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30Dec

5 Must-reads from Michel Houellebecq

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Platform is a novel by Michel Houellebecq published in 2001. Houellebecq's dystopian vision of a near-future where sex has been replaced by the cloning of human beings is his most accomplished and thought-provoking novel. The main character, a marketing consultant, has to travel to Thailand to convince a sex-tourism entrepreneur to make a deal with his company. The novel's brooding, cynical tone is perfectly embodied in the hero's obsession with the film Back To The Future Part II, which he watches over and over again on video. The novel is shot through with a sense of despair, and in the end the hero decides to clone himself and to travel back in time to meet the 19th-century writer Joris Karl Huysmans, whose work he admires. As the hero says, "I'm only doing it for the pleasure of talking to you again, of course, but it's also because I don't have any choice. You're a writer, Huysmans, you understand that. You're my last resort."
The Possibility of an Island In the beginning of the 21st century, on a tiny island of the coast of Western Europe, there lives a man of around fifty. He is rich, withdrawn, solitary. His name is Michel Djerzinski. He is a scientist and he lives alone in a huge mansion. One day, a new maid arrives at the mansion. Her name is Sophie. She comes from Eastern Europe. She is twenty-five and she is very beautiful. She and Michel go to bed together and from this moment onwards their relationship will change their lives in an irreversible way.
Serotonin. We are in the far future. A single human colony, also a reproduction, is left orbiting an old star, between the galaxy's spiral arms. The protagonist, a historian and teacher, spends most of his time drinking and sleeping with women, but at the same time he is obsessed with the idea that humanity should undertake a last-ditch effort to reproduce itself. This is the story of a man who is obsessed with death, but who is incapable of doing anything significant with his life, who spends his days enjoying his existence.
Atomised. This is the first novel written by Michel Houellebecq. The novel narrates the lives of two brothers, Michel and Bruno, who were raised in an upper middle class family in France. Since childhood, Bruno, the younger of the two, gets angry when Michel, the elder brother, gets the attention. He believes that he is better than his brother at everything even though Michel is a gifted mathematician. In his adolescence, Bruno gets a sex education book from Michel. Bruno is shocked to find his brother in the book and gets angry at his brother. The novel also presents the lives of two married couples, Michel and Isabelle and Bruno and Francoise. Bruno is in love with Francoise while Michel is in love with Isabelle. The novel was published in 1994 and was a great success. The novel received the Prix Novembre in 1994.
Submission by Michel Houellebecq is a provocative novel, set in a near future France. It is the fictional story of a Muslim man who wins the French presidency in a landslide victory, and the ensuing political turmoil that follows. Submission is a must read for anyone interested in international affairs and the future of France. the novel is meant to be a thought experiment, and a critique of certain political and social trends in France

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