Shovelmonkey1's Reviews > Cosmopolis

Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo
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Nov 13, 2011

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bookshelves: bookcrossing-books, read-in-2011
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: HMV book sale
Recommended for: urban poets and philosophers
Read from November 13 to 16, 2011 , read count: 1

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 shelf.

If you have ever:
Made a billion
Lost a billion
Played the markets
Killed a man
Married a woman you do not know
Selectively read half poems in bookshops
Laid naked in the street
Shot yourself

Then you may find it quite easy to empathise with protagonist Eric Packer, multi-billionaire, statistical genius and modern day lost soul. If not, then like me, you might struggle a bit. Similarly if you have an asymmetrical prostate then you’ll be all over this one.

Virtually the entire plot unfurls from within the confines of Packer’s ridiculous white stretch Limo which is enroute between his 48 rooms apartment and the barbers. But that is OK because the substance contained within the white Limo is a bit ridiculous too but then that is because the space and its content are an allegory, or a metaphor or an analogy for the journey through modern life.... or something. The strife on the streets matches, reflects and gives a voice to Packer’s own internal turmoil - a collective release and a ripple effect. He watches acts of anarchy on TV screens inside his Limo when the riots are taking place directly outside his window. Parker is the living breathing unattached buffered modern day man drifting through life with the trappings of things cutting of his view of the world.

The confining space is matched by the sparse, sharp edged confining descriptions and dialogue which made me feel a bit like someone was taking a paring knife to my temporal lobe in order to remove extraneous matter. The words are nakedly stripped in a way which is painful to read. I won’t pretend this book made total sense, much like I won’t pretend this review makes total sense either. Maybe that is DeLillo causality. Don DeLillo flaps his wings in the Amazon(.com) and my reviews stop making sense on goodreads.
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Reading Progress

11/13/2011 page 20
9.0% "Aw crap, I've just started reading this and then found out that Cronenburg is turning it into a movie starring R-Patz... this makes me an EMO now doesn't it?"
11/15/2011 page 110
49.0% "It's all just existential madness I tell you."

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by mark (new)

mark monday i've done one of those but i am finding it very hard to imagine emphasizing with Eric Packer. what's a limo?


Shovelmonkey1 Big long stretchy car!


message 3: by mark (new)

mark monday can i find rich people in them? i'm always looking for better ways to find rich people, thanks for the heads-up. time to go a'hunting!


Shovelmonkey1 Yes rich people aplenty. The best way to get the rich people out of the limo is a can opener and a plunger!


message 5: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Good one. Makes sense to me, though I thought "shot yourself" was a typo there for a sec.


Shovelmonkey1 Mwah ha. Or as the kids are saying these days moo moo!


message 7: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye The kids are alright moo who who.


message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant Moo!


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