A slow drive through inhumanity.
Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo (Picador, pounds 16.99) - Currency speculator Eric Packer appears a master of the universe. From the back of a stretch limo full of technology, he presides over huge movements of money. Today he is making what should be a short journey to get a haircut. The drive takes up most of what turns out to be his last day alive: for New York is at a standstill.
A presidential visit has closed streets; there is a public funeral and demos. His currency fund is staked on a fall in yen which doesn't materialise; he has health fears and someone's out to kill him.
The novel itself feels weirdly becalmed, as if it itself is stuck in traffic. The reasons account both for the story's fascination and its frustrations.
Its subject is humans in an inhuman world. It is alert to the things which make our world move, but this perspective also reduces people to dots.
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|Title Annotation:||Ents Theatre Arts|
|Publication:||The Journal (Newcastle, England)|
|Date:||May 20, 2003|
|Previous Article:||Bill Midgley column.|
|Next Article:||Boy who became a legend.|