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Cosmopolisby Don DeLillo
"Like Underworld, Don DeLillo's new novel is an up-to-the-minute gizmo with a nineteenth-century heart. It tells the story of a day of reckoning, a day in the life of a young billionaire financier named Eric Packer, who begins the book full of postmodern cynicism and Manhattan materialism, and ends it chastened, suddenly penniless, and eager to change his life." James Wood, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)
Synopses & Reviews
Eric Packer, age twenty-eight, emerges from his $104 million penthouse triplex and settles into his lavishly customized white stretch limo. At age four, Packer figured out what he would weigh on every planet in the solar system. Now he is a billionaire asset manager, and on this April day in the year 2000, he is a man with two missions: to pursue a willfully destructive bet against the yen and to get a haircut across town.
His journey to the barbershop is a contemporary odyssey, intimate and riveting. Stalled in traffic by a presidential motorcade, a music idol's funeral, a movie in the making, and a violent political demonstration, Eric receives a string of visitors — his experts on security, technology, currency, finance, and theory. Sometimes he leaves the car for intimate encounters. Sometimes he doesn't have to.
Cosmopolis is a vivid novel with extraordinary pace. DeLillo's insight into the impact of money on every aspect of our culture — from art to real estate to politics to time itself — is stunning. And Eric Packer is a heartbreaking protagonist, who discovers, too late, his own humanity.
"[B]leakly funny....DeLillo assembles [his] quirky particulars expertly — and he still writes better sentences than any other contemporary author....The tale is ingenious and amusing, and there?s a chilling logic to its eloquent climax..." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] monotone 13th novel....[DeLillo] seems surprisingly disengaged here. His spotlighted New Economy icon, Eric, doesn't work, either as a genius financier...or a thinker....DeLillo is surely an American master, but this time out, he is doodling." Publishers Weekly
"DeLillo has chosen an almost cartoonish pop-up narrative for his latest novel....Cosmopolis is not one of DeLillo's best novels, but it is one of his best intentioned and should be widely read, probably twice or more by those who enjoy contemplating life's enigmas." Tom LeClair, Book Magazine
"[A] major dud...lugubrious and heavy-handed....[I]ts portrait of a millennial Manhattan is hopelessly clichéd, quite devoid of the satiric black humor that made White Noise so potent and unnerving....DeLillo has chosen to spurn the wonderfully fizzy, tactile prose he once reveled in for the stripped-down, almost abstract language he employed in his 2001 novella, The Body Artist....[A] long day's journey into tedium." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"DeLillo, master novelist and seer, tells the surreal, electrifying story of this dehumanized moneyman in English scrubbed so clean and assembled so exquisitely it seems like a new language. By turns breathtakingly poetic and devastatingly witty, his descriptions of today's urban reality...make the present seem like a forbidding, to-be-avoided future." Donna Seaman, Booklist
Eric Packer, age 28, is a billionaire asset manager, and on this day he is a man with two missions: to pursue a destructive bet against the yen and to get a haircut across town. Cosmopolis is a vivid novel with extraordinary pace. DeLillo's insight into the impact of money on every aspect of culture — from art to real estate to politics to time itself — is stunning.
It is an April day in the year 2000 and an era is about to end — those booming times of market optimism when the culture boiled with money and corporations seemed more vital and influential than governments.
Eric Packer, a billionaire asset manager at age twenty-eight, emerges from his penthouse triplex and settles into his lavishly customized white stretch limousine. On this day he is a man with two missions: to pursue a cataclysmic bet against the yen and to get a haircut across town.
His journey to the barbershop is a contemporary odyssey, funny and fast-moving. Stalled in traffic by a presidential motorcade, a music idol's funeral and a violent political demonstration, Eric receives a string of visitors — his experts on security, technology, currency, finance and theory. Sometimes he leaves the car for sexual encounters and sometimes he doesn't have to.
Cosmopolis, Don DeLillo's thirteenth novel, is both intimate and global, a vivid and moving account of a spectacular downfall.
About the Author
Don Delillo is the author of thirteen novels and two plays. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/ Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Jerusalem Prize.
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