Thought I’d post this review of Point Omega which I did, originally just for my sister (she borrowed it from ‘Nashie library and then loaned it to me), because she liked it so much. Don’t expect anything wildly intellectual here ok.
Hallo there Vettie. I just finished Point Omega (Don DeLillo) and thought I would tell you that it is not nearly as good as White Noise, but it is also very different so it’s sort of hard to compare. So I suppose what I really should have said was ‘I enjoyed WN a lot more.’ Anyway no time to split hairs my coffee is getting cold for God’s sake. Oh shit, I just had a sip and it is the grossest thing I’ve ever sipped, it’s the first time I’ve ever made myself one of those proper coffees with the thing where you put the ground coffee into the bit that looks like the Tin Man’s hat, but upside down, I don’t know what it’s called. And then the water in the bottom and so on. I didn’t know if I was doing it right and what ho, I’m pretty sure I haven’t. Or maybe this is what coffee is supposed to taste like and I thought I was all ‘oh only HALF a tsp of sugar for me, thank you’ but in the cold hard light of coffee reality I’m an unsophisticated-palette-d loser who needs a whole cane field in there.
So Point Omega kind of feels like DeLillo just wanted to do an advanced philosophical discussion about The Gaze, time, film in a postmodern sense and all of that (wonderful, don’t get me wrong) rubbish but then remembered people don’t read essays much any more. (By the way did you see the Onion article Morag posted to Facebook? It had a grainy photo of a young man in the 1900s or something and its title was ‘Last Man To Voluntarily Write Essay Dies’.) So what he did was, he came up with this storyline which is supposed to tie everything together but instead feels like he’s packing all his worst undies and boring t-shirts into the spaces in his suitcase, the ones he’s not going to wear on this journey at all but he needs to stuff the gaps with something otherwise when he picks up the suitcase and wheels it on a 45 degree angle on its little wheels, everything will move around and smoosh down to the bottom corner like so much soggy fish food, if you can handle that compounded simile. Maybe this coffee *is* doing something (not necessarily elegant). And that is why, dear Vettie, the book is so short: it’s a novella really. And that is why so many people have gone ‘ohhh yes I heard this chap is pretty good, OH MY a book with a reasonable word limit for once, now I can become smart in no time at all! No time at all! No time at all!’ and that in turn is why ‘National Bestseller’ is printed in the top right-hand corner of the cover. But there are lots of angry people out there I think, people like me, who are going ‘For fuck’s sake Don if I’d wanted to read an essay about all that stuff I would have gone and looked under my bed and found my reader from VIS3045 and done the readings I was supposed to do in that subject, or better yet I would have done them while I was still at uni.’ And all the book critics go ‘shit I’d better write something nice about this or everyone’ll think I’m stupid’ so that’s where you get this “Typically superb DeLillo” stuff absolutely encrusting the front-matter of the book, which also contributes to the ‘National Bestseller’ printed on the front cover.
Meanwhile Don’s hanging out in … funnily enough it doesn’t say where, in his bio, it only mentions all his awards. That’s because he doesn’t want anyone to find out where he is, while he’s chuckling away to himself with his wives and awards and shit thinking how he tricked a bunch of people into reading his essay. THAT IS ALL VETTIE. THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY