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Das Kapital: A novel of love and money markets
Das Kapital: A novel of love and money markets
by Viken Berberian
Edition: Hardcover
46 used & new from $0.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Das Kapital for today, July 9, 2007
You're going to want to reread this book as soon as it ends. It is the story of today's world, froth with suspension of conscience in the abysmal pursuit of wealth, abated only by primal human needs and wants. You will find the protagonist Wayne endearing despite his obnoxious Manhattanite tendencies complete with a Varda shoe collection and Hans Wegner furniture. You will find comical the fustian melodrama with which he greets his hedgefund colleagues AND his sandwiches that consistently arrive sans the desired avocado. You might even dismiss his utter and specific dedication to econoterrorism. Berberian propels you there. You will be drawn to Wayne's cryptic partnership with a Corsican obsessed with ecopreservation and all things bucolic. He executes Wayne's strategy of blasting international financial landmarks for market manipulation, in as clandestine a manner as he preserves his relations with Wayne's beloved. You might find the Corsican esoteric but easily engage his frustration with a world not concerned with losing its trees or finding its red ants. Perhaps you will most relate to Berberian's Alix. A capricious architecture student, she offers an appreciation of Marseille--its hues and babble--strangely, but alluringly, from its rooftops. Ultimately, she provides Wayne and the Corsican with the actual blueprints necessary for their schemata, and this story the grace it yearns. Berberian tells a harsh story, reminiscent of daily CNN reports (to which we're now immune) from seemingly the middle of nowhere across the Atlantic, with the delicacy of Queen Anne's lace. He weaves, with unparalleled ease, algorithmic theorems and ideologies long-forgotten with amorous details of keeping count of a lover's birthmarks and the sequence of their emails. His storytelling is almost algebraic in design, such that the reader is comfortable with the organized chaos of the intersecting yet linear lives of the characters on different continents and different spheres of thought. He quotes Guy Debord within a page of a generic "roses are red, violets are blue" poem, and, in doing so, helps you internalize and champion the ideologies, strata and human condition of each of his characters. Berberian has a way of making you feel like you are part of the story, aware of every iota of the characters' environment, from furniture that has affect, to eateries screaming with personality, and swimming-pools in glass buildings that tout the best capitalism has to offer. Nothing about Berberian's writing is incidental. His approach is scientific, his lexicon poignant, his wry humor inescapable. However, there is nothing categorical or conditional about the organic manner with which he presents you this story and helps make it your own. This is the story of today's world in which Marx's Das Kapital is challenged daily, and the ultimate victor is never really clear and always victim to interpretation. You're going to want to reread this book as soon as it ends.

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