At a time of political and social volatility, jittery financial markets, and widespread protests, a novel written almost two decades ago has some rather prescient observations to make. Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis met with decidedly mixed reviews when it was published in 2003, but it can be rewarding to re-read it now in the context of all that has happened since.There’s little doubt that Cosmopolis comes across as odd. In a New Yorker review, John Updike commented on its lack of empathy, adding that “the trouble with a tale where anything can happen is that somehow nothing happens”. More savagely, Michiko Kakutani wrote in the New York Times that it was hokey and contrived, “a major dud, as lugubrious and heavy-handed as a bad Wim Wenders film, as dated as an old issue of Interview magazine”. (The 2011 film version by David Cronenberg was somewhat better received.)In retrospect, such critical judgments seem over-egged. Certainly, Don DeLillo’s thirteenth novel is not among his better works, but many of its perceptions remain relevant. All the more remarkable considering that the book’s setting is pre-9/11 Manhattan, and it was written well before the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2011 Zuccotti Park Occupy Movement.Close… Read full this story
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