A novel by Don DeLillo

Published by Scribner in April, 2003. 209 pages. Here's the original dust jacket copy.
Cosmopolis editions.

Dedication: "to Paul Auster" (fellow author. Auster dedicated his novel Leviathan to DeLillo)

Epigraph: "a rat became the unit of currency" - Zbigniew Herbert (from the poem "Report from the Besieged City" which DeLillo read at an event in New York City on Oct. 11, 2001.)

Check the media bandwagon.

David Cronenberg is making a film of this novel, shooting took place in Toronton in summer 2011 - more details on the Cosmopolis - the film page.

What it's about:
A currency trader says, "We don't care. We need a haircut. We need to go crosstown."

First line:
"Sleep failed him more often now, not once or twice a week but four times, five."

What it's really about:
The bursting of bubbles, perhaps.

In the Esquire excerpt (April 2003), DeLillo is quoted with this description of the book: "The man, Eric Packer, is young, brilliant, ruthless, a billionaire asset manager. Reads serious poetry, speaks several languages, owns a decommissioned nuclear bomber, and has had his stretch limousine cork-lined against the city's street noise. And on this particular day, he is feeling a certain intimation of mortality. The idea occurred to me just about the time that the market was beginning to flatten out, which was spring 2000. I then realized that the day on which the action occurs would be the last day of the era - the golden age of cybercapital, with booming global markets and rampant dreams of individual wealth."

Also, the Esquire piece is illustrated with the work of Spencer Tunick, who photographs "massive installations of nude bodies in unexpected places." (Similar to what is described in the section of Cosmopolis that is excerpted, pp. 170-78). The particular image used can be found here.

Next novel: Falling Man
Back to DeLillo's novels.

Last updated: 20-SEP-2011