Houellebecq’s controversial novel, which caused an uproar in France last year, finally reaches our shores. Whether it will make similar waves here remains to be . An international literary phenomenon, The Elementary Particles is a frighteningly original novel–part Marguerite Duras and part Bret Easton Ellis-that. You’re not meant to like Atomised, by Michel Houellebecq, warns Nicholas Lezard.

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Thus through sex we humiliate and are humiliated. Further, Houellebecq gives an heuristic account of where Western civilization goes in the fictional future. Later Michel went up to the priest as he was packing away the tools of the trade.

I wish I was able to write a more detailed reaction to this novel, but I feel nothing. I don’t think, however, that we need to discuss whether Michel’s idea makes scientific sense; I don’t believe Houellbecq is hoyellebecq saying that we should find a way to evolve away from sex, any more than Brecht in The Tutor is seriously suggesting autocastration as a solution.

What an incredible book. Houellebecq’s books create controversy to the point that he has ended up in court defending himself and his motivations. He spends his days in a constant agony of unfulfilled desire. Masterbation fodder, or else just more fucking people. Usually when I talk about why I hohellebecq novels it usually has to do with the great characters that I identified with or the amazing plot or the entertaining action. Meanwhile, Michel continues to live what is basically “a purely intellectual existence”, without love and without even much friendship.

This is houlelebecq novel of ideas. The aimlessness of modern middle class life. Retrieved 31 May Jul 12, Lorenzo Berardi rated it did not like it Shelves: We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

Cold, undiluted and dazzlingwrites Houellebecq in his essay on H. View all 7 comments. By the time she returned to her hotel, Annabelle was distraught. Think– elementagy long, cold autumn afternoon sipping coffee and reading “Never Let Me Go.

The Elementary Particles

Views Read Edit View history. Save the e-mails from academic institutions and research facilities abroad that Michel receives and some xenophobic rants there does not even seem to be much of an outside world. Nov 13, Pages Buy. The ideal reader would houellbeecq these to be both nostalgic and informative, like interruptions from a public television documentary.

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Mostly exposition with suggestions of scenes, few conventionally dramatized via dialogue. In this space of which they are so afraid, human beings learn how to live and to die; in their mental space, separation, distance and suffering are born. And through our increasing needs and desires, we come to view ourselves as separate from each other, dislodged and unconnected spiritually, heightening our anguish.

Houellebecq is intellectual and smart and I like his analysis of what motivates people. Love is an ideal that pagticles, vaguely exists, but is shown to be practically an impossibility in this society.

The Elementary Particles – Michel Houellebecq – Google Books

Unable to recognize our own divinity and perfection an idea explored through notions of metaphysicsHouellebecq also states that man, as a species, is not equipped to cope with death. Nevertheless, the writing te quite beautiful in many places, even though it tends to jump to other characters at different time periods without warning.

Not amateurish darkly funny, because, I mean, this book is dark. Read it Forward Read it first. Whole paragraphs eg, about humanity’s historically unprecedented concern with aging and the preferability of suicide to loss of physical function I read outloud to a friend. There are many novelists who have their own obsession for sex and some of them are consistently This book brought me to laughter.

View all 6 comments. Teenage boys are consistently portrayed as the lowest form of life; “there’s nothing more stupid, hateful or obnoxious than a teenage boy”, Houellebecq insists throughout the book. But I think there are more interesting ways of reading Les Par You can eleementary this book in several different ways. Hate hate hate hate hate. Bruno only reaches some measure of happiness in life by means of a woman who shows him how to accept and respect his body and sexual needs without judgment, by introducing him to communities in which the sex act is honored.

View all 23 comments. It’s an interesting story, elemnetary deserves to be treated with more respect. Men take the brunt of Houellebecq’s attacks as he blames them for almost everything, but in contemporary society he finds women’s identities so closely tied to their role as sexual partner and mother that if they are incapable of filling these roles they see themselves as having no further purpose — a point not handled with much finesse here.


Throughout The Elementary ParticlesHouellebecq is at pains to point out the scientific basis of many of his own claims, leading to odd but also oddly fascinating asides. From snuff films to failed attempts to masturbate, from working over flaccid penises to the most pafticles ejaculations conceivable, Houellebecq covers it all.

Despite the often searing and pitiless slings and arrows houelllebecq at humanity, I think it is also a book that is deeply sympathetic to the desperate flailing, the absurd flaws, and the open wounds of humanity, self-inflicted and otherwise. She had never thought that sexual pleasure could be that overpowering.

Or at least try to. Empty creatures evaporate quietly; nobody misses them. I discerned that he hated Muslims, black people, and homosexuals even more than he hated everyone else, and so I didn’t go out with him again. Download our Spring Psrticles Sampler Now.

So if any readers who take my opinions as any sort of guide end up having trouble with it along the way, I implore them to press on.

Although I was determined to finish the book, I was not prepared for what a wonderful book this is. Lots of the bashing particled valid, but much else is not, and he undermines his valid points when he makes statements such as this that are so completely and obviously inaccurate. The novel shows a consistent disgust for human bodies and sexuality which I thought rather juvenile. A “strong novel” in this sense is not “Submission,” which again hedges its positions and elwmentary with extreme views that it can’t quite bring itself to openly embrace.

Still, it works quite well, and he almost pulls it off.