Reviews of Point Omega

09 March 2011

Take a look at some of the reviews for Don DeLillo's latest novel, Point Omega.

'The biggest news in literature this month is the arrival of a new novel from our favourite living American Don. Point Omega promises the usual furore of a literary event of massive global magnitude brilliant, slightly baffling (in a good way!) novel that's oddly sparse and airy but breathtakingly weighty at the same time. The really great bits of Point Omega read like the proclamations of an almost mystical being.' Dazed and Confused

'DeLillo is always great on the subject of film...His prose, with its stylised dialogue and minute attentiveness to effects of light, often seems to aspire to the condition of cinema, with the coolly jazzed cadences providing the score. These short sections of Point Omega, where the watcher meticulously observes his own and other people's reactions to the abstracted violence on the screen, are as sharp in their own right as you would expect...the handling is subtle and deft, and it works powerfully...The mystery itself is left hanging, but certain hints in the text, along with an elegant manipulation of the time-frame, permit a satisfying, even touching ending (though not a comforting one). It requires careful reading, but as with the man in the gallery, and as with every other aspect of this finely austere novel, the harder you look, the more you see.' James Lasdun, Guardian

'The patient reader will uncover a devastating vein of disquiet running beneath its tomb-cool surface. As in his recent novel Falling Man, which dealt with the attacks of 9/11, DeLillo chooses to take an oblique approach to a topic that might be blinding if viewed straight on. Like a hidden picture in a bland canvas, Elster's desolation is difficult to make out at first. Once lodged in the mid, however, it is impossible to forget.' Stephen Amidon, Sunday Times

'The brilliance of the book lies in DeLillo never once announcing that we are in Grand Theme territory. On the contrary, this unapologetic novel of ideas has its own stealthy logic...Written in a style that is frugal, frequently staccato, yet also displaying great flashes of spare beauty, DeLillo's strange, haunting tale can be read as an extended meditation on the way we use the theoretical concepts and conceits as a bulwark against the sheer unknowingness of other people, let alone ourselves...this being a DeLillo novel, there are no answers to the vast metaphysical dilemmas of temporal existence. There are only the sort of densely posited questions that take you to all sorts of challenging places where you have forgotten that fiction can actually take you.' Douglas Kennedy, The Times

'No other contemporary American novelist writes as acutely as DeLillo about power and its corollary, violence...the high concepts about politics and art are seeded not the story sinuously and the painterly rendering of the desert setting, with its `blinding tides of light and sky', imparts a wonderfully eerie atmosphere. The tone registers American relative decline, but DeLillo's powers show no sign of fading.' Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times

'another formidable construction by a very distinctive writer' Evening Standard

'This is an important, post-terrorism novel not just for DeLillo, but for US fiction...DeLillo, now 73, was always an original. He has always watched and listened, taken on popular culture, the environment, waste disposal, weaponry, cultural nuance, ethnic minorities and national paranoia. His characters represent the US on the run from itself, from Iraq, from a `now' weighted by history - the now that has always, since the publication of his debut Americana in 1971, preoccupied DonDe Lillo.' Irish Times

'I came to the end of Point Omega and immediately started it again, because I was uncertain of what I'd just encountered. I had failed to achieve a higher state of consciousness. I felt dizzy and perplexed, but also challenged and invigorated. Those are not unwelcome feelings and, I think, proportionate responses to this book and the times it describes.' GQ

'This elusive novel will grow in resonance as the years pass, exposing an afflicted society struggling to see the wood for the trees.' Time Out *****

'...at his best DeLillo's prose is as lean and purposeful as Cormac McCarthy's, though in Point Omega the irony is that this extraordinary talent is in the service of the notion that "words are not necessary to one's experience of the true life". The main section flickers in focus but there is great tension in the uneasy contradictions and this open-ended fable of the imminent apocalypse is a significant late addition to DeLillo's work.' Metro

'Point Omega is all about duration. The title, of course, refers to the theologian Father Teilhard de Chardin's belief that there is a point of perfection that the universe will eventually achieve. This belief has inspired countless novels, mainly in the science-fiction field, and is also unusually popular with musicians and television drama writers. DeLillo challenges this by asking what happens if you retard progress and slow things down. . . There is a lot of comedy in Point Omega, but the glacial speed of the book deliberately removes the laughs. . . Point Omega is a treat: the most satisfying and least cryptic of DeLillo's late novels.' Matt Thorne, Sunday Telegraph

'DeLillo has a far broader purpose, as he always does; to present a world in which perception and reality are one, and to suggest ways to navigate it. He is almost along in the mainstream of American literature in ploughing this furrow, and his continued determination to do so borders on the heroic. This strange, slight, brittle fiction is a worthy addition to an extraordinary body of work.' Independent on Sunday

'Don DeLillo's 15th novel . . .[is] also his best for years' Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph 

'A strong story with a hint of menace raises questions about the mutability of time and whether a life can ever be properly captured in words or on film.' Daily Mail

'Spare, concentrated and severely thoughtful, this book is never going to be called a light read, but at only 117 pages long, it is a perfect, invigorating mental workout.' Esquire

'Point Omega is a short book but one that demands very slow and attentive reading; followed by a re-reading. For, surprisingly, it's both a rarefied novel of ideas and also, albeit obliquely, a murder mystery.' Scotsman

'Not a bad place for DeLillo virgins to start.' The List

'Point Omega may be compact in size but it resonates with big ideas.' Tatler

'Point Omega is a thing of rare beauty. Exquisite sentence follows exquisite sentence, each of them demanding instant re-reading.'  Word Magazine

'DeLillo's vision has always been unusually sharp...His 16th novel is his most focused yet, a pared, intense anti-parable that begins in a New York art gallery...DeLillo's prose is so rigorous and so precise. This is a book that is as hypnotic, if sometimes baffling, as watching Gordon's hyper-slow Psycho. Both novel and film are a reminder that it's "impossible to see too much".' Observer

'Small in size, but large in substance.' Hot Press

 

 

Take a look at some of the reviews for Don DeLillo's latest novel, Point Omega.

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