If Zero K can be limned in one line—its sense and feel, its spirit, its questions—it is DeLillo's biography in seven words: "Bronx boy wondering why he is here." And how radiant a wondering it is!
This latest novel feels, I admit, like a last breath. (Maybe I am thinking too much about his age.) A last breath, but also a reckoning. Who knows if DeLillo will write more. I hope he does. If he doesn't, though, Zero K is a testament of sorts. It wraps up, at last, possibilities and tensions present in his work since the short stories that preceded his first novel. I felt a sense of closure as I read, like a life's work were coming together.
Is the novel precious? Probably. Is it sincere? Certainly. Indeed, we should, at least, be witnessing the extinction of DeLillo-as-postmodernist banter. This latest proves him, again and hopefully enduringly, a high modernist, a moralist, and a novelist of ideas.
Still, I suppose, whatever Zero K is, and whatever DeLillo has left to do, the pleasure of reading is what matters. And that was, indeed, immense.