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Jeffrey Lockhart's father, Ross, is a billionaire in his 60s with a younger wife, Artis Martineau, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a remote and secret compound where death is exquisitely controlled and bodies are preserved until a future time when biomedical advances and new technologies can return them to lives of transcendent promise. Jeff joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say "an uncertain farewell" to her as she surrenders her body.
"We are born without choosing to be. Should we have to die in the same manner? Isn't it a human glory to refuse to accept a certain fate?"
These are the questions that haunt the novel and its memorable characters, and it is Ross Lockhart, most particularly, who feels a deep need to enter another dimension and awake to a new world. For his son, this is indefensible. Jeff, the book's narrator, is committed to living, to experiencing "the mingled astonishments of our time, here, on Earth".
Don DeLillo's seductive, spectacularly observed, and brilliant new novel weighs the darkness of the world - terrorism, floods, fires, famine, plague - against the beauty and humanity of everyday life, love, awe, and "the intimate touch of earth and sun".
Zero K is glorious.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Doug - Audible on 07-05-17
Frightening. Redemptive. Brilliant.
To say that I am a DeLillo fan would be an understatement. For me, he’s one of the few novelists whose books consistently act as lightning rods for those big, revelatory, a-ha moments where I’m reminded of the myriad intricacies of human life; of what it means to be alive – right here, right now – and that, despite the endless chaos surrounding us, perhaps there’s something redeeming about the human spirit. At the very least, he pulls things out of the periphery – things we don’t want to see or deal with – and brings them to the forefront. And something about that feels redemptive; it makes me feel less alone. This is all to say: upon finishing a DeLillo book, I expect to feel changed. With Zero K, he doesn’t disappoint. This isn’t a book for the faint-hearted or for lovers of plot-driven stories (with DeLillo, this is often the case). Instead, for a relatively short book, DeLillo poses big questions regarding mortality and identity, technology and religion, and the result is rather frightening, though brilliant, all the same. Parts of this book straight up terrified me – the structure, the language, the dialogue becoming dreamlike; a kind of funhouse existentialism. Again, it’s not for everyone. But if you’re looking for a necessary and important book from a necessary and important author, look no further.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Scott on 05-17-16
So Much Milage in Each Sentence
DeLillo's prose is thought-provoking to the point that you're forced to pause and internalize individual sentences throughout the story. It feels like he took an episode of the Twilight Zone and turned it into a great American novel.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful