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Customer Review

27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fatuous, Derivative, Massively Overrated, 23 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Atomised (Paperback)
On the evidence of 'Atomised', at least, there is nothing profound or original to Michel Houellebecq that a British reader cannot read in a column in the Daily Mail.
Sex is a commodity, human beings are emotionless automatons (or going that way); we seek instant gratification. Life is pretty crap for most of us unless we manage through some fluke to get laid.
It's a depressing - and dishonest - picture. And although, to be fair, given with some literary panache and at least a dash of humour, Atomised is just another salvo in a reactionary war against humanity itself.
Houellebecq blithely brushes over centuries of of human achievements to give us two horrific characters who we are asked to believe somehow 'represent' humanity. Michel is a scientist who could never even kiss his girlfriend and wonders about in a scientific haze. Bruno drops his trousers whenever he sees a girl - the sticky results follow soon after.
Maybe the author should leave the island he lives on and find some human contact elsewhere. He offers a laughable indictment of humanity which he has no right to give.
For a real insight into the malaise of European postwar civilisation I suggest you pick up the infinitely more erudite and, indeed, humane, W.G. Sebald. ("Austerlitz", "The Emigrants")
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Nov 2010 17:02:39 GMT
Prokopton says:
"Atomised is just another salvo in a reactionary war against humanity itself."

How very well put.
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