Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to save several hours

Here’s how I’m going to do it – by not reading Don DeLillo’s new novel Point Omega. Justin Cartwright reviews it in the Spectator of 6 March. He opens with what seems the best thing he can say about it:
This is a very short book with large type.
He outlines the subject, characters and plot, in the usual way, and then:
The story switches to the Californian desert, where a retired government adviser, Richard Elster, whose task was to think out of the box on the nature of war for his employers — generally pretty keen on it — is purifying himself in the extreme remoteness. There are some striking similarities to Paul Auster’s Book of Illusions as a young man arrives to try to inveigle Elster into giving him a long, free-form film interview on what he really knows about Iraq. An insurmountable problem with the novel now becomes apparent: Elster, for all his advance billing as a great mind, seems to talk absolutely incoherent rubbish. Here is a sample:

“I’m telling you . . . Something’s coming. But isn’t this what we want? Isn’t this the burden of consciousness? We’re the mind and heart that matter has become. This is what drives us now.”

There’s lots more of the same.
I think I can safely skip that one, then.


Danyl said...

It's all been downhill since 'White Noise.'

Stephen Stratford said...

I liked "Libra" but yeah....

Anonymous said...

I have saved years by not reading Proust.

Anna Nonamouse said...

I have saved decades by not reading prize-winning New Zealand fiction.

Stephen Stratford said...

Unkind, Anna. Tsk tsk.

But understandable.