If you’re a reader who likes plot points neatly tied and convention followed, this book is not for you. Point Omega by Don DeLillo revolves around a character named Elster, who is an intellectual that was brought into the war effort around 2004. I can’t think exactly who he is modeled on, but he’s an apologist, a hawk, a salesman coming up with terms like “a haiku war,” as if by changing the words we use to wage war we can change the context or identity of war.
I don’t care how well this novel works or doesn’t work. What I appreciate is that DeLillo is trying something new, and that he has enough caché for the book to be published. Point Omega ends with the reader wondering what may have happened; however, Elster and Finley are in the same quandary as the reader. Jessie, Elster’s daughter who has been staying with them, has disappeared and no one knows what happened. Did she wander into the desert? Did she hitch a ride and run off somewhere? Was foul play involved? There are moments in life that will always be a mystery. We can conjecture, toss possibilities into the air, and ruminate, but ultimately we will never know. The book leaves the reader with these questions, and the mystery of Jessie’s disappearance haunts for days to follow.