Elementaire Deeltjes Is Het Verhaal Van De Twee Halfbroers Bruno En Michel, Kinderen Van Eenzelfde Moeder, Die Half Verweesd Los Van Elkaar Opgroeien En Elkaar Pas Later Leren Kennen De In Zijn Schooltijd Gekwelde Bruno Ontwikkelt Zich Tot Een Ziekelijk Aan Seks Verslaafde Genotzoeker De Eenzame Ziel Michel Groeit Uit Tot Een Briljant Moleculair Bioloog, Wiens Onderzoekingen Uiteindelijk Zullen Leiden Tot De Vervanging Van De Mens Door Een Nieuwe, Niet Individualistische Soort De Levenswegen Van De Twee Broers Zijn Exemplarisch Voor Het Le Bankroet Van De Liberale Westerse Samenleving, Waarvan Houellebecq Op Visionaire Wijze Het Einde Aankondigt This book doesn t care if you read it.It doesn t care if you buy it or borrow it, if you deface it, if you understand it, if you have the remotest interest in it.It doesn t try to be liked It s far, far, far, too cool for school French author Michel Houellebecq, not caring And when I say that, I do NOT mean it s cool in a positive way I found half of it dry, aloof, and didactic like reading a doctorate level physics textbook It felt imperious and full of itself It felt over my head The other half of it was full of somewhat shocking sexual debauchery that would be at home in a de Sade story Lots of public masturbation, orgies, and licking various people in various places Lots and lots of licking.Actually, I wouldn t be surprised if someone told me Houellebecq was inspired by the Marquis de Sade, whose writings similarly alternate between long, philosophical rants and naughty Libertine caprices De Sade, though, I have to say, has a far charming delivery The Elementary Particles follows two brothers Michel the asexual scientist and Bruno the pervert through their dreary childhoods and then their calamitous personal relationships The story does contain promising hints of something alive their mother was a free spirited hippie who spent time at a commune that her son later revisited but it never quite got there, for me It was all trapped in a test tube, handled by hands wearing latex gloves A glacial reticence the brothers inability to love is infused in this text.I m not too sure what to make of his attitude toward women, who he says are superior but who live unhappily until he kills them off.At the end of the day, it s a far less interesting version of L tranger with a similar dose of existentialism, bleakness and distain for human relationships This story rarely pulled me in, mainly because of the detached writing style which often resorted to the all knowing narrator popping up in the midst of a somewhat interesting narrative to say what would happen in 15 years, or what happened 15 years previously Then, using the boring device of either scientific or news articles, would fill in the story rather than letting the readers experience it Show, Don t Tell is such a basic rule in the writing world but apparently Michel Houellebecq didn t get the memo That all said, I could be completely wrong about this book And that s okay, because it really doesn t care what I