Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cosmopolis” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,200 Ratings  ·  1,062 Reviews
It is a stunningly eventful day in the life of Eric Packer, a multi-billionaire who has recently married the heiress of a vast European fortune. A violent protest is being staged by anti-globalist groups and Eric fears that he may be a target. He is the target, but not by the protestors.
Paperback, 209 pages
Published 2003 by Picador
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cosmopolis, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cosmopolis

White Noise by Don DeLilloUnderworld by Don DeLilloLibra by Don DeLilloGreat Jones Street by Don DeLilloMao II by Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo ranked
10th out of 15 books — 28 voters
Infinite Jest by David Foster WallaceSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutGravity's Rainbow by Thomas PynchonIf on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo CalvinoThe Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Postmodern Genius
89th out of 440 books — 436 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ian Grayejoy
Aug 01, 2012 Ian Grayejoy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: de-lillo-rama
Pre-Film Review

I re-read this novel, before seeing David Cronenberg’s film (see Post 21).


This review reveals what I think about the fate of the protagonist at the end of the novel.

My views are based on my interpretation of material that starts at page 55 of the 209 page novel.

If this material or my interpretation is incorrect, then the novel leaves you hanging at the end.

As my views on the novel as a whole depend on an interpretation of the protagonist’s fate, please don’t read my review
Andrew Smith
Nov 11, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it it was ok
I should have known!

I read Falling Man and found it impenetrable at first and only slightly less so when I managed to finish it - at the third attempt. Maybe Cosmopolis is very clever; if it is it's way too clever for me. I did stick with it (it's only a short tale) in the hope all would become clear. It never really did.

The core theme is simple enough - man with everything really has nothing - but I just could't identify with the main character and, worst of all, the words just didn't knit tog
Dec 04, 2013 Eileen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2011, fiction
It's a weird and complicated novel. Absolutely not something I would normally read. It reminds me of the literary books I had to read for my High school graduation exams. So why torture myself and read it?
Well, in May 2011 David Cronenberg will start filming the movie based on this novel that will be released somewhere in 2012. The very talented Robert Pattinson (who I adore) will play the role of Eric Packer, a newly wed financial wizard and billionaire, who drives through town (New York) in h
Jacob J.
Mar 29, 2015 Jacob J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, pub-2000s

The Problem of Language:
“It was a matter of silences, not words.”

There are those who indict DeLillo on charges of criminal literary laziness, but I would submit that actually, what he possesses is an immense understanding of the limitations inherent in language as a mode of expression, and while perhaps superficially a little ironic, I would also submit that it is a crucial thing on which to have a grasp, as a practitioner of the written word. As evidenced by the overall pithiness, refusal to go
Jul 10, 2008 Schuyler rated it really liked it
This is book number eight on my journey to read everything written by Don DeLillo. I have not yet read his more famous works, Libra and White Noise, though I'm kind of saving them because in a way, I know it's probably going to be 'down hill' from there. That is to say, Underworld, Libra, and White Noise are probably his best work. So I'm jumping around them. Well, I did read Underworld, but I will probably end up re-reading that one.

Everyone seems to either hate Cosmopolis or just appreciate i
Marguerite Kaye
Dec 02, 2011 Marguerite Kaye rated it really liked it
I'm not completely sure what existential angst is, but I am pretty certain this book gave me it. And nightmares. And it made me laugh out loud in places too, and some of the language stopped me in my tracks - mostly in a good way.

This was horribly compelling, utterly terrifying and unfortunately rang an awful lot of bells. In many ways it was picaresque a sort of modern-day Tom Jones journey through Manhatten, or maybe more like Alice Through the Looking Glass (meets Bonfire of the Vanities). W
Nov 16, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: urban poets and philosophers
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: HMV book sale
This week I have read two Don DeLillo books; this one and White Noise, which thus far I have been too lazy to review. This may be regarded as a strange turn of events as after reading The Body Artist (my first foray into Don’s world), I had already bitterly sworn not to pick up another of his books. Anyway for one reason and another (causality :Don DeLillo books on sale for 2 each in HMV) here we are and I’ve read two more of his books with Underworld sitting, brooding darkly on my to-be-read sh ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Ladies and Gentlemen and you multitude of the Landless:

This review would be more properly tagged/shelved "filmed" by myself, but seeing as how I did also read this book and maybe I'll add a second edition for a second review when I bother to reread the book. But...

