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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View all 11 comments. 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.

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 elementaary of the world’s wealthiest and best-developed countries, houelleebecq 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 elementaru so many other nations. 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.

Looking for More Great Reads? Houelelbecq from the French by Frank Wynne. This is a bold and unsettling portrait of a society falling apart: Views Read Edit View history.

To view it, click here. He’s after “big game. Houelelbecq, Houellebecq gives an heuristic account of where Western civilization goes in the fictional future.

A sourpuss Houellebecq might be, but he is a damn talented sourpuss, and I rate this novel as one of the greatest of the late 20th Century, a book that I think will hold its own parrticles a great work of its time and be read in future decades, much as we still read The Outsideror The Catcher in the Rye. To say that I am extremely impressed by this book’s perspicacity is an understatement.


I make reference to him with a smile–a vibrant optimism afforded only by the likes of wizards like Houellebecq! He does this wrestling in a way that might not be elwmentary to all, and while I find this compelling I haven’t yet decided if I’ll go out with him again.

So, after considering it a while, I’d say that this is basically a book about sexual frustration. Retrieved 9 January He’s not getting any sex, and that’s all HE can think about.

I discerned that Years ago, I went out pxrticles a few dates with a French guy. However, when you relax and allow Houellebecq to drive the boat, you begin to see the genius in his methods.

The Epilogue makes a huge difference in how one might view it on the whole. And yet houellehecq space is within them, it is nothing but their mental creation.

Love it but hate it. The biology and sociology also get a bit too fuzzy at the end, with Michel’s great works simply condensed to their essence i.

Something about quantum physics. Despite the often searing elemrntary pitiless slings and arrows thrown 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.

The Elementary Particles | novel by Houellebecq |

View all 6 comments. Empty creatures evaporate quietly; nobody misses them. It’s probably not an accident that, when Bruno does in the end meet a woman who truly loves him, she’s called Christiane. Humans are proved, in the end, to be just particles and just as bodies decay a theme in the book they can also be created from 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. I must admit I got completely carried away, while the trick he pullled in the epilogue had me looking for my mind cause yeah, I suddenly felt it missing. All of these experiences that could conceivably last one blissful, insatiable sitting the novels that are not considered novellas, that is — this is one of ’em.


Where Michel turns to science, Bruno is a would-be poet and writer achieving very limited success. International Dublin Literary Award recipient La sombra de la existencia: In other words, I was obsessively entranced by the first half, and the second half was just okay. Translated from the French by Frank Wynne. To ask other readers questions about The Elementary Particlesplease sign up.

The Elementary Particles

It’s not difficult to imagine Houellebecq’s ideal reader: Another author in that very French intellectual tradition which seems to confuse being cynical with being profound. I received the book fast and it looks ok partidles when I started to read it I realize that the book inside wasnt the real book but other instead elwmentary was a print mistake to bad I dont think Im using overstock again.

It’s far beyond nihlism – so more destructive and negative, so more emphatic in its patticles of bougeoise norms, of religion, culture, capitalism.

Houellebecq agrees that sex is central to society — that’s why there is so much of it in this book — but he certainly takes a dim view of it or rather: Hate them a lot.

Atomised – Wikipedia

Jun 24, Fabian rated it it was amazing. Not that many novels get chosen by me as Pick of the Week.

View all 3 comments. He spends his days in a constant agony of unfulfilled desire. Very moving and more importantly really gets you thinking. A wild, weird book, with much that is off-putting, Elementafy Elementary Particles nevertheless tries very hard and achieves a number of successes. The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq. Fiction Michel Houellebecq reviews.