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Michel Houellebecq Appreciation Thread

Lane  said about 7 years ago  or at  9:58PM on Sunday, February 4 2007 in books

Its been about a decade since I found a book so good I couldn't put it down, and since Michel Houellebecq is the only contemporary fiction writer I've loved I thought I'd share his details or any M+N bookclubbers into early 20th Century european intellectual classics with whom he shares skills at social analysis, dry wit and intellectual malaise.

Currently reading Platform and have also had recommended Atomised.

Anyone else liking Houellebecq's honest sexual perversity?


aloha  said about 7 years ago:

i liked atomised. the scientific parts were way over the top of my head, though. i just read through those parts as quick as possible.

been a bit of discussion in here

good article here.


Lane  said about 7 years ago:

platform's about tourism, has an easy edge into the cultural analysis of the phenomena of being a tourist, so possibly a more palatable read

that other thread is too confusing for book clubbing, i request focus


Lorenzo St Dubois  said about 7 years ago:

I've only read The Possibility of an Island and the man speaks directly to my heart. What a shitbag!


aloha  said about 7 years ago:

living proof that women love assholes?


Lorenzo St Dubois  said about 7 years ago:

Is that what she felt ya reckon? Either of them? The first one yes I suppose, but not the young floozy.


Lane  said about 7 years ago:

we love confidence, which unfortunately seems to be coupled with assholeness

but personally i think i like assholes because i am one too, so i relate

however i dont think anyone ever partners with assholes. they're just better for sex


Lorenzo St Dubois  said about 7 years ago:

It's his lack of sentimentality that I like. Wouldn't it be nice to genuinely feel sentimental love?


aloha  said about 7 years ago:

i felt awful when whatshername (annabelle?) had to have the operation at the end after trying to conceive. if there was an opportunity of happiness in the book, it could have been that.


el goodo  said about 7 years ago:

I aint no Houellebecq girl...


aloha  said about 7 years ago:

i'm surprised at how fluid it moved along as well, considering it was a translation.

a movie has been made, set in germany.


Lane  said about 7 years ago:

read Platform in one sitting. it was incredible. i dont want to plot spoil but i will say i spent the last three pages in tears... whether they were tears of joy or sadness is for you to discover

the ending is particularly pertinent to australians.

i absolutely love the way he shreds islam to pieces - even tho they are fucking over the world hardly anyone is speaking out against them

the driving force of Platform is an incredibly powerful mix of distance and intimacy in human relations, seen simultaneously from the perspectives of bottom-up individuals and top-down purveyors of social control (church and corporation)...


Lane  said about 7 years ago:

alright after finishing atomised i have re-evaluated my opinion of michel.

OVERLY FORMULAIC RANTINGS OF AN OLD DRUNK PERVERT

can someone please confirm/deny if his other novels follow the same trite pattern?

old french man waxes lyrical about the pointlessness of his life; frustrating inability to fuck nubile girls; physical decay with nihilistic proximity to death; ostrasization from contemporary materialism. said man finds temporary alleviation from his woes when loved by sexually liberated woman with whom he has sex with other people only to have relationship end in tragedy. said man goes to mental hospital before executing his demise.

once was enough, michel. unfortunately i relate too much to his pessimistic, nihilistic view of contemporary culture and obsession with sex to discontinue reading his work, however, i no longer find this writer creative.

can anyone recommend any other contemporary writers with a bit of intelligent wit?


andyr  said about 7 years ago:

I find him boring.

As far as crazy, drunken perverts go, you can't top Georges Bataille.


andyr  said about 7 years ago:

Oh, sorry, he's not contemporary.


andyr  said about 7 years ago:

I aint no Houellebecq girl...

^ Best comment.


danielz  said about 7 years ago:

i fear i am becoming a crazy drunken pervert. got called a 'sleaze' for the first time in my life the other day.


andyr  said about 7 years ago:

What did you do?? I can't imagine you being a sleaze.


Lane  said about 7 years ago:

yeah me too, there's too many tits out in the summer heat not to be a pervert at the moment

story of the eye is fine; why hasn't anyone written anything worth reading in the past few decades?

truman capote's in cold blood, 65 was the most recent thing i really enjoyed


Lane  said about 7 years ago:

no world wars perhaps


danielz  said about 7 years ago:

apparently sugegsting a threesome to two girls, in the vicinity of their boyfriends, is considered sleazy nowadays. i'd prefer the term 'brash'.


