Zero K by Don DeLillo
A New York Times Notable Book
A New York Times bestseller, “DeLillo’s haunting new novel, Zero K—his most persuasive since his astonishing 1997 masterpiece, Underworld” ( The New York Times), is a meditation on death and an embrace of life.
Jeffrey Lockhart’s father, Ross, is a billionaire in his sixties, 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 a life 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 “daring…provocative…exquisite” (The Washington Post) new novel weighs the darkness of the world—terrorism, floods, fires, famine, plague—against the beauty and humanity of everyday life; love, awe, “the intimate touch of earth and sun.”
“One of the most mysterious, emotionally moving, and rewarding books of DeLillo’s long career” (The New York Times Book Review), Zero K is a glorious, soulful novel from one of the great writers of our time.
“Mr. DeLillo’s haunting new novel, Zero K — his most persuasive since his astonishing 1997 masterpiece, Underworld — is a kind of bookend to White Noise: somber and coolly futuristic, where that earlier book was satirical and darkly comic. . . . . All the themes that have animated Mr. DeLillo’s novels over the years are threaded through Zero K — from the seduction of technology and mass media to the power of money and the fear of chaos. . . . like a chamber music piece. . . . reminds us of his almost Day-Glo powers as a writer and his understanding of the strange, contorted shapes that eternal human concerns (with mortality and time) can take in the new millennium.”, Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"One of the most mysterious, emotionally moving and formally rewarding books of DeLillo's long carer... Unexpectedly touching... [DeLillo offers] consolation simply by enacting so well the mystery and awe of the real world... I finished it stunned and grateful.", Joshua Ferris, The New York Times Book Review
“Brilliant and astonishing… a masterpiece… full of DeLillo's amazing inimitable scalpel perceptions, fluent in the ideas we'll be talking about 20 years from now… ZERO K somehow manages to renew DeLillo's longstanding obsessions while also striking deeply and swiftly at the reader's emotions….The effect is transcendent.”, Charles Finch, Chicago Tribune