Point Omega (Don DeLillo)

Point Omega is DeLillo’s newest novel, a slim but powerful book. It’s hard to pin down a book like this, which is deceptively simple at first blush but rather complex when one looks closely. DeLillo is a masterful stylist, but not in that overblown way us Canadians are used to seeing — he writes exceedingly well but doesn’t try to bludgeon the reader to death with his ability to write well. If you want a beautiful, dark, intelligent, disturbing puzzle of a novel, in which it’s unclear what has happened, and where the motivations lie, then read Point Omega. I especially enjoyed the fact that a third of the novel concerns a character watching Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho.

I need to take a moment to harp about one of my bugbears. I’ve seen some negative reviews of this book that are typical of reviews — gibberish with no relation to any known book. One prominent critic derided the book’s main emotional arc, that of an aging intellectual whose daughter disappears, for being simplistic. Nice try — read the book, and it’s obvious that, in fact, the book’s main emotional arc lies elsewhere (say, with the main character), and that the aging intellectual is a secondary character, who doesn’t appear in two of the book’s six sections. Advice to critics: try reading books.

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