Author: Don Delillo

Publishing House: Picador

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Cosmopolis is the story of Eric Packer, a 28-year-old multi-billionaire asset manager who makes an odyssey across midtown Manhattan to get a haircut. He drives around in a stretch limo, which is richly described as luxurious, spacious and highly technical, filled with television screens and computer monitors, bulletproofed and floored with Carrara marble. It is also cork-lined to eliminate (although unsuccessfully, as Packer notes) the intrusion of street noise.

Packer’s voyage is obstructed by various traffic jams caused by a presidential visit to the city, a full-fledged anti-capitalist riot, and a funeral procession for a Sufi rap star. Along the way, the hero has several chance meetings with his wife and sexual encounters with other women. Packer is also stalked by two men, a comical «pastry assassin» and an unstable «credible threat«. Through the course of the day, the protagonist loses incredible amounts of money for his clients by betting against the rise of the Yen.

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