Zero K – A Book I wasn’t Ready for?

Don DeLillo: Zero K ISBN 978-1-501-13807-2 ⭐️ I did not understand this novel. If it has message, I did not grasp it. I appreciated DeLillo’s unique and intriguing language, which had struck me already when I read his novel “Underworld” (review here). But language alone was not sufficient to convince me. The novel deals with important issues like age, mortality, the power of science and father-son relationships. But what did DeLillo want to tell me? Perhaps I will have to read “Zero K” a second time, in a few years, when I have grown a little wiser.

I am tempted to say I might add ⭐️⭐️⭐️ after having read it a second time. It is a kind of premonition, I cannot get rid of. I am comforted by this review of “The Guardian” for the reviewer too struggled with “Zero K”. Knowing DeLillo’s oeuvre better than me, he was able to draw parallels to DeLillo’s earlier novels, and to identify those subjects, that are of primordial interest to the writer. So yes, I probably wasn’t ready for this book right now.

Reading the novel was a like a déjà-vu. I remember a piece of music written by Arnold Schönberg that I did not understand at all. I left the concert bewildered and, to some degree, horrified. It took decades for me to learn to appreciate his music, like his String Quartet No. 2 for instance:

Transcending tonality and harmony