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Lanzarote Hardcover – 3 Jul 2003

2.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd (3 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434009180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434009183
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 12.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 775,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Houellebecq's last two novels have received high profile praise and outrage in equal measure, but just possibly (the manuscript is unavailable) this new one may be read and enjoyed/discarded without great fuss. This is because there are signs of Houellebecq already having set out his vision of the world in previous novels, the pr cis for this having loud echoes of Platform with its discourses on sex, politics and religion through the filter of tourism. However, the religion which features in this tale is the 'azraelian' sect, preparing for humanity to be regenerated by extra-terrestrials. Less controversial-sounding than his views on Islam, but sure to be as fascinating and uncomfortable a read as the previous work of (whatever your opinion of the man) a genuinely remarkable writer.

Book Description

Hedonism, extra-terrestrials and an exiled police inspector collide in this novel from the internationally bestselling author of Atomised and Submission --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mixed reviews for the hardback version of this book, mostly regarding its length. I enjoyed it immensely, but then, I never really got into 'Atomised', much preferring 'Platform'.
OK, 'Lanzarote' is a short (very short) story, in which nothing much happens. Whereas it was said of Beckett's greatest play 'nothing happens... twice', it could be argued that in 'Lanzarote' we don't even get double the nothingness. So what do we get?
A taut, well-written, evocative, erotic, snapshot of a brief moment in time. Like the photographs which accompany the novella, the text itself - the story - is one frame abstracted from a complete roll. Where the rest of that roll is, who knows? That isn't important.
Houellebecq speaks as he finds; unlike those British / American (there really isn't much difference these days - they're all racing for the prize) who dare not speak their minds, MH really doesn't seem to care. And that is why his fiction glows so brightly: it has the rare quality of honestly, and of respect.
Sometimes his characters are a little predictable insofar as we have preconceived ideas of national characteristics, but don't all authors and film-makers prey on this? Let's face it, the world is a small place, but 6 billion is an awful lot of people. We can't all be the same, have the same belief systems, despite BushBlair's best efforts.
But this takes us off the point really. The bottom line is that Houellebecq is a lighthouse in the middle of a dull grey sea (metaphorically speaking, obviously - though who knows what he looks like, his picture's not on the cover for whatever reason he sees fit.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is very short but not nearly short enough. The 'novel' is a paper-thin pastiche of Houellebecq's earlier sex-tourism tales. As usual, Houellebecq hints at a spurious and vague underlying nihilism, to inject some intellectual credibility. However, the story and characters are so weak and poorly realised that the work is a dismal failure, lacking the vim and wit of his better works such as Atomised.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Atomised, Platform, The possibility of an Island and most recently the Map and the Territory, I thought i'd delve into Lanzarote. The length did intrigue me as I often find in his works, an exposition is steady and built up over hundreds of pages, but this novelette is classic Houellebecq. The concept seems to be an amalgamation of concepts which are displayed in greater detail in his later novels; the theme of holiday resorts is apparent throughout and the satire created in these sections made me laugh. The dysphemistic tone is reoccurring and other themes such as religion and mortality were directly tackled. I like the work of Houellebecq and it's obvious nihilism is his forte, but sometimes these views seem excessive and as if they're being coerced onto the reader. I enjoyed the character of police officer Rudi and I think what's best about him is the imminent decline, subtly foreshadowed throughout. It felt just like a bit on the side, but it was a good read and managed to perserve depth, though the length restricted this to some extent. I ordered a second hand hardcover copy for £2..81 (including P&P) and from what I can tell this is a new copy; no signs of wear at all so I am elated with the condition of the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't expect anything of any length in this story by Houellebecq. Perhaps that is what makes it enjoyable - a snack to be enjoyed in an hour or so. Houellebecq's protagonist (who doesn't wish to have another disapointing New Year) ends up in Lanzarote after wandering into a travel agent and being persuaded by a pushy assistant that this would suit him well. There he meets two German lesbians and a frustrated middle aged Belgian man. Some adventure follows, with the story having as its background a millenial cult called the Azraleans. Funny and bleak, with the odd warm spot, this novella says a lot about contemporay existence. Very good
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This really isn't a book review, because they have already been written by professional book reviewers, but as a purely personal observation I think this is dreadful, over-hyped rubbish. I bought the book after the Charlie Hebdo affair to see what people were talking about but I wish I hadn't bothered.
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By A Customer on 20 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
I have given this 'pamphlet' one star because reading Houellebecq at this level is still better than reading most things. Anyone who read Atomised and Platform will feel utterly betrayed by this half hearted attempt, and anyone who hasn't read Houellebecq before would be better advised to go for those titles - they are superb.
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But I was slightly dissapointed with Lanzarote. Its a very short book, which I don't mind at all, as endless boring description gets on my wick. But it may be too short to have any real relevance, or maybe it just didn't resonate, or I just don't get it.

Lanzarote is worth a visit, especially in winter, but take something else to read, Atomised, or Whatever are better books in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback
One or two interesting ideas and comments on the times, as always with Houellebecq, though not as well-developed as in 'Atomised' and 'Platform'. Not much else apart from the usual doses of gratuitous sex, rants against religion, especially Islam, and Belgium (for some reason).
I got the impression he couldn't be bothered putting much effort into this book. Just make a quick buck. Needless to say it wouldn't have been published if he wasn't already famous, or infamous. I suggest you read 'Platform' first, if you want the best of Houellebecq.
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