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Elementaire deeltjes by Michel Houellebecq
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Elementaire deeltjes (original 1998; edition 1998)

by Michel Houellebecq

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4,429681,601 (3.58)125
Member:zerkalo
Title:Elementaire deeltjes
Authors:Michel Houellebecq
Info:Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers, A'dam - A'pen, 1999
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:french literature, fiction

Work details

The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq (Author) (1998)

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» See also 125 mentions

English (47)  French (8)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
This was an arc light. It was instance of obliteration, nothing short. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
It is astonishing, how interesting the book seemed when it came out, and how shallow it seems now.
The imposing and disruptive pseudo-scientific style Houellebecq liked to break out with reminded me however already then of Kundera's idiot logic which he used to frame and connect chains of meaningless narrative elements, and it is only because of this surviving juxtaposition that Houellebecq still remains intereting in a way. And his drunk interviews of course.
The polemic that the author tries to maintain with Huxley seems to illustrate and underscore his own fallacies. Cynicism, disgust, resentment, repulsion, contempt and such are all fine and appealing emotional states, especially in literature, but they have to be taken good care of, lest they fall out of the bra and loose shape. Houellebecq seems to drool upon a table cloth he did not wash for months, and to atone for the filth he invites us to look at the random patterns his sallow saliva produces. You get the idea. ( )
1 vote alik-fuchs | Apr 27, 2018 |
What a pile. I haven't read a book about more loathsome and boring characters in my life. And to make it worse, it is written in the most pretentious way. I had heard about this author writing scandalous books in France, and that he was known for being a hedonist and that his mother came out with a book calling herself a bigger hedonist and denouncing her son as a poor novelist and son. (Shocking!) So I was interested in reading something a little racy, but this was so boring I could get through it. ( )
  HardcoverHearts | Mar 24, 2018 |
An odd combination of soft pornography and philosophy. As a commentary on life it does not lead anywhere in particular. In the end the demi-freres become evident constructs of argument rather than characters. Not disappointing but certainly not inspiring. ( )
  Steve38 | Jun 12, 2016 |
It’s no wonder this book is on the 1001 List for it speaks to the many circumstances that make up male and female society. A facile reading would speak only to the blatant sexuality at the expense of the deeper meanings that address all aspects of male and female relationships. The many salient points deserve a deeper discussion which is not possible in this review. Two half-brothers, Bruno and Michel, raised by different grandparents, each lose a significant female role model early in their lives, forcing them into the care of mentally and physically absent parents. For most of their lives, they are incapable of enjoying a bond with a woman; Michel lacks the desire while Bruno is filled with hatred and rage because he is sexually rejected. In late middle age, they are both rescued by loving women but unfortunately death comes to both women and the men are again cast adrift. Prudishly superficial readers will deny themselves the opportunity to engage in a deeper understanding of the human condition, which like it or not, we experience every day in all aspects of our lives. An interesting side note is during my reading, the news was filled with the shooting rampage of American Elliot Rodger, a sexually rejected young man who took revenge on the women who rejected him by gunning down anonymous women (and men) on a campus in California. The conclusion; sexually rejected young men in the U.S. resort to gun violence while in France, they resort to masturbation and prostitutes. I wrote this conclusion on the Shelfari group 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and was immediately removed from the group. ( )
1 vote ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Houellebecq, MichelAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haan, Martin deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keynäs, VilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wynne, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is principally the story of a man who lived out the greater part of his life in Western Europe, in the latter half of the twentieth century.
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Published in UK as Atomised, Published in US as The Elementary Particles
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099283360, Paperback)

Half-brothers Michel and Bruno have a mother in common but little else. Michel is a molecular biologist, a thinker and idealist, a man with no erotic life to speak of and little in the way of human society. Bruno, by contrast, is a libertine, though more in theory than in practice, his endless lust is all too rarely reciprocated. Both are symptomatic members of our atomised society, where religion has given way to shallow 'new age' philosophies and love to meaningless sexual connections. Atomised (Les Particules elementaires) tells the stories of the two brothers, but the real subject of the novel is the dismantling of contemporary society and its assumptions, its political incorrectness, and its caustic and penetrating asides on everything from anthropology to the problem pages of girls' magazines. A dissection of modern lives and loves. By turns funny, acid, infuriating, didactic, touching and visceral.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Bruno and Michel are half-brothers abandoned by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties. Bruno, the older, has become a raucously promiscuous hedonist himself, while Michel 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 a brilliantly caustic and unpredictable tale.… (more)

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