Monday, 6 February 2012

Atomised: Book Review

I have recently came across a fantastic book by a French Author Michel Houllebecq, for all those who may be intersted here other titles of his books:

"Possibility of an Island"

Atomised was published by controversial French Author Michel Houellebecq in 2001. The book and writer have proven to be one of the most devise of the past 10 years, drawing equal criticism from the left, right, religious and humanist. As is often the case with truly great art, this book has proven so unpopular with critics of all shades because it is original and so falls outside the ability of critics to place it in the orthodoxy of their usual cannon e.g. Beckett. Another reason for it's near universal hatred is that the book shines a light on some uncomfortable truths, namely that life is pointless, nasty and full of disappointment and false dawns.

The book focuses on two character, brothers Michel and Bruno. One a scientist who leads a lonely, solitary life, punctuating work by trips to the supermarket. The other is a hopeless sex addict and failed author who stumbles from one failed relationship and sexual encounter to another. Neither is happy and the portrait it paints of French society since the 1960's is devastating. The new age/hippie movement gets a particularly hard time. This stems from the authors own experience of being abandoned by his mother as she led a hedonistic life of sexual pleasure while her child grew up with grand parents and in boarding schools.

This book is unsettling, challenging, sexy, vicious and painfully sad.The reader will be changed, I was at least. The book inspired me to be bold in my thoughts and deeds, to be unafraid to challenge the accepted realities, to look to the past but not be it's slave. I urge anyone to read it. 

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