Friday, March 5, 2010

Point Omega

Focus. After finishing Don DeLillo’s novel, Point Omega, I closed the book and had two immediate reactions: “huh?” and “wow.” Protagonist Richard Elster is in the California desert reflecting on his life and the role he played in helping plan the invasion of Iraq in 2003. With a funnel-like focus, DeLillo deconstructs Elster’s troubling questions. The title refers to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s notion that humans are evolving a consciousness that is moving toward a point of exhaustion that could lead to paroxysm or to the sublime. Readers will choose for ourselves one or the other by the end of Point Omega. I find that I keep thinking about the art exhibit DeLillo uses in the novel, the 24 hour Psycho, in which the Hitchcock movie is played at a slow speed to cover a full 24 day. In that way, one’s focus moves to elements not observed at the regular rate. The focus that DeLillo demands will reward some readers and frustrate others.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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