Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo

After finishing Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis, my second novel by this author, I realized that I still haven't gotten my head around his writing.  It's not like his writing is complex - it's quite ordinary.  And the plot is equally straightforward - in this case, its a day in the life of business mogul Eric Packer who goes out in his limo for a haircut.  But within this modest setting DeLillo touches on topics as diverse as technology, socioeconomics, sex (yes, always with the sex), destiny, and commerce.

One critic wrote about DeLillo that the problem with trying to cover everything is that you often end up covering nothing.  I'm not saying that's the case here.  It's just that there's a lot of serious stuff being addressed here that I'm just not getting.  In other words you don't read DeLillo like you read Brad Thor, for example.

Maybe my problem is that I'm trying too hard to understand.  Certainly the voice acting on this audiobook was quite ponderous, seemingly saying "this is important" beneath every line.  With authors like Shakespeare and Faulkner once you let the language wash over you, there's a decent story beneath it.  Without such a language barrier, I tend to listen too hard.  Does all literature need a decent story?

According to, Cosmopolis will be released as a feature film in 2011.  Twilight star Robert Pattinson will have the lead role.  (Was he the one that sparkled?)  I wonder if they'll leave in the scene where Packer gets a prostate exam in the limo while simultaneously having a face to face meeting with a business associate.

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