on 6 August 2011
Even if you've never read Houellebecq's novels, try this amazing collection of poetry. These poems have the same themes as the novels - they capture his melancholic, painfully self-aware and bitingly satirical portraits of life in the consumer society of today's 'developed world' and the frustrations and anomie that it can induce. At the same time he is lacerating about the alternatives offered by Islam for example, which led to accusations of racism before the French literary Establishment belatedly gave him the credit he's due. Like most artists he's clearly in need of therapy as a man but his writing is itself therapeutic. Imagine Baudelaire crossed with Philip Larkin and you're there. The best novel to start with is Platform. Enjoy.