I finally did see the Cronenberg attempt on DeLillo last night; much delayed, I don't get out to houses of movies often and netfilx recently allowed it to stream, pre-paid, into my clearly not limousine-shaped abode. And, quite true, I
Feb 11, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Patrick Bateman, Leopold Bloom
Shelves: 2011
If this is your first DeLillo, back away slowly and pick up a copy of White Noise or maybe the The Body Artist instead. (Unless you're breathless with anticipation to hear Robert Pattinson mutter the words "I want to bottle-fuck you slowly with my sunglasses on" while he submits to a prostate exam in crosstown traffic. In that case...well, carry on.)

Cosmopolis reads as more cultural theory/critique than novel, with exaggerated but vacant characters and implausible setpieces that are really no mo
Pamela W
Apr 11, 2008 Pamela W rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pamela by: Rosenberg, the bastard
Listened to this on audio during the commute and found the reader's voice really grating. Main character? Creepy and hateful, but not in a provocative way. More annoying. I don't generally enjoy reading (or listening) to lengthy soliloquies that are just excuses for phrases/random analogies or waxing on life's headier ponderances. Sounded forced, not ---ophical (insert prefix of choice). I wanted to perpetrate violence by the end of this story time, and I don't mean riotous/life-affirming violen ...more
Mar 25, 2012 Sunday rated it liked it
From this 2012 vantage point, Cosmopolis from 2003 seems dated like a horse and carriage. Bringing humanity to the wealthy is just not the fashion, and this spiritual awakening of Patrick Bateman was fun then, but weirdly irrelevant right now, in the era of the Pruis and the hostility towards the "1%." Although Eric was never really meant to be an everyman hero, he really really really is not one now.

This book was fabulously written (hookers have "duck butts" as they leave for home in the morni
May 22, 2009 Trevor rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
I really enjoyed this book, enjoyed it in ways that I rarely enjoy novels. It is a couple of years since I read it and so I can only leave you with the impressions of it that have lasted. This is a book about the world that has built up around us and how even those who we might be excused for thinking ‘understand’ that world (we might perhaps even be tempted to claim they have ‘built’ that world) actually are as much acted upon and victims of it as we are.

The best summary I could give of this bo
May 12, 2009 R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Althought set in April of 2000, the novel Cosmopolis ( the story has a very spaceship glow to it; the gadgetry the narrator describes in Ellisian detail...the rocketship limo, the android guards with names Torval...the voice-activated weaponry) seems more a prophecy of here and now (or, yes, even six months in the future) than a satire of pre-9/11 excesses that, well, kind of got us into the whole 9/11 fix.

Eric Packer speaks in enigmaticisms - beautiful enigmaticisms -
May 11, 2016 Fabian rated it liked it
As eerie, weird, morbid, (yet) concise writers go, Don De Lillo takes the cake. In "White Noise", people go a bit crazy after a chemical spill makes an OCD person's otherwise superdirty world into a superdooperdirty world. There are waves of radiation everywhere, as the world is infiltrated by 'lil parasites.

