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Zero K
Cover of Zero K
Zero K
The richest, wisest, funniest, and most moving novel in years from Don Delillo, one of the great American novelists of our time—an ode to language, the heart of our humanity; a meditation on death and an embrace of life.
Jeffrey Lockhart's father, Ross, is a George Soros-like billionaire now in his sixties, with a younger wife, Artis, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a deeply remote and secret compound where death is controlled and bodies are preserved until a future moment when medicine and technology can reawaken them. Jeffrey joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say "an uncertain farewell" to her as she surrenders her body.

Ross Lockhart is not driven by the hope for immortality, for power and wealth beyond the grave. He is driven by love for his wife, for Artis, without whom he feels life is not worth living. It is that which compels him to submit to death long before his time. Jeffrey heartily disapproves. He is committed to living, to "the mingled astonishments of our time, here, on earth."

Thus begins an emotionally resonant novel that weighs the darkness of the world—terrorism, floods, fires, famine, death—against the beauty of everyday life; love, awe, "the intimate touch of earth and sun." Brilliantly observed and infused with humor, Don Delillo's Zero K is an acute observation about the fragility and meaning of life, about embracing our family, this world, our language, and our humanity.
The richest, wisest, funniest, and most moving novel in years from Don Delillo, one of the great American novelists of our time—an ode to language, the heart of our humanity; a meditation on death and an embrace of life.
Jeffrey Lockhart's father, Ross, is a George Soros-like billionaire now in his sixties, with a younger wife, Artis, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a deeply remote and secret compound where death is controlled and bodies are preserved until a future moment when medicine and technology can reawaken them. Jeffrey joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say "an uncertain farewell" to her as she surrenders her body.

Ross Lockhart is not driven by the hope for immortality, for power and wealth beyond the grave. He is driven by love for his wife, for Artis, without whom he feels life is not worth living. It is that which compels him to submit to death long before his time. Jeffrey heartily disapproves. He is committed to living, to "the mingled astonishments of our time, here, on earth."

Thus begins an emotionally resonant novel that weighs the darkness of the world—terrorism, floods, fires, famine, death—against the beauty of everyday life; love, awe, "the intimate touch of earth and sun." Brilliantly observed and infused with humor, Don Delillo's Zero K is an acute observation about the fragility and meaning of life, about embracing our family, this world, our language, and our humanity.
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About the Author-
  • Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Zero K, Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. His story collection The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 14, 2015
    DeLillo's 17th novel features a man arriving at a strange, remote compound (we are told the nearest city is Bishkek)—a set-up similar to a few other DeLillo books, Mao II and Ratner's Star among them. This time, the protagonist is Jeffrey Lockhart, who is joining his billionaire father, Ross, to say good-bye to Ross's second wife (and Jeffrey's stepmother), Artis. The compound is the home of the Convergence, a scientific endeavor that preserves people indefinitely; in Artis's case, it's until there's a cure for her ailing health. But as with any novel by DeLillo, our preeminent brain-needler, the plot is window dressing for his preoccupations: obsessive sallies into death, information, and all kinds of other things. Longtime readers will not be surprised that there's a two-page rumination on mannequins. But a few components elevate Zero K, which is among DeLillo's finest work. For one, DeLillo has become better about picking his spots—the asides rarely, if ever, drag, and they are consistently surprising and funny. And his focus and curiosity have moved far into the future: much of this novel's (and Ross's) attention is paid to humankind's relationship and responsibility to what's to come. What's left behind and forgotten is the present, here represented by Jeffrey, the son whom Ross abandoned when he was 13. DeLillo sneaks a heartbreaking story of a son attempting to reconnect with his father into his thought-provoking novel.

  • AudioFile Magazine No one listens to a DeLillo novel for its plot, and this one is no exception. The main action is in the mind of Jeffrey Lockhart, who, like so many DeLillo heroes, is a man under extreme stress. Narrator Thomas Sadoski's rendering shows him working hard to maintain control of his emotions and his identity. That control is not always perfect, and Sadoski ranges from icy to the edge of hysteria in this very effective reading. The book is a meditation on identity, the various forms of love, and how we think about mortality and the future. This is a fine narration of what may be one of DeLillo's best books. D.M.H. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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