Platform is probably the best of Houellebecq's novels (the somewhat daft ending of 'Atomised' spoiled it for me). Houellebecq is one of the best writers living today. Next to his novels, most others just seem weak in comparison, beating around the bush, never really getting to grips with what we might call real life. Houllebecq tells it as it is; he does not mess about. He writes frankly about the things that really matter, the issues that really concern us, with acute and often brutal incisiveness. A common criticism of Houellebecq is that he digresses too much from the plot and frequently goes off on tangents, weaving philosophies and observations on life in general into the narrative. I would say that this is one of his greatest strengths. The beauty of novels is that this kind of digression is possible, whereas in a movie script, for example, it is not. It enriches the novel - it gives it depth. Anyone who has seen the film 'Whatever' as well as reading the book will know that as good as the film is, it could never have contained all the hilarious observations and incisive social commentary that the book does
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