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Northside  said about 3 years ago:

His new book 'The Map and the territory' which won the Goncourt Prize is released tommorrow, can't wait...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/sep/21/houellebecq-map-and-territory-review


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

Still no update :/

I think I'm gonna re-read atomised.


TimRogersFucksKids  said about 2 years ago:

I liked his Lovecraft autobiography, and I also though Atomised was pretty interesting
I tried reading The Possibility of an Island but could only get half way through, It seemed to be pretty much a rehash of ideas, haven't bothered with him since then.


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

HE'S STILL MISSING :(


Adrian-Ronalds  said about 2 years ago:

Nah they found him, he just forgot he was supposed to show up for tour and doesn't use phones


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

Thank god - I've been googling but nothing came up!

Bloody houllebecq....


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

I've been roaming about second hand book stores looking for any other mh books other than atomised, which I already own. I've had no luck so I'm resorting to rereading atomised.


rigid  said about 2 years ago:

There is a one month rule when combing second hand stores; if nothing turns up after one month you are allowed to order from The Book Depository.


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

I always get the guilts. Its so cheap, uit I'd rather spend a few extra bucks and buy local if I can. But I know what you're saying


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

has anyone read the map and the territory yet??


Northside  said about 2 years ago:

I just finished The Map and the Territory, it's not his best work. But still an interesting read. I didn't think there was a huge degree of misogyny in it although 2 feminists in my book club (yeah people still do bookclubs (and feminism)) thought it was full of it because he goes on a 2 page rant about how breast implants can make marriage last an extra 20 years (there is also a part where the protagonist beats the shit out of a woman in a euthanasia clinic). Some nice rants about art (which the novel is primarily about) and he seems to have a preoccupation with budget travel atm as he goes on about Ryanair and Easyjet the whole time (There's an interesting passage on a French town near an Easyjet airport). One of the main characters is Michel Houellebecq, lampooning himself as a miserable, alcoholic recluse who moves his bed into his lounge to sleep. A lot of references and rants were about French celebrities which went way over my head. All in all, it's a good read, I went through it pretty quickly but it's no Atomised or Platform. I'd put it below Possibility of an Island but better than Whatever or Lanzarote.


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

One of the main characters is Michel Houellebecq, lampooning himself as a miserable, alcoholic recluse who moves his bed into his lounge to sleep

isn't this every protagonist in his books?

(I love Houellebecq, by the way - this isn't a criticism.)


Northside  said about 2 years ago:

Yeah it is but this character is actually Michel Houllebecq, he neglects to shroud his identity with a pdeudonym. And he uses passages like ''and at the door stood Michel Houellebecq, the author of Atomised''


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

haha. awesome.


Northside  said about 2 years ago:

Yeah if you are a fan, then it's definitely woth a read. Still has some MH gold. More fascinating for his rants than for the plot (which is all over the place) Interestingly enough this book won the Goncourt Prize in France, kinda like the Man-Booker prize of French literature awarded to ''the best and most imaginative prose work of the year''. None of his other books have ever won it and he was uncharacteristically stoked about winning it.


mrb  said about 2 years ago:

I look forward to reading it. Hope his best work isn't behind him but feels like maybe it is.


Northside  said about 2 years ago:

Yeah I'm not sure if novelists are like musicians and 'lose it' after a certain age. MH has explored some pretty massive themes thus far, this book isn't anywhere near as ambitious as his past few but it does feel as though he's a bit stuck for ideas. Not sure where he'll go after this, between this and his last book he regrettably tried his hand at music (which was ridiculously bad) and directed a film adaption of his book (3.7 on IMDB) so he seems a bit short on direction atm, this comes out a fair bit in this book...


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

i'm really excited for this. he's easily one of my favourite authors.


woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

I just finished Whatever and have to say, it's my least favourite. The ending bothered me a great deal - perhaps I missed the bitter undertones but it felt far too sentimental for my liking.

i did scan my favourite paragraphy when i was bored at work, though (a habit)


Northside  said about 1 year ago:

New film starring Michel Houellebecq about his 'disappearance'. Can't wait.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/15/michel-houellebecq-film-book-disappear-kidnap


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