Customer Reviews for

Cosmopolis

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
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5 Star

(7)

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(9)

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(10)

2 Star

(4)

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

a challenge and a pleasure

There are a lot of people who say that DeLillo doesn't create characters, but rather automatons that spit out obscure theses. These are the same people that think that Platonic dialogues are about what Plato thought rather than what Athens was. DeLillo's characters ar...
There are a lot of people who say that DeLillo doesn't create characters, but rather automatons that spit out obscure theses. These are the same people that think that Platonic dialogues are about what Plato thought rather than what Athens was. DeLillo's characters are not mouthpieces, and the ideas these characters voice are indications of the ordering -- or disordering -- of their souls. In short, DeLillo is probing the emotional life of ideas. Eric Packer, the protagonist, is the epitome of the class of get-rich-quick internet tycoons that came about in the 90s. What marks him as a member of this class is his faith in the power of information technology to predict the future and thus make the future bend to the will of the present. His lusts and manias are a diagnosis of a certain overreaching mindset from which we have not entirely freed ourselves. However, what distinguishes Eric from his class is that his faith in information technology amounts to being a real religious devotion. Eric is a continuation of DeLillo's investigation into modern manifestations of the desire for religious trascendence. To paraphrase DeLillo, when the old God leaves the world, what happens to all the left-over faith? Eric clings to computer screens the way people once clung to holy texts. In his delusion, he experiences information as a communion with reality as such: reading a computer screen, he thinks, 'Here was the heave of the biosphere. Our bodies and oceans were here, knowable and whole.' But he is also a sort of Oedipus. He does not know who he is. His turn towards technology is a way of escaping something in himself, a past that haunts him. In the end, the book is a story about a man losing his faith and rediscovering, for better and for worse, all the things from which his faith was an escape. To be sure, this novel is not for everyone. For one thing, DeLillo never really decides whether he wants his fiction to be placed in a realistic or theoretical landscape -- is this our world or some imagined, symbolic world? Perhaps in 50 years we will thank him for refusing to make such a distinction, but for now, the book strains one's ability and willingness to become attuned to it. At the same time, he is moving away from the Joycean lushness of his earlier style towards a Beckettian starkness that many readers will find taxing. Nevertheless, the book is special for refusing to be what a book is supposed to be. Like the later experimental work of John Coltrane, this book is at once exhausting and invigorating.

posted by Anonymous on April 14, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Challenging

This was my first experience with DeLillo. And it wasn't easy. This makes the reader work. It takes place in one day of a 28 year old financial whiz. Very nihilistic. I'll have to read it again. It was fascinating.

posted by lstreet3 on January 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    DREADFUL! What a pointless premise. Do not waste your time re

    DREADFUL! What a pointless premise. Do not waste your time reading this book because you will only scratch your head (or maybe slap it) afterwards as to what the hell was this all about. Most of us read for 'enjoyment' not to have some writer toy with your head. I consider the time spent on this book as a complete waste of time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    Worst Book I Have Ever Read

    I stumbled onto a site discussing the fact that the filming of the movie based on this book had just gotten started. I am also a fan of Robert Pattinson and especially Water for Elephants. The book and the movie were both very good. I watched a movie that was written and directed by DC last night about gamers (terrible) and downloaded and read the book today. This will definitely be one movie I will not waste my time on and as the subject line states, unless you just like being totally confused when you finish a book, don't bother.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2003

    dont waste your time

    i was doing a book report for my school so i picked this book up because the critic in the book compared it to the oddysey , so i started reading, it was slow at first but i still had hope, there are some thought provoking quotes but by the time i finished cosmopolis, i hadnt experienced a breathtaking ride and any of the stuff the critic said, i never read delillos stuff before and i dont doubt that underworld is wonderful but really this book isnt worth ur time, dont buy it go to ur library , this book is just plain choopy and shows you that authors can get away with unended ideas, and wat was with the whole rat thing. go read fight club by chuck

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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