Thursday, May 07, 2009

Cosmopolis - post I

After reading the Falling Man you start to become immersed in the DeLillo style. That style uses characters that are not particularly deep but stand for something larger than themselves as a way of making statements.

Key to this is Eric Packer, a 28 year old multi-millionaire who has made a fortune through the stock market and now glides through the streets of Manhattan in a limousine surrounded by body guards.

He displays a fear of death with his daily doctor appointments yet seems to seek out the adrenalin that comes from knowing his life is in danger. He searches for answers from his colleagues yet he is never really listening. He craves sex yet is unable to get it from his wife.

There are more contradictions but one of the most obvious is the gap between the rich and the poor. It emerges that an ex employee is planning to kill Eric after being dismissed from Packer Enterprises and the boom is building towards that confrontation.

In some respects it reminds you of Saturday by Ian McEwen because it is telling a story of one individual on one day but the sense of time is not as clearly defined here.

As he glides around in his car the sense of real life, where people work in offices and go for lunch breaks at set times, is suspended and that adds to the disorientation.

More tomorrow…

1 comment:

Brandon said...

I'm reading this, too. I'm thinking of it as a science fiction novel.