’t come to Point Omega looking for a fun story, unique characters, or lyrical prose. “Point Omega” exists as a high-concept novella. A swirling cloud of electrons prophesying your extinction and the collapse of time encircle this haiku of a plot. Interested? If you have to ask, you probably cannot afford it.

Jim Finley wants to film a documentary about Richard Elster, “a defense intellectual” who planned
Yes, for sure, in this slender little volume (especially in the first half), you'll find Don DeLillo at his most obtusely self-parodic. You see, DeLillo now apparently culls all of his dialogue from some strange dimly-lit alternate universe where stubbornly humorless men and women sit around drinking scotch and waving their arms in the general direction of infinity -- as a vague, portentous symbol of futility in the face of everythingness. This, certainly, is simultaneously DeLillo's shorthand a ...more
let's get past the fact that don delillo is kind of a dickhead for allowing us to pay $24 for a 117 pg novella and get to the point: it's worth it. twenty-four bucks for a whiff of the ineffable? we'll take it.

“Consciousness is exhausted. Back now to inorganic matter. This is what we want. We want to be stones in a field.” so speaks richard elster, 73 yr old cog in the american war machine, pining and praying for the extinction of the human race, asking to be zapped back to the stardust we all
Last night at work a man who looked like Zizek approached the information desk.

Him, I'm looking for the section on culture process.

Me, what do you mean?

Him, how can I say this (insert vague European accent), (pause), yes, i'm looking for, (pause, looking like he is thinking), books about, (pause, look of satisfaction on his face), the process of culture.

That answer cleared up all my confusions, right?

He continued to speak down to me and explain that he was making a syllabus for a class and th
Consider me the Bizarro David MK. He doesn't like poor people and their B.O. Contrarian-contrarian that I am, I don't like whiny rich people who are so jaded they drone on about the ineffability of everything, and how no one is really sure of anything ever, and you can't cross the same river twice and so on.

Elster, a defense intellectual, picked for his mean liberal arts skills, is one such man (Fuck, if that's what it takes, the DOJ should give me a job. I'm a renaissance man with a liberal art
Nov 16, 2013 Lilo rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Lilo by: I found it at the Dollar Store
You may call me uneducated, ignorant, unappreciative, or a philistine, I'll still say that I hated this book. I only finished it because I refused to believe that it would not come to any point, be it point Omega or any other point.

After I finished reading the book, I felt that I should sue the author for stealing my valuable time, charging $ 100.-- an hour because this would be the absolute minimum someone would have to pay me for reading this book a second time. (And this would have been a ba
O artista plástico, Daniel Gordon criou uma instalação na qual é projectado o Psycho de Hitchcock à velocidade de dois fotogramas por segundo. Desta forma, a exibição do filme dura exactamente vinte e quatro horas.

O livro começa e termina com um homem, de pé na sala de projecção, a visualizar o filme.
O centro do romance é passado num deserto onde um jovem realizador, durante uns dias, conversa com Elster, um idoso que esteve envolvido na guerra do Iraque, e com o qual pretende fazer um filme/en
Audio book experiment failed.

Even though Campbell Scott has a nice voice, I probably should have read this book instead of listening to it in my car. The parts devoted to Douglas Gordon's 24 Hour Psycho were beautiful and had me wishing that for my first experience with DeLillo I had chosen to read him rather than listen to someone else read him to me.

The beginning had my attention, but then I zoned out a lot during the middle section and had to repeat tracks more than once. Towards the end of
Feb 27, 2010 Peter added it
Hyper-abstract intellectualization. Overly-ruminative prose peppered with mysterious and incomplete sentences. Pages of characters projecting thoughts onto others. Ugh.

I get what DeLillo is going for in Point Omega: the environments that we create and choose to inhabit blind us and remind us of what makes up every millisecond of our human existence. And, the relationships and events of our lives thrust us inevitably forward, into and through the importance and significance of now. This is a nice
***ATTENZIONE, ATENCIÓN, ATTENTION---First time reader of Don DeLillo***