In "Cosmopolis", the Y2K scare is meshed with "American Psycho." Eric is a multimillionaire (billionaire?) who can control the American Stock Market via a gadgeted limo. Far out! But he igno
Stephen M
Jun 26, 2012 Stephen M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Delillo Fans
Recommended to Stephen M by: David Cronenberg
White Noise was the greatest thing I've ever read, but every Delillo since has been a lukewarm glass of mehmonade.
May 31, 2012 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Strangely this novel has received many negative reviews. Most of them compare this book against other Delillo works and feel it falls below his usual standard of excellence in prose. Having only read one, at this point, my view is very different.
The novel is based on a day in the life of its main character, Eric Packer, a 28 year old brilliant Wall Street currency trader who has made billions of dollars anticipating the market trends of worldwide currency. Not unlike Joyce's, "Ulysses" and Woo
Alex Telander
Jan 31, 2011 Alex Telander rated it did not like it
This is my second attempt with Don DeLillo, the first being last year’s The Body Artist, and having read Cosmopolis, I still don’t know what all the fuss is about this guy. Maybe it’s an “East Coaster” thing, for the guy just doesn’t impress me much. He’s the kind of author who attempts to use long words, complex run-on sentence, and go off on long and boring tangents which really have no bearing on the novel, and any real meaning or truth to offer the reader.

Cosmopolis is about a really rich gu
Jul 13, 2007 Dave-O rated it liked it
Dellilo's New York limo ride flows well enough through the first half of the book. The premise allows itself to open an array of bizzare situations: a billionaire twenty-something want to ride in his suped-up stretch limo to get a haircut. On the way he has encounters with lovers, ex-lovers, and advisors in matters of technology, finance, security, and theory. Dellilo's prose is highly restrained with limited, but rich descriptions of neighborhoods that unfold through the eyes of billionaire Eri ...more
Michael Seidlinger
Feb 10, 2012 Michael Seidlinger rated it it was ok
What? Huh? Okay?

These are not indications of confusion. I completely absorbed Cosmopolis and experienced every facet of the near-novella.

Given that, I must question the entire purpose of this piece. It certainly provides an ample-enough lens for American excess, disaffection, and dislocation... but I'm not sure it goes anywhere beyond the "image" of this particular portrayal.

I need a haircut too... but unlike the rich, I either cut it myself or drive the 1.2 miles to a Hair Cuttery and make it
Nov 25, 2015 Ruby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-amsterdam, ma, 2015
"He said, 'My prostrate is assymetrical.'
His voice was barely audible. There was a pause that lasted half a minute. He felt the subject regard him carefully, the other. There was a sense of human involvement.
'So is mine,' Benno whispered."

I don't have time for this, ironic or not.
Big Milton
Nov 05, 2007 Big Milton rated it it was ok
I was hoping by page 24 that the protagonist of this novel would be dragged from his limousine and beaten by children with Tickle Me Elmo dolls loaded with bricks. And then we would never hear from him again. But that ain't what happened. Unfortunately. A terrible novel by a great writer.
Nutshell: one-percenter gets haircut, an event worthy of 200 pages.

The less looney toons sibling of American Psycho (“the logical extension of business is murder“ (113)), this text, contrary to my intentions, was not necessarily the correct one to brainbleach the Ayn Rands that I’d read immediately prior hereto--though her mantra regarding self-made industrialists, who nevertheless are heirs to massive fortunes, is given mock heroic treatment here as “self made,” “ruthless,” “strong,” “brilliant
Apr 28, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
an oil-and-water mix of brilliance and over-bearing allegory. the good outweighs the bad.

it's amazing that this book was written in 2003, because it ever-so-slightly predates the apex of corporate-greed-entropy in america. it's hard not to see mark zuckerberg in eric packer, the 28-year-old billionaire at the heart of the story. his icy, semi-autistic demeanor, technological zealotry and fascination with the movement of capital calls to mind the facebook guru immediately (they're even the same
Jan 10, 2011 Amber rated it it was ok
Yes, I read this book because Robert Pattinson has been cast to play the lead role in the screen adaptation. Having said that, I'm still glad I read it. I think a great deal of my issues with this as a book will be fixed in the movie. I occasionally had trouble realizing when the setting had changed, such as when Eric returned to the car. I would also have to go back and reread long strings of dialogue in order to track who was speaking each line. Both of those issues will be easy to correct in ...more
Jan 02, 2013 Jonfaith rated it really liked it
Poetry pours from Cosmopolis, a sweaty rut of discourse and images about the nature of power in our world. Delillo is prescient and impactful, but he's always been, hasn't he?

