Wednesday, March 17, 2010

POINT OMEGA by Don Delillo (2010)

Framed by the viewing of a video installation called 24 Hour Psycho in which the film is slowed down to play over the course of a full day without any sound, this compact novel turns its inner eye on Richard Elster where he has retreated to the American desert. There, filmmaker Jim Finley joins Elster, a former government consultant who specialized in troop deployment and counter insurgency, intent on documenting his experience. Finley hopes to get Elster's permission to make a one-take film along the lines of Russian Ark, but instead of a sweeping pic, it would be singularly about Elster: "about a man and a wall."

Elster's daughter Jessica shows up part way and the three of them form an odd sort of family until Jessica disappears. It's her disappearance that provides the novel its narrative drive and its ambiguous conclusion.

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