After struggling through Cosmopolis: A Novel by Don DeLillo for over a year, I am very happy to report that I’ve finished reading it. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. Okay, that’s a lie. I know exactly how I feel; I’m just too nice to say it.
Now, I admit that I only read this book because Robert Pattinson is in the movie version, which is coming out later this year. And I really don’t care that I thought it was kind of terrible, because as long as I have an excuse to sit in a theater for a couple hours and stare at him in a role other than a pasty vampire who does (or does not as the case may sometimes be) sparkle, my inner fangirl will be happy.
In all honestly, though, the upcoming movie is not the reason I finished the book. After all, I only got two chapters in to Bel Ami, another book-to-movie adaptation coming out this year that Pattinson stars in, before I called it quits. So then why did I keep reading? you ask. Well, because I was fairly positive at some point there would be an eye-opening “Oh, now I get it!” moment and the entire novel would become clear to me. Yeah, that didn’t really happen.
I scratched my head until the very end. And when it was over, I’m pretty sure I gasped out a “Huh?” as I was busting my ass on the stair machine. I just . . . I don’t know. I don’t even have words for this book. It made about as much sense as the dreams I have on any given night. How they made it into a movie, I can’t even imagine. Aside from not making sense, it’s all very stream of consciousness. There’s a lot of thinking (weird thinking), and the sparse dialog that exists read very choppy and unnatural to me. It was also a struggle to figure out who was talking at times. I want to believe it’s because I had a janky electronic copy and the paragraphs got messed up and dialog tags went missing, but something tells me that’s not the case.
There is, however, a positive side to having read the book: I won’t walk out of the theater thinking what the f*** just happened? Also, I’ll be prepared for the WTF scenes, like the rectal exam and the water bottle. And the ending. This is one of those rare cases where I don’t think the book will help the movie make sense, but at least I can go into it knowing that I’m not going to understand anything, and I can put more effort into ogling The Pretty.
Someone on Twitter said they saw the trailer and were left completely confused. I replied by saying I read the book and I’m just as confused. For your viewing pleasure, here is the Cosmopolis trailer: