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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction


Point Omega

Don DeLillo

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | links | about the author

To purchase Point Omega

Title: Point Omega
Author: Don DeLillo
Genre: Novel
Written: 2010
Length: 117 pages
Availability: Point Omega - US
Point Omega - UK
Point Omega - Canada
Point Omega - India
Point Oméga - France
Der Omega-Punkt - Deutschland
Punto Omega - Italia

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Haven't gotten a copy of the book; still haven't really tackled much of DeLillo

Chances that we will review it:

Fairly slim

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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Bookforum . 2-3/2010 Aleksandar Hemon
Christian Science Monitor . 15/2/2010 Jacob Silverman
Entertainment Weekly C+ 27/1/2010 Chris Nashawaty
Financial Times . 1/3/2010 Ludovic Hunter-Tilney
The Guardian . 27/2/2010 James Lasdun
Independent on Sunday . 7/3/2010 Archie Bland
The LA Times . 31/1/2010 Matthew Sharpe
The National . 28/1/2010 Giles Harvey
Neue Zürcher Zeitung . 20/2/2010 Angela Schader
New York . 1/2/2010 Sam Anderson
The NY Times B- 1/2/2010 Michiko Kakutani
The NY Times Book Rev. . 7/2/2010 Geoff Dyer
The New Yorker . 1/3/2010 .
The Observer . 21/3/2010 Hermione Hoby
San Francisco Chronicle . 14/2/2010 Alan Cheuse
The Spectator . 3/3/2010 Justin Cartwright
Sunday Times . 28/2/2010 Stephen Amidon
The Telegraph . 7/3/2010 Matt Thorne
The Times . 27/2/2010 Douglas Kennedy
USA Today . 2/2/2010 Bob Minzesheimer
The Washinton Post . 16/2/2010 David Ignatius
Die Welt . 20/2/2010 Uwe Wittstock

  Review Consensus:

  Very mixed feelings about it; it's very static and cerebral

  From the Reviews:
  • "Don DeLillo's Point Omega is a hard book to critique because it is chock-full of brilliance and ought to be supported simply because we need books that allow humanity to think about the condition of being human. But, in fact, Point Omega's excess of thought and brilliance is its biggest problem. (...) The problem of Point Omega is not in its execution but in its conception, in the implicit belief that evolving consciousness inescapably becomes unmoored from material reality and language and is therefore truly present only in complex models that refer to other complex models" - Aleksandar Hemon, Bookforum

  • "Perhaps, then, the most revealing part of DeLillo’s latest novel, Point Omega, is that it has no image or vast plot to refer back to, no history-spanning event that can provide some center of gravity. (...) And such is the frustrating experience of reading Point Omega. Gesturing at some of DeLillo’s great themes and introducing a potentially great character in Richard Elster, the book manages to be worthwhile. But at about 120 pages, it never gets where we’re promised" - Jacob Silverman, Christian Science Monitor

  • "The rhythm of DeLillo's writing is, as always, hypnotic. But his narrative seems like an excuse to drone on and on about the end of the American empire. Point Omega feels like the abandoned sketches of a longer novel that wasn't quite ready to be taken out of the oven." - Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

  • "The plot is intricately structured but DeLillo tells the story in a fairly straightforward, austere manner, with fewer verb-free sentences and nervily disconnected lines of dialogue than usual. At heart, this is a sparse little thriller, though the ideas scored into it are characteristically intense. (...) Point Omega is not without some flaws. The characterisation is cursory, and there is a clumsy lurch into the gothic mode when DeLillo links the Psycho and desert scenes." - Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times

  • "Briefly the novel becomes a thriller, with search parties, helicopters, a knife found in a cave. But the real quarry here isn't the solution to the mystery so much as the anguish and anxiety it arouses; feelings that, again, circulate back into the book's larger political themes." - James Lasdun, The Guardian

  • "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 alone 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." - Archie Bland, Independent on Sunday

  • "Point Omega is a splendid, fierce novel by a deep practitioner of the form." - Matthew Sharpe, The Los Angeles Times

