Point Omega by Don DeLillo
In the middle of a desert `somewhere south of nowhere', to a forlorn house made of metal and clapboard, a secret war adviser has gone in search of space and time. Richard Elster, seventy-three, was a scholar - an outsider - when he was called to a meeting with government war planners. For two years he tried to make intellectual sense of the troop deployments, counterinsurgency, orders for rendition. He was to map the reality these men were trying to create.
At the end of his service, Elster retreats to the desert, where he is joined by a young filmmaker intent on documenting his experience. Jim Finley wants to make a one-take film, Elster its single character - `Just a man against a wall.'
The two men sit on the deck, drinking and talking. Finley makes the case for his film. Weeks go by. And then Elster's daughter Jessie visits - an `otherworldly' woman from New York - who dramatically alters the dynamic of the story. When a devastating event follows, all the men's talk, the accumulated meaning of conversation and isolation, is thrown into question. What is left is loss, fierce and incomprehensible.
Point Omega is a deeply unnerving and brilliant work from one of our greatest living writers.
`DeLillo is one of the greatest living American writers' Scotland on Sunday