“A splendid, fierce novel by a deep practitioner of the form…. Enlivening, challenging, harrowing and beautiful.”—Matthew Sharpe, Los Angeles Times
"If Underworld was DeLillo’s extravagant funeral for the twentieth century, Point Omega is the farewell party for the last decade.... DeLillo has …. written the first important novel of the year."--Michael Miller, New York Observer
“A novel of ideas — about how language, film and art alter what we think of as reality. It's for readers ready to slow down and savor the words. It's for those who would watch not just Psycho, but ponder the meanings of ‘24 Hour Psycho’.”—Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today
“DeLillo is, without any doubt or qualification, one of the most influential, brilliant, gifted and insightful of American novelists. There are sentences in this book that are breathtaking.”—Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
“Haunting… DeLillo slows down the whole culture, all of our repertoire of artifacts, words, and gestures.”—Greil Marcus
“DeLillo has achieved a precision and economy of language here that any writer would envy.”—David Ignatius, Washington Post Book World
Like many of Mr. DeLillo's earlier books, Omega is preoccupied with death and dread and paranoia, and like many of those books, it has an ingenious architecture that gains resonance in retrospect.
The New York Times
Life assassinates art in the latest literary missive from DeLillo (White Noise). Precocious filmmaker Jim Finley visits Richard Elster, a scholar and government consultant, to pitch an idea for a documentary about Elster. What begins as a project spiel, however, gradually becomes a series of intellectual exchanges that only intensify when Elster's daughter arrives for a visit. The three settle into a comfortable routine, only to be catapulted out of it by a completely unexpected plot twist that will leave even careful readers scratching their heads. DeLillo's prose is simultaneously spare and lyrical, creating a minimalist dreamworld that will please readers attuned to language and sound. Structural purists, meanwhile, will appreciate the novel's film-related framing device, which wraps around the main action like a blanket and unifies the whole with a painful, poignant grace. VERDICT Though it be but brief, DeLillo's latest offering is fierce. An excellent nugget of thought-provoking fiction that pits life against art and emotion against intellect. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/09.]—Leigh Anne Vrabel, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh
Moving a step beyond the disturbing symbolism of Falling Man (2007, etc.), DeLillo ruminates teasingly on a tendency toward obliteration perhaps locked into the DNA of all living things. His crisp, precisely understated, hauntingly elliptical narrative frames a haltingly revealed story of moral compromise between two viewings of a piece of conceptual art, fashioned from the classic Hitchcock film Psycho, displayed at a small museum in the southwestern United States. The man who watches it, enthralled, is documentary filmmaker Jim Finley, who has traveled west to interview his potential film subject: former academic Richard Elster, now retired from his employment as an advisor during the Iraq War, living in a half-finished house in the California desert. The bulk of this very short book, which in some ways resembles Albert Camus' scorching novella The Fall, describes Finley's stay with the taciturn Elster, who is only too aware he was exploited to give credence to questionable military strategic decisions. Painstakingly elicited responses to Finley's earnest questions eventually disclose Elster's conviction that, deny it as we may, humankind compulsively bends toward "the omega point" at which life declines to continue existing and embraces the comfort of nonbeing: "We want to be stones in a field." This affirmation of entropy assumes agonizing human form when Elster's frail, detached and distracted adult daughter Jessie arrives for a visit that cannot and does not resolve any of her own "failures" and disappointments. The sparse narrative climaxes with yet another retreat from engagement with reality and concludes with Elster, once again a watcher rather than a doer, transformed in amanner that crystallizes DeLillo's brilliant deployments of two series of images: those in the Hitchcock film, and the borrowed motif of stairs climbed and descended at one's peril. An icy, disturbing and masterfully composed study of guilt, loss and regret-quite possibly the author's finest yet.