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Point Omega

Point Omega

A Novel

  • reading group guide
In this potent and beautiful novel, the writer The New York Times calls “prophetic about twenty-first-century America” looks into the mind and heart of a scholar who was recruited to help the mili­tary conceptualize the war.

We see Richard Elster at the end of his service. He has retreated to the desert, in search of space and geologic time. There he is joined by a filmmaker and by Elster’s daughter Jessica—an “otherworldly” woman from New York. The three of them build an odd, tender intimacy, something like a family. Then a devastating event turns detachment into colossal grief, and it is a human mys­tery that haunts the landscape of desert and mind.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 128 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439169964 | 
  • December 2010
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Novelist Don DeLillo reading from Point Omega

From one of our greatest living writers, Don DeLillo, a brief, unnerving, and hard-hitting new novel about a secret war advisor and a young filmmaker.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Point Omega by Don DeLillo includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Documentary filmmaker Jim Finley is divorced and adrift in New York City and looking for a subject for his next film. When he learns about Richard Elster, a scholar who was an advisor to the military for the War on Terror, he thinks he has found it. He follows the reclusive Elster out to a desert cabin in an attempt to convince him to be in a new film. The men spend their time discussing philosophy and politics, spinning their mental wheels, until the arrival of Elster’s daughter Jessie. Sent by her mother, who dislikes Jessie’s new boyfriend, Jessie changes the dynamic and sets Finley on edge with a confused attraction. When she suddenly disappears, it throws the men into a tailspin that forces them to confront the realities they’ve been hiding from.

Questions for Discussion

1. What was Elster’s motivation for inviting Finley out to the desert? Did he ever intend to be in the movie, or was he simply lonely?

2. Characters are introduced abruptly in Point Omega, with context see more

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About the Author

Don DeLillo
© Joyce Ravid

Don DeLillo

Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In October 2012, DeLillo receives the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his body of work.

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