Litkicks Message Board Archive

Don DeLillo - Cosmopolis

Posted to What Are You Reading?

This is a very interesting novel (novella?). The protagonist, Packer, is a billionaire and the novel is narrated from his point of view as his day unfolds in New York.

What you get is an uneasy feeling of decay, pessimism and a society that's being poisoned by its position as, and at, the very source of the unholy waters of capitalism. Although it's set in April 2000, you cannot help but be concious that the apocalyptic riders of 9/11 are saddling their steeds.

When Packer spots the US president in his limo the description is this:

"The president was in his shirtsleeves, sitting in a quotidian stupor. He twitched once, blinked a few times. His gaze was empty, without direction or content.There was an air of flybuzz boredom. He did not scratch or yawn and began to resemble a person sitting in an offstage loungewaiting to do a guestspot on TV ... He was the undead. He lived in a state of occult repose, waiting to be reanimated."

Brilliant, huh? I still think White Noise is DeLillo's best novel but this is a damn fine piece of writing.

The downside for many people will be that DeLillo is implying that Sept 11 was karmically inevitable.