Point Omega

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. Bookended with an elaborate depiction of Douglas Gordon’s film project 24 Hour Psycho, in which the classic Hitchcock film is reduced to play at two frames per second, DeLillo slows the lives of Elster, a former military analyst, and Finley, a wannabe filmmaker, stretching out their time into a series of blurred together sun rises and sets. Their discussion works. The reader yearns for that next conversation particularly from Elster, his theories, his philosophy; he sees war as a haiku.

Intellectually deep and mono/dialogue heavy – this is good stuff.

Yet, yes and yet, as a lover of stories, this one doesn’t go anywhere. The arrival, and subsequent departure, of Elster’s daughter Jessie, is the only element denoting time moving forward, as the two men are stuck in their own two fps lives. Ideas are discussed, dreams are forgotten, and again yet, there isn’t any true development for them as the lack of a narrative-heavy arc prevents any true catharsis or evolution. Then the book simply ends, leaving the men stuck in the inconsequence of their own inaction. To be watched, frame by frame, with no resolution in sight.

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