- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Unknown (March 31, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743244249
- ASIN: B0000T70K4
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 142 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,519,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cosmopolis: A Novel
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Unlike his sprawling masterpiece, Underworld, DeLillo's 13th novel is short and tightly focused, indeed almost claustrophobic. Most of the action takes place inside a "prousted" (cork-lined) stretch limo, as the reclusive financial wizard Eric Packer is chauffeured across Manhattan for a haircut. Thanks to a presidential visit, antiglobalization demonstrations, and a celebrity funeral, this journey takes up most of the day. Stuck in traffic, Packer anxiously monitors the value of the yen on the limo's computer. Using the car as his office, he summons advisors from nearby shops and restaurants. His physician gives him a rubber-gloved physical exam in the back seat as Packer discusses imminent financial ruin with his broker and angry crowds block the streets. This work most closely resembles The Body Artist in its brevity and straightforward narrative flow. However, the earlier novel was written in an uncharacteristically warm, poetic style, promising a new direction for this important writer, while Cosmopolis reverts to the standard DeLillo boilerplate, perceptive and funny but also brittle and cold. This, coupled with the book's dated 1990s sensibility, makes Cosmopolis a step backward rather than an artistic advance.
Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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This is the first DeLillo novel I had read, so I cannot compare it to any other of his works.
I feel that the movie itself, Cosmopolis, was very much misunderstood and poorly reviewed. Come on, forget that Robert Pattinson was in Twilight, and look at the movie for itself. Cronenberg is always a fascinating director, and all of the actors were superb. Pattinson and Giamatti towards the end of the movie are spellbinding in a ritual dance of cat and mouse (which is which, and when).
Overall, a little Hamlet, and a lot of 21st century zeitgeitz.
Delillo also has a wonderful sensitivity for words. He makes some fun observations here about the argot of the Internet and high tech culture. I had not before recognized what a quaint anachronism "Automated Teller Machine" is. Delillo treats his readers to a number of such observations about our language. I believe that Don Delillo's "Underworld" was without rival the best fictional work about America in the twentieth century. This is a much narrower work, but it displays the wit and penetration that shines in Delillo's best works.
Most recent customer reviews
This is rich cake with no flavor, like biting into a cheesecake and tasting all the butter.Read more