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Point Omega

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  8,010 ratings  ·  836 reviews
Don DeLillo looks into the mind and heart of a "defense intellectual," one of the men involved in the management of the country's war machine.

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 l
Hardcover, 117 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Scribner Book Company
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B. R. Reed If you are a new DeLillo reader then I would suggest you try Libra or White Noise. Both of those books are more accessible. Don't give up on DeLillo a…moreIf you are a new DeLillo reader then I would suggest you try Libra or White Noise. Both of those books are more accessible. Don't give up on DeLillo as he is one of our top living writers. There is not much character development or plot in Point Omega. DeLillo is now 80 yrs old and his last couple books have been short novellas, this one and The Body Artist. I liked the concept of this book but it was not really developed. I have found that it helps to read DeLillo w/o distractions. Good luck.(less)

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Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Steven Godin
It's hardly a surprise to me that I surface from another Don DeLillo novel feeling faintly unsettled and disoriented. This can be seen as both a blessing and a curse throughout much of his fiction, and the reason he can be such a compelling writer in one book, and such a frustrating one in another. I've loved two of his novels, but didn't think much of two others, and for me, Point Omega sits somewhere in the middle. This short novel had a hypnotic feel to it, and is told with a prose that is bo ...more
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Ian "Marvin" Graye

“Somebody said, “What am I looking at?”

Ways of Looking

This novella is concerned with ways of looking, ways of seeing, ways of thinking and ways of being. "We have to make the most of what we see." #

It starts with a desire to make a documentary film of a man's life, and ends with an attempt to comprehend the supposed death of a woman, the man's adult daughter (perhaps murdered with a knife, which is eventually found in the desert).

Neither quest proceeds to completion (t
Feb 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
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
Lee Klein
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it
The "omega point" mentioned maybe two or three times is sort of (its meaning is self-consciously identified as maybe not meaning this) an accretion of consciousness that requires a reversal, a dissolution of self, a "paroxysm," Elster calls it, liking the sound of the word. There are two images in this novella, set in a gallery at MoMA and out west in the middle of nowhere near an impact area, a former blast zone, that struck me: the first is a stray perception that I've also experienced that Mo ...more
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.
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
***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 mi
Feb 07, 2010 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
Jack Waters
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
J. Kent Messum
I've tried to get into Don DeLillo a few times, mostly because I often see him listed among a general shortlist of other writers I greatly admire. But for the life of me, I can't understand why he shares the podium with clearly better talents. Maybe I just haven't read the right stuff by him yet.

That's not to say DeLillo is a bad writer. Far from it. His prose is generally quite smooth, and the subject matter intelligent. But the books I've tried smack of that peculiar brand of somewhat subtle h
Jim Elkins
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american
What In The World Is A Philosophic Novel?

Idea-driven novels have traditionally been regarded as precarious. (It would be good to know the history of this idea; it was in force in the reception of Kundera in the 1980s, but it probably derives from the reception of 19th century realist novels.) "Point Omega" is very brief, cleverly set by the designers at Picador with a large trim size and ample kerning and line spacing, so that it scrapes by at 117 pages. The book's brevity advertises its concept
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, audio
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
Jul 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Roger Brunyate
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, science

This novella by Don DeLillo (only 117 pages) opens and closes with an unnamed man in a museum watching Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho being shown over and over again in slow motion, its two-hour span being stretched to fill an entire day (this is an actual videowork by Douglas Gordon). For the man, lurking in the darkness at one side of the screen or the other, time dissolves, scale becomes meaningless, and random details take on an almost mystical significance. Mesmerizing. The story that
Jason Pettus
Dec 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
(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
Jun 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
Jun 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
James Dyke
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan  Collinsworth
I've heard the raves about DeLillo for a while now, and wanted to read something by him. I chose this book because, honestly, it's short and I didn't want to commit to Underworld if I didn't end up liking it. This It was good, and interesting and had some interesting ideas, but it wasn't that great. According to the jacket blurb, we "look into the mind and heart of a 'defense intellectual'". I don't feel like we did. Maybe into Finley's mind and heart. I have to go read other people's reviews n ...more
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Aug 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Although fascinated by how DeLillo could stretch a moment of time to its minutest by exploring both the psychological depth of thoughts and sensory awareness of the surroundings, in the opening section of this novella, it was not nearly enough to keep me interested in the rest of the story. His style is simply not for me. It is too abstract, too self-conscious, to have an impactful emotional effect. Dumped half-way through.
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Krok Zero
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: winter-09-to-10
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
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This was truly beautiful, I almost cried. You know why, whoever or no one who is reading this? because I didn't care how this ended, I didn't care that the mystery was not concretely solved (I have my theories that they both vanished), I didn't want anything to happen because the tension of this book is inside its words. Nothing much happens, but the characters are not lunatics who talk without sense, they are true humanoids. I always liked to imagine that behind our big words we have only mere
Sep 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Joe Kucharski
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Point Omega is Don DeLillo’s exercise in drinking scotch neat and slowly discussing loss, without ever directly mentioning such. Until it happens. And maybe not even then. With DeLillo’s glacier-moving plot, loss is the only event that occurs in a book that focuses on two men: one old, and one getting there. They talk like old men. Drink like old men. Slowly. Repetitively. Discussing. Dissecting. Thinking. At certain beats, what thoughts indeed.

DeLillo slows down time, deliberately, stunningly.
Kyle Muntz
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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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

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