  • "The problem with Point Omega is that Elster is less a human being than a vague aggregate of ideas. In fairness, the book is self-conscious about this fact -- it is at pains to stress Elster’s illusiveness and unknowability, and indeed the illusiveness and unknowability of all people. (...) What’s missing from DeLillo’s presentation of human beings, however, is emotional depth." - Giles Harvey, The National

  • "Beängstigend klar entwickelt und doch rätselhaft zart, wächst diese Geschichte ihrem Omega-Punkt entgegen, der sich dem Blick des Lesers letztlich entzieht; Teilhards Gedanken subtil und unaufdringlich variierend, öffnet sie sich der Unendlichkeit, ohne das Lebendige ganz preiszugeben." - Angela Schader, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

  • "Point Omega, DeLillo’s new novel, fits right into this glacial aesthetic. You could even say it’s something of a breakthrough: It brings us, in just over 100 pages, as close to pure stasis as we’re ever likely to get." - Sam Anderson, New York

  • "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. But even its clever structural engineering can’t make up for the author’s uncharacteristically simplistic portrait of its hero (.....) Although Mr. DeLillo extracts considerable suspense from his story, while building a Pinteresque sense of dread, there is something suffocating and airless about this entire production." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

  • "Like Hemingway, DeLillo has imprinted his syntax on reality and -- such is the blow-back reward of the Omega Point Scheme for Stylistic Distinction -- become a hostage to the habit of "gyrate exaggerations" (the phrase is in The Body Artist) and the signature patterns of "demolished logic." Point Omega starts out by contemplating a reprojection of a famous film. It’s barely had time to get going before it ends up reflecting on the oeuvre of which it’s the latest increment and echo: a "last flare" that -- we’ve been here before, too -- may not be the last after all." - Geoff Dyer, The New York Times Book Review

  • "Most of this novel, however, is resistant to the reader’s focussed attention -- it reaches for enigmatic profundity but meanders." - The New Yorker

  • "This is a book that is as hypnotic, if sometimes baffling, as watching the hyper-slow Psycho." - Hermione Hoby, The Observer

  • "Alas, in Point Omega, the latest work of fiction by one of the most deservedly lauded writers of our time, the curse of self-parody appears to be taking hold." - Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

  • "In these scant pages DeLillo has attempted a kind of meditation on the values and the consciouness of America today. (...) DeLillo seems to suggest that he is trying to get a wholly new take on the nature of reality and the meaning of consciousness. I am not sure that professional philosophers will be quaking in their boots." - Justin Cartwright, The Spectator

  • "While some may find Point Omega’s brevity and slow pace off-putting, the patient reader will uncover a devastating vein of ­disquiet running beneath its tomb-cool surface. (...) Like a hidden picture in a bland canvas, Elster’s desolation is difficult to make out at first. Once lodged in the mind, however, it is impossible to forget." - Stephen Amidon, Sunday Times

  • "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, The Telegraph

  • "(T)he 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." - Douglas Kennedy, The Times

  • "Point Omega is a lot like that -- the novel as conceptual art piece. (...) But this is more 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

  • "What an achievement it would be for a writer of DeLillo's talent to truly take the measure of a Wolfowitz or Donald Rumsfeld; we have enough cartoon representations of these men already and could use the novelist's fine eye and ear. But DeLillo's brief account of the warmaker Elster is a writer's sketchbook fantasy. (...) DeLillo has achieved a precision and economy of language here that any writer would envy. But the larger ambition of storytelling -- of bringing people and events to life for the reader through the power of the author's language and imagination -- is not even attempted. Indeed, it is disdained." - David Ignatius, The Washinton Post

  • "Omega Punkt ist ein Kammerspiel. Das mag angesichts der endlosen Wüstenlandschaft, in der DeLillo seine Geschichte angesiedelt hat, paradox klingen. Doch so ausgreifend die Themen des Romans auch sind, DeLillo konzentriert sie fast vollständig auf das Gegenüber zweier Figuren. Es ist ein Beweis seines erzählerischen Könnens, dass die Geschichte dennoch nicht abstrakt oder künstlich wirkt." - Uwe Wittstock, Die Welt

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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Point Omega: Reviews: Don DeLillo: Other books by Don DeLillo under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of Contemporary American fiction

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About the Author:

       Popular American author Don DeLillo was born in 1936.

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© 2010-2011 the complete review

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