Marc Weidenbaum's Reviews > Point Omega

Point Omega by Don DeLillo
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May 18, 10

Read in May, 2010

Read this through quickly when it first came out -- thank you, Amazon pre-order -- and then again this past month, as I was fiddling with a short essay about an earlier book, Cosmopolis.

Point Omega can be read as the fourth book in a series of which Cosmopolis was the second: the four slender novellas that have followed DeLillo's sizable Underworld.

When I reread Point Omega, I did so slowly, though not quite at the pace suggested by the book, which opens and, in as near as one could get to a "spoiler" in a DeLillo novel, closes with a detailed consideration of Douglas Gordon's art work 24 Hour Psycho. In 24 Hour Psycho, the Hitchock film is slowed so that it takes 24 hours to watch in its entirety. Every moment, every eye opening, every sliver of light crawling across the floor, happens at a speed that is virtually nill.

The book tells two stories, three if you include those opening and closing sections. At first, it's the tale of a man who visits a reclusive thinker who'd played a strategic role in the second Iraq War, in the hopes of making a film of the man speaking. Then the thinker's daughter shows up, and when she suddenly disappears, the book becomes a consideration of her absence -- like a thriller shorn of any thrills, just the emptiness and fear, and the deeper emptiness that subsumes them when the girl and her disappearance become memories.

This isn't DeLillo at his best, though it is the first of the four novellas to end better than it begins (not including the framing 24 Hour Psycho sections).
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