At the library kiosk labelled 'New Arrivals 2010,' Point Omega's snazzy purple-pink dustcover called out loudly to passersby with its nicely-centered, infinity icon and bold raised print. It was shiny, crisp, and industriously stamped in solid black 'Jan 2010' on the pages' top edge. I snatched it up as soon as another returned it to the inclined sill, probably its first day in circulation, drawing immediate attention. I mis
MJ Nicholls
This flirtation with DeLillo is leading nowhere. That moment of elation when one imagines someone is nurturing amorous intentions behind their flirting towards you, but is flirting for the fun of flirting and nurturing ideas to call up ten other people who aren’t you instead, despite your sleepless nights of dreams and delights. That, Don. That.
This is a terrible, terrible book: self-indulgent, pretentious, without meaning or explanation and largely without action or incident. Its sole plus point is its length. At less than 150 pages of well-spaced type you only waste two or three hours getting through it.
This is the first DeLillo I have read and it will be the last. I like a fair bit of modern American fiction (Roth, Franzen et al.) and was expecting to like this and then move on to what is (I think) supposed to be his best book, the
William Thomas
Sometime while writing Libra, you decided that your work should be epic, larger than life, more important than life even. You thought you would write books with overarching universal truths steeped in history and modernism and somehow that would in turn make you a part of history. But what you began to write were flat, soft, somber, monotone pieces inflated by your ego and disguised in a thin veil of humility- as if speaking softly would show the world how humble you were. Instead, you are washe ...more
Krok Zero
DeLillo's L'avventura. Kind of. The arid desert, the lack of anything happening, the disappearance of a character...this makes me wonder if DeLillo had been chowing down on some Antonioni lately. And L'avventura came out the same year as Psycho, a film that is the focal point of this novel's intro/outro bookend chapters. Coincidence? (Yes.)

I can't really add anything to Brian's review, although I'm going with 4 stars because 3 stars usually denotes underwhelmment, and that's certainly not what I
One of the two narrators of “Point Omega,” the latest short novel by Don DeLillo, is an experimental filmmaker currently, quote, unquote, working on his second film. “Working,” actually, is too generous a word to describe what he is doing; to use it is to view the aggregate of his efforts in a way that is only too encouraging. Work is force times the distance through which it is enforced, the idiom of physics dictates, and while there may be considerable, albeit mostly verbal and psychological, ...more
Jun 13, 2012 David rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: War conceptualizers, wannabe filmmakers, intellectuals
This is one of those "people sitting around talking deep shit" books. And one of those books that I'd give 2 stars on face value, because I found it mostly pretty boring and pointless and it left me not at all inclined to go rush out and try some more Don DeLillo, yet I still appreciated the craft of his writing, so I probably will try another one of his books at some point. After all, I hated the first Cormac McCarthy novel I ever read (that was The Road, btw), but I gave McCarthy another shot ...more
João Carlos
“Ponto Ómega” inicia-se em 2006, no final do Verão, início do Outono, com um capítulo “Anonimato” 3 de Setembro. Estamos no MOMA (Museu de Arte Moderna de Nova Iorque) Richard Elster é um dos visitantes, permanece imóvel a ver uma obra de videoarte intitulada “24 Hour Psycho”, que mais não é do que a projecção do filme “Psycho” de Alfred Hitchcock, em velocidade lenta, criada pelo artista Douglas Gordon.
Richard Elster, de 73 anos, foi um estratega do Pentágono na Guerra do Iraque, vive recluso n
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

If any more proof is needed that September 11th effectively brought an end to the Postmodernist period, just look at the sad recent fate of author Don DeLillo, who back in the 1970s and '80s was one of the most brilliant and celebrated writers in the entire country, perpetually cranking out masterpieces l
Reconozco que Don DeLillo ya me había llamado la atención en otros momentos, cuando leo las listas de novedades o los blogs, pero sobre todo cuando voy de librerías. Será por su nombre, así como de capo de la mafia, o por los títulos de sus libros. No lo sé; pero inevitablemente me sentía atraído por este nombre, teniendo que leer, inevitablemente, en qué anda metido. Y esto mismo es lo que me ha sucedido con 'Punto omega', lo primero que leo de este gran autor norteamericano, título que me hací ...more
Tim Lepczyk
If you're a reader who likes plot points neatly tied and convention followed, this book is not for you. Point Omega by Don DeLillo revolves around a character named Elster, who is an intellectual that was brought into the war effort around 2004. I can't think exactly who he is modeled on, but he's an apologist, a hawk, a salesman coming up with terms like "a haiku war," as if by changing the words we use to wage war we can change the context or identity of war.

