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. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of The Elementary Particles / Atomised by Michel Houellebecq.

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Bruno’s plight is similar. To view it, click here. In another age the elemrntary meant waiting for the kingdom of God; it is now an anticipation of death. If you want a book that actually doesn’t flinch in regarding death, try “Everyman.

That is this novel, and author Michel Houellebecq is a dishevelled version of that Frenchman. At the time, I wondered for a moment why Houellebeecq find generalized misanthropy acceptable — even kind of charming — but felt more specifically targeted hatreds were completely repellant.

In contemporary Western society, death is like white noise to a man in good health; it fills his mind when his dreams and plans fade. The Epilogue really clarifies so much that precedes it. The first time it had been painful, but afterward she enjoyed it.

The Elementary Particles

I was so into the first half of The Elementary Particles that it made me feel terrible in that amazing hedonistic I-hate-myself-for-loving-you way that top-shelf Martin Amis brings on. See 1 question about The Elementary Particles…. Bruno, the older brother, has become a raucously promiscuous hedonist himself, while Michel is an emotionally dead molecular biologist wholly immersed in the solitude of his work.


He does this wrestling in a way that might not be palatable to all, and while I find this compelling I haven’t yet decided if I’ll go out with him again.

Cover Title Page Prologue.

To ask other readers questions about The Elementary Particlesplease sign up. Michel, emotionally dead, is nonetheless able to recognize that love does in fact exist by means of a pure woman who loves him unconditionally.

From time to time someone comes up with better equipment and they give him the Nobel Prize.

The Elementary Particles is a pessimistic not depressing book; a cynical not skeptical one; a realistic not sexual or dirty one. Love is merely a chemical reaction.

The book put me in all possible moods — I cried and laughed and felt sad, then was ignorant and rude and then bearable again. It simply looks at you and ellementary you: But why does Bruno feel this terrible, and particlse does it say about our society? She had never thought that sexual pleasure could be that overpowering.

Love is an ideal that still, vaguely exists, but is shown to be practically an impossibility in this society.

Aside from the senseless suffering they caused, revolutions and wars destroyed the best of the past, forcing societies to rebuild from scratch. Aubyn’s The Patrick Melrose Novels which I never got around to reviewing properly both in that it’s about the extraordinarily fucked-up children of wealthy Europeans, and that it degenerates somewhat into overly expository and transparently philosophical fake monologues later on in the book.


Atomised – Wikipedia

Yep, really hate them, we don’t say why we just do. What on earth were men for, Michel wondered as he watched sunlight play across the curtains.

In the prologue Houellebecq writes that France “was sliding slowly, ineluctably, into the ranks of the less developed countries”, a statement of such incredible stupidity that it takes ones breath away France remains one of the world’s wealthiest and best-developed countries, and at least on the development scale literacy, technology, health-care the French have never been as well off as they are now — or so far ahead of so many other nations.

Retrieved 9 January Translated from the French by Frank Wynne.

The Elementary Particles – Michel Houellebecq – Google Books

It’s not quite Houellebecq Lite, but it’s the least likely to offend. A transitory image in the midst of chaos. The artistry is like a painting, the reading is like some immersive exercise that blends sex with study of molecular biology in new and intelligent ways.

Houellebecqq Elementary Particles – Canada.