Now a major motion picture directed by David Cronenberg and starring Robert Pattinson, Cosmopolis is the thirteenth novel by one of America’s most celebrated writers.
It is an April day in the year 2000 and an era is about to end. The booming times of market optimism—when the culture boiled with money and corporations seemed more vital and influential than governments— are poised to crash. Eric Packer, a billionaire asset manager at age twenty-eight, emerges from his penthouse triplex and settles into his lavishly customized white stretch limousine. Today he is a man with two missions: to pursue a cataclysmic bet against the yen and to get a haircut across town. Stalled in traffic by a presidential motorcade, a music idol’s funeral and a violent political demonstration, Eric receives a string of visitors—experts on security, technology, currency, finance and a few sexual partners—as the limo sputters toward an increasingly uncertain future.
Cosmopolis, Don DeLillo’s thirteenth novel, is both intimate and global, a vivid and moving account of the spectacular downfall of one man, and of an era.
For a book about a 28-year-old new-economy billionaire with a "frozen heart," Patton adopts a distant, machine-like narrative tone that has all the warmth of the computer HAL in Stanley Kubrick's 2001. It's a fitting approach, as the asset manager at the novel's center, Eric Packer, is hardly an avaricious tycoon, but rather an insular and literate egotist who seems more given to detached, philosophical reveries on everyday trivialities than to serious business analysis. That, too, fits, as this novel from DeLillo (Underworld; White Noise) takes place entirely in one day as Packer's life unravels while he's driven across Manhattan to get a haircut. He remains aloof both to listeners and to those around him, and Patton's understated reading imbues the proceedings with the subtle edginess of a mild drug. That's not to say that things are completely monotone, though; Patton also deftly portrays characters ranging from Packer's gruff, paranoid head of security to his aging Italian barber, one of the few characters who seem truly human. But the book is really an extended meditation, and while Patton's pitch may be perfect, the recording isn't for everyone. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Forecasts, Dec. 9, 2002).
I loved the modern nature of the novel. I felt as if I was along side the characters. There's also a rawness to the book that I've never felt before. It really is in a sense a modern Odysseus. It's so visual. Loved it.
A Wonderful Read
Quick, witty and thought provoking. My first from DeLillo and certainly not my last.
Perhaps I am not of intellectual caliber but this book had me scratching my head!! I was and still am confused. Not my type of read but since Robert Pattinson is to portray, Eric Parker in a motion picture I thought why not. The book was a bit busy. There is so much going on and the author delivered a complex story from a complex person's point of view. The book lacked clarity and ended quite as abruptly as it began. It was a challenge to follow a jumping story
I downloaded the book and it had chapters repeated making it quite difficult to follow the story. Not my favorite