The protagonist finds obsoletion everywhere and the reader cringes, suddenly questioning their own utility. The ending proved blurred but effective. I sense the message within. The dedication to Paul Auster was intriguing as well. I may see the film now.
May 16, 2012 Jill rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2012 Hadrian rated it really liked it
Shelves: american, fiction
To be honest, I had no idea a movie was out until just yesterday. Does that speak to the movie's lack of advertising, or my near-total ignorance of movies?

All's well. I'd rather not have the movie affect my perception of the novel. It was a safe bet, as this was a deeply challenging and stimulating little book, and now one of my favorites by DeLillo.

DeLillo's ornate and hallucinatory prose style is reason enough to read him. So we turn to the 'plot', which is a very loose definition for the ser
May 19, 2012 Jordan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis is about a thinking-man’s Patrick Bateman, set in the year 2000, who just wants to get across town to get a haircut while keeping tabs on the rise and fall of the Yen in the stock market. Sure, Eric Packer meets and encounters people along the way: financial advisors, a doctor, women whom he has sex with, and the guy that used to work for him and now wants him dead; there’s also the President making a visit to the city, a famous rapper’s funeral procession, and protester ...more
Mar 24, 2013 RandomAnthony rated it really liked it
My DeLillo experience is scattershot. I read Libra a long, cold spring weekend in the late nineties when I was depressed because of work and needed to pass the time. Then I read White Noise maybe a decade later but I read, from what I can remember, quickly and carelessly over a visit to my wife's family. I own Falling Man and used to own Underworld but I lent that book to someone, I think, and I never got the book back. No big deal. So when I picked up Cosmopolis in a literary lull, mostly becau ...more
Sarah Funke
Mar 17, 2011 Sarah Funke rated it really liked it
Liked this a ton. Very spare writing, even for DD, so unencumbered by simile and metaphor, so beautiful and crisp and sharp and rhythmic, that you have to read a lot of it twice to understand it. Plenty of the usual quotable wisdom; some stunning passages, and terrific juxtapositions. A great representative paragraph:

"The tower gave him strength and depth. He knew what he wanted, a haircut, but stood a while longer in the soaring noise of the street and studied the mass and scale of the tower. T
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Cosmopolis - Delillo 1 68 Jul 09, 2013 04:44PM  
RGV Book Junkies : My Book Sharing Policy 1 3 Mar 09, 2013 09:33PM  
Cosmopolis: Reader's Discussion 1 12 Oct 24, 2012 01:46PM  
  • A Poetics of Postmodernism
  • Why Write?
  • Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction
  • En defensa de la intolerancia
  • Green River Rising
  • The Visitor
  • ترابها زعفران
  • The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk During the World War, Book(s) Three & Four
  • The Verificationist
  • As Seen on TV: Provocations
  • Meets Girl
  • Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature
  • Mission: Black List #1: The Inside Story of the Search for Saddam Hussein---As Told by the Soldier Who Masterminded His Capture
  • Poem Strip
  • Slow Learner: Early Stories
  • Night Soul and Other Stories
  • Carpenter's Gothic
  • Rubicon Beach
Don DeLillo is an American author best known for his novels, which paint detailed portraits of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He currently lives outside of New York City.

Among the most influential American writers of the past decades, DeLillo has received, among author awards, a National Book Award (White Noise, 1985), a PEN/Faulkner Award (Mao II, 1991), and an American
More about Don DeLillo...

Share This Book

“There are dead stars that still shine because their light is trapped in time. Where do I stand in this light, which does not strictly exist?” 113 likes
“Even when you self-destruct, you want to fail more, lose more, die more than others, stink more than others.” 100 likes
More quotes…