Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 27 September 2017
Provocative musings about the new millennium by a deeply cynical but by no means depressed author, writing about (his preparations for) his weeklong winter holiday on the island of Lanzarote, which in 1730-31 was the scene of a massive geological catastrophe. Throughout, he rails against shortcomings of late 20th century France: its organization of mass tourism, its ‘talking heads’ on TV, its low-brow mass media.
MH soon makes the acquaintance of bisexual Pam and Barbara from Germany and depressed policeman Rudi from Luxemburg, working in Brussels, which he (Rudi) describes as crime-ridden and worse. The foursome rents a car and tours the island to check out its two or three tourist attractions, its Mars- or moonscape largely devoid of natural flora and fauna, and its beaches. There, MH or his alter ego, communes with his lady friends in a way Rudi has sworn off since his Moroccan wife and two small daughters left him, returned to her place of birth, inspired by Islam.
Back in 2000 MH was sceptical about two EU hopes for the new millennium: closer union and coping with Islam as a faith and force. His harping on supposed national characteristics of European holidaymakers is funny, but since then the Euro has been created (and doing well despite several crises) and several EU enlargements (some questionable) have taken place. [Only the UK--whose tourists only book Little Britain destinations cf.MH--voted itself out of the EU, always been a nuisance and Fremdkörper, driving on the wrong side of the road, its un-EU High Streets lined with payday lenders, antiques emporia and betting shops; AJK].
Re Islam, MH states emphatically that he has no grudge against Arabs, only with Islam (esp. its virulent and destructive manifestations as presaged/described in one of his novels, notably on soft tourist targets). And he was spot on in that respect.
Otherwise, a brief (90 pp) personal manifesto, superbly written from a nihilistic and opportunistic worldview anno 2000, crowned by an apocalyptic description of how fire and water, tectonic energy, volcanic explosions, emissions of poisonous gasses destroyed what was, then created an unlikely rainless tourist resort..