Elster has quit the scene and escap
Kyle Muntz
Perfect distance, perfect despair, crisp prose, "dreams of extinction", the failed pursuit of "the true life". I haven't read DeLillo in years, since White Noise, and I don't remember him being this good, though at the same time I'm not sure if this novel is his best or even a very successful. He's too much of a "Great American Author" for my tastes, but the subject matter here, from what I remember, is less familiar and a little more profound, even if it's not fleshed out fully.
Sentimental Surrealist
The good news is the framing device, an examination of the installation piece 24-Hour Psycho, a real-life artwork that slows the famous Hitchcock film down so it lasts for a full day. Like a lot of what DeLillo does, this piece threatens to tip into essay mode, but is kept out of it with its impressionistic tone and its use of a character who, again in typical DeLillo fashion, brings the "alone in a crowd" cliche to vivid and marvelous life. It's not quite Pafko at the Wall, but Pafko at the Wal ...more
James Dyke
I can feel a DeLillo binge coming on. I started this novella (it's 150 pages but the type is massive, this is barely a novel) yesterday, and in 3 brief sittings (including 2 very relaxing baths), I finished the thing.

I'd heard a lot about DeLillo's later novels being disappointing. But this is DeLillo we're talking about; whilst I didn't LOVE White Noise, I've read it twice, it does strike many chords with me, and still intrigues me. Underworld I'm pretty sure is a masterpiece (I reached halfwa
Jack Waters
In short? It's about a secret war advisor and a young filmmaker.
Well before the book graced shelves, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin coined the term Omega Point, described as a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which the universe appears to be evolving.
The novel records the exchanges between a retired academic, Elster, and a documentarian, Jim. Elster, at the end of his storied career as a scholar and wartime philosophizer for the U.S. government, retreats to the desert to enter h
Tengo miedo de que este libro me persiga, a la vez que deseo leerlo otra vez, atesorar nuevos pensamientos... Es brillante y obsesivo, pero temo no haberlo entendido al 100%. Qué más da, si igualmente me ha marcado.
What do we see when we look?
"The less there was to see, the harder he looked, the more he saw" p5
"It takes work, pious effort, to see what you are looking at" p13

This short fiction contains some long views of our society and the perilous trajectory DdL has observed in previous works. Here, he bases his story around a preposterous idea that in fact, he acknowledges at the end, was an actual video installation.

How this is all perceived, broken down,rendered and refracted, is almost incidental to t
Pretentious minimalist nonsense, as per usual for Delillo.

Listen to this dialog, it bears no semblance to how any human speaks or thinks:

I said, "I have a wall, I know a wall, it's in a loft in Brooklyn, big messy industrial loft. I have access pretty much any time day or night. Wall is mostly pale gray, some cracks, some stains, but these are not distractions, they're not self-conscious design elements. The wall is right, I think about it, dream about it, I open my eyes and see it, close my ey
Jun 10, 2013 Steve rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to Steve by: White Noise
Best DeLillo sentence: I knew he had written about the meanings of baby talk and so he'd clearly be interested in a major show of objects created in the name of demolished logic.

Seriously, after you're finished, just jam this sucker up there where it belongs, beside The Body Artist. My initial reaction after finishing Point Omega was to not do a review. It's one of those rare books that left me angry. It's a contemptuous piece of writing. It didn't start out that way, with it's 24 hour slow-mo P
Mitch Sebourn
DeLillo, recently, is not an easy writer to enjoy. He's lately produced small volumes (not that this in itself is a bad thing) with very abstract (or nonexistent) plots, filled with characters who are sad, lonely, and minimally developed.

Nevertheless, latter day DeLillo is worth reading for three reasons, and all of these points are particularly true about Point Omega:

1) He can write a very good sentence. If you enjoy reading because you like good writing, you'll find plenty to revel in while y
Boden Steiner
A friend mentioned this book the other day, and it got me thinking about it. I don't usually post formal reviews, but I found some notes scribbled from my reading:

I love the writing--no question about that--and I can sense the quilting thing going on, where, as in Underworld, it is the "whole" that makes the story, the pieces contributing to a greater thought or feeling. In much of the book DeLillo seems to be riffing on his own brand of writing and storytelling -- film as pieces, the idea of ha
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Don DeLillo is an American author best known for his novels, which paint detailed portraits of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He currently lives outside of New York City.

Among the most influential American writers of the past decades, DeLillo has received, among author awards, a National Book Award (White Noise, 1985), a PEN/Faulkner Award (Mao II, 1991), and an American
More about Don DeLillo...
White Noise Underworld Libra Cosmopolis Falling Man

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“If you reveal everything, bare every feeling, ask for understanding, you lose something crucial to your sense of yourself. You need to know things that others don't know. It's what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.” 103 likes
“You need to know things the others don't know. It's what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.” 41 likes
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