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Ampliacion del Campo de Batalla (Spanish…
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Ampliacion del Campo de Batalla (Spanish Edition) (original 1994; edition 2001)

by Michel Houellebecq

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1,478185,033 (3.46)17
Member:ppiccolini
Title:Ampliacion del Campo de Batalla (Spanish Edition)
Authors:Michel Houellebecq
Info:Anagrama (2001), Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Whatever by Michel Houellebecq (1994)

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» See also 17 mentions

English (14)  French (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
This isn't a bad book, it just isn't for me at this time. I really don't need a book that leaves me more depressed than when I began it. ( )
  mlbelize | Jan 27, 2014 |
The title fits the theme of the story perfectly. The narrator suffers from manic depression, and in turn has a completely apathetic and cynical world view. This was my first Houellebecq novel, so I won't be too quick to judge his storytelling capabilities. He has done a great job capturing the mindset and internal dialogue of a depressed man. The narrator depicts women in an obvious objectified male-gaze, and even reveals tendencies of racism. But such is the behavior of a man who undergoes daily bouts of incessant negativity. I did not like the narrator, and disagreed with everything he said and believed, but in order to truly simulate manic depression, Houellebecq had to delve so deep into pessimism that a glimmer of hope would surely be absurd. ( )
  Willstoc | Jun 5, 2013 |
I am done and very glad, that it's over.
What a bad, bad book.
The protagonist is a sexist, pretentious prick, whose rambling is above all EXTREMELY BORING.
I don't see anything remotely good about this book and will not ever again read something by this author. ( )
  Tam2603 | Apr 18, 2013 |
"It's been a while since the meanings of my actions has seemed clear to me. The rest of the time I'm more or less in the position of observer"

Novel about a man whose cynical and aloof attitude to others affects his mental stability, taking refuge in violence and fantasies of sexual degradation. He has a general sense of contempt and bitterness for others and believes such disaffection to be the norm. His bitterness is broken only by a sense of 'going on for the sake of going on', and by expressions of pathos for the helplessness and hopelessness of those he observes. He demands love and tenderness but is unable to bestow such feelings. He accompanies others on their pathetic drunken forays in search of sexual conquests and love without risking anything himself. He observes with derision, amusing himself with hate filled rants about other peoples egotism and mediocre ambitions. The observations sometimes ring true and are palatable but at other times just reveal an annoying self-conscious posturing in the narrator. It is a desperate and sociopathic monologue of a man who, in spite of this detachedness, doesn't really have much insight about himself or society. He has put so many walls up that he cuts off all possible pathways to being helped, making his descent into solitude and depression inevitable.
  mingusfingers | Nov 16, 2012 |
I have a collection of books I have been picking and choosing from, usually on the basis of, "what sounds good today?" and this was the most recent book I chose.

The first thing that has to be said is that I did not really care. I did not care what happened to the protagonist; there was never a point where I connected with him on an intellectual level ("hey, maybe this guy has a point! I can see where he's coming from...") or an emotional level ("I hope things work out for this guy, I really want to see him find a way to resolve his struggle"). Like any criticism leveled at a book, it may say something about the quality of the book or something about the quality of the reader.

I can't say that the ideas expressed in the book are totally off. Houellebecq's protagonist isn't the first to cast sex as a kind of economics, not only that but a kind of economics where (at least in a non-monogamous world) there are haves and have-nots. By the end, he has divided the world into Mars (fear, money, power, domination, masculinity) and Venus (sex, seduction) and seems vexed that there is nothing else in the world. I can sympathize, the idea that there is nothing in life except material and sexual hierarchy is very vexing, and when you find it difficult to escape the notion it can become maddening. When sex and resources cease to be cast as matters that enrich you life and instead become the only content of your life, the world seems very small indeed. This is interesting. This is an interesting concept that can be explored and wrestled with.

But I still felt no intellectual connection with the protagonist. Maybe I am uncharitable, but I just don't see how two years without sex is cause for someone to lose their minds. If sex drought makes you sob intermittently throughout the day, your psyche probably was not built to last in the first place, and you don't make a very suitable model for a struggle that the modern human faces. I do say that some of his ideas have merit, but I would have to say that his reaction to his struggle smacks of someone trying to give their lives an existential flavor by portraying their petty struggles as existential crises that suck all the joy out of their lives.

It worked in The Stranger, because the fact of death reasonably seems like the sort of thing that can suck the color out of life. That is a real struggle that anyone can face in their lives. Lack of sex is a reason to get a faster internet connection, not a reason to try to get your liquored-up friend to go kill people on a beach.

Maybe if he had spent some time exploring what it means to live in a world that seems to be dominated by competition for resources and competition for sex - and how to move beyond such a life, I would have been interested. Maybe if he tried to live in defiance of a life. Hell, even if he decided that that was just how life is and decided to go with it, I would have been emotionally invested. But he apparently just decides to start losing control of his mind, and that is rather boring to me.

So, he had some interesting ideas that are worth exploring; it just all gets lost in a very boring descent into madness.

Oh well, it wasn't too long, no great loss. Whatever.... ( )
  GTWise | Jul 21, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Houellebecq, Michelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haan, Martin deAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haan, Martin deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keynäs, VilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Friday evening I was invited to a party at a colleague from work's house.
Vendredi soir j'étais invité à une soirée chez un collègue de travail. On était une bonne trentaine, rien que des cadres moyens âgés de vingt-cinq à quarante ans. A un moment donné, il y a une connasse qui a commencé à se déshabiller. Elle a ôté son T-shirt, puis son soutien-gorge, puis sa jupe, tout ça en faisant des mines incroyables. Elle a encore tournoyé en petite culotte pendant quelques secondes, et puis elle a commencé à se resaper ne voyant plus quoi faire d'autre. D'ailleurs c'est une fille qui ne couche avec personne. Ce qui souligne bien l'absurdité de son comportement. 
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Just thirty, with a well-paid job, no love life and a terrible attitude, the anti-hero of this grim, funny novel smokes four packs of cigarettes a day and writes weird animal stories in his spare time. A computer programmer by day, he is tolerably content, until he's packed off with a colleague - the sexually-frustrated Raphael Tisserand - to train provincial civil servants in the use of a new computer system.… (more)

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