POINT OMEGA by don delillo

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a beautifully structured murder mystery, or is it an idea of the universe as an inversion of the infinite, a compression of all event into a common, everyday chamber? war as haiku is one of its “unintentionally humorous” conceits… i admit to being totally surprised by this book. at first approach, reading the familiar delillo scenes of lonely men in empty rooms i was lulled into thinking we’d be covering old ground. but in the middle of the book, a plot point, which initially feels somewhat easy and perhaps manipulative, twists this plain land into a haunting and eldritch möbius strip.

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after you’ve read the book (because it contains spoilers), this odd publicity prose from scribner, documented on wikipedia, is a very good précis of the book.

a great interview in the WSJ here. a liked bit:

WSJYou’ve often discussed the need for writers to stand in opposition to society and people in power, and to be outsiders. How has that idea guided your work?

Mr. DeLillo: It’s very non-specific. It’s not something one does consciously; it’s just a general sense that this culture is so filled with consumption and waste that, even if one doesn’t write about it in specific terms as I did write about it in “Underworld,” I think a writer may feel that he is standing in opposition to this, and perhaps in a very general way to the idea of power itself.

WSJDo you think most contemporary fiction writers are living up to that task?

Mr. DeLillo: It’s hard to judge. I don’t know

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delillo interviewed by NPR’s steve inskeep describing the book on morning edition.

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delillo reading at the PEN event, Reckoning with Torture: Memos and Testimonies from the “War on Terror”

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