Michel Houellebecq - book author
Michel Houellebecq (born Michel Thomas), born 26 February 1958 (birth certificate) or 1956 on the French island of Réunion, is a controversial and award-winning French novelist. To admirers he is a writer in the tradition of literary provocation that reaches back to the Marquis de Sade and Baudelaire; to detractors he is a peddler, who writes vulgar sleazy literature to shock. His works though, particularly Atomised, have received high praise from the French literary intelligentsia, with generally positive international critical response, Having written poetry and a biography of the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, he brought out his first novel Extension du domaine de la lutte in 1994. Les particules élémentaires followed in 1998 and Plateforme, in 2001. After a disastrous publicity tour for this book, which led to his being taken to court for inciting racial hatred, he went to Ireland to write. He currently resides in France, where he has been described as "France’s biggest literary export and, some say, greatest living writer". In 2010 he published La Carte et le Territoire (published the same year in English as The Map and the Territory) which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt; and, in 2015, Submission.
Michel Houellebecq is the author of books: The Elementary Particles, Platform, Soumission, The Possibility of an Island, La carte et le territoire, Whatever, Serotonin, Lanzarote, H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take On Each Other and the World
An international bestseller and controversial literary phenomenon that drew immediate comparison to the novels of Beckett, Huxley, and Camus, this is the story of two half-brothers abandoned by a mother who gave herself fully to the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties.
Bruno, overweight and a failure at everything, is himself a raucously promiscuous hedonist, while Michel, his younger brother, is an emotionally dead molecular biologist wholly immersed in the solitude of his work. Each is ultimately offered a final chance at genuine love, and what unfolds is an endlessly unpredictable and provocative tale that speaks to the impossible redemption of the human condition.
In his early forties, Michel Renault skims through his days with as little human contact as possible. But following his father’s death he takes a group holiday to Thailand where he meets a travel agent—the shyly compelling Valérie—who begins to bring this half-dead man to life with sex of escalating intensity and audacity. Arcing with dreamlike swiftness from Paris to Pattaya Beach and from sex clubs to a terrorist massacre, Platform is a brilliant, apocalyptic masterpiece by a man who is widely regarded as one of the world’s most original and daring writers.
Le talent de l’auteur, sa force visionnaire nous entraînent sur un terrain ambigu et glissant ; son regard sur notre civilisation vieillissante fait coexister dans ce roman les intuitions poétiques, les effets comiques, une mélancolie fataliste.
Ce livre est une saisissante fable politique et morale.
Surprisingly poignant, philosophically compelling, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, The Possibility of an Island is at once an indictment, an elegy, and a celebration of everything we have and are at risk of losing. It is a masterpiece from one of the world's most innovative writers.
Il évoquerait certainement Olga, une très jolie Russe rencontrée au début de sa carrière, lors d’une première exposition de son travail photographique à partir de cartes routières Michelin. C’était avant que le succès mondial n’arrive avec la série des « métiers », ces portraits de personnalités de tous milieux (dont l’écrivain Michel Houellebecq), saisis dans l’exercice de leur profession.
Il devrait dire aussi comment il aida le commissaire Jasselin à élucider une atroce affaire criminelle, dont la terrifiante mise en scène marqua durablement les équipes de police.
Sur la fin de sa vie il accédera à une certaine sérénité, et n’émettra plus que des murmures.
L’art, l’argent, l’amour, le rapport au père, la mort, le travail, la France devenue un paradis touristique sont quelques-uns des thèmes de ce roman, résolument classique et ouvertement moderne.
Houellebecq's debut novel is painfully realistic portrayal of the vanishing freedom of a world governed by science and by the empty rituals of daily life.
Le narrateur de Sérotonine approuverait sans réserve. Son récit traverse une France qui piétine ses traditions, banalise ses villes, détruit ses campagnes au bord de la révolte. Il raconte sa vie d’ingénieur agronome, son amitié pour un aristocrate agriculteur (un inoubliable personnage de roman – son double inversé), l’échec des idéaux de leur jeunesse, l’espoir peut-être insensé de retrouver une femme perdue.
Ce roman sur les ravages d’un monde sans bonté, sans solidarité, aux mutations devenues incontrôlables, est aussi un roman sur le remords et le regret.
On Lanzarote, one can meet some fascinating human specimens, notably Pam and Barbara - 'non-exclusive' German lesbians - who can give rise to some interesting combinations. Will they succeed in seducing Rudi, the police inspector from Luxembourg, currently living in exile in Brussels? Or will he join the 'Azraelian' sect, as they prepare for humanity to be regenerated by extra-terrestrials? As for our narrator, will he consider his week's holiday on the island a success?
In one corner, Bernard-Henri Lévy, creator of the classic Barbarism with a Human Face, dismissed by the media as a wealthy, self-promoting, arrogant do-gooder. In the other, Michel Houellebecq, bestselling author of The Elementary Particles, widely derided as a sex-obsessed racist and misogynist. What began as a secret correspondence between bitter enemies evolved into a remarkable joint personal meditation by France’s premier literary and political live wires. An instant international bestseller, Public Enemies has now been translated into English for all lovers of superb insights, scandalous opinions, and iconoclastic ideas.
In wicked, wide-ranging, and freewheeling letters, the two self-described “whipping boys” debate whether they crave disgrace or secretly have an insane desire to please. Lévy extols heroism in the face of tyranny; Houellebecq sees himself as one who would “fight little and badly.” Lévy says “life does not ‘live’” unless he can write; Houellebecq bemoans work as leaving him in such “a state of nervous exhaustion that it takes several bottles of alcohol to get out.” There are also touching and intimate exchanges on the existence of God and about their own families.
Dazzling, delightful, and provocative, Public Enemies is a death match between literary lions, remarkable men who find common ground, confident that, in the end (as Lévy puts it), “it is we who will come out on top.”