April 20. Eric Packer, age twenty-eight, wakes up and emerges from his $108 million apartment to locate his white stretch limo. Packer is the most formidable and most daring of currency traders, and his ride across town—ostensibly to get a haircut—is a journey only the twenty-first century could understand. His first meeting—in the car—is with his chief of analysis, a man even younger than himself. In his congested travel across town (traffic is caused by a President’s visit, a music idol’s funeral, a demonstration, and more), Eric Packer encounters our speeded up, global world. Sometimes he leaves the car to find the world—his wife of twenty-two days, his lover of much longer, the female bodyguard he also sleeps with—sometimes the world meets him in the car.
At age four, Eric figured out what he would weigh on every planet in the solar system. Now he is worth billions. He is also in a willfully self-annihilating bet against the yen that creates “storms of disorder” around the globe. Every one of his advisors advises against it.
DeLillo’s thirteenth novel confirmed his role as one of the most profoundly significant writers working in our lifetime—and then some.