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Moving seamlessly between the financial skyscrapers of New York and the crisp blue skies of Corsica and Marseille, Das Kapital is an extraordinary homage to Marx's seminal work for the twenty-first century. Wayne is the emblematic Wall Street trader: opportunistic, brash and driven. His position is something of a rarity; he bets against the market's rise, gambling vast quantities of money on the short sell and profiting hugely from the collapse of entire economies and cultures -- in short, from the dissolution of financial and social infrastructure on a global scale -- all from the remote comfort of his Gloomberg terminal.
To accomplish this, Wayne enlists the aid of a cryptic Corsican whose own culture and identity are fast disappearing in the rise of a universal nationality -- one whose common language is email and whose treasured artifacts are zipped into slick JPEGs, viewed only in thumbnail size. Unbeknownst to them, both men are involved with the same woman, an architecture student named Alix who lives in Marseille. But while she and the Corsican have a physical relationship, it is the playfully erotic and strangely elusive email correspondence between Alix and Wayne that evokes both passion and tenderness.
Exquisitely written and infused with moments of irresistible humor, Das Kapital is a riveting story about capitalism and love, and the technology that controls them both.
A quirky combination of satire and thriller, this short novel defies easy categorization. "The Corsican," a bitter former tree cutter for a Corsican firm, goes to New York to see Wayne, a Gordon Gekko like hedge fund runner who has recently sold a major stake in that company. When the Corsican, a nationalist seeking revenge on his former employers, asks Wayne about a job, Wayne is initially dismissive, but is soon employing him as a market-altering terrorist. Meanwhile, Alix, the Corsican's sometime lover, conducts a steamy, unrelated e-mail correspondence with the ferociously windy Wayne. Soon, all three converge on Marseilles as another scheme is set to unfold. While the story and characters tend to be all surface, Berberian's clear delight in Wall Street parody and in the eccentric details of Corsican life offsets the facile quality. Berberian (The Cyclist) also gets in some Paulo Coelho like rants against modernity that pay homage to Karl Marx's great work, Das Kapital, but readers won't need to know any Marx to enjoy this clever and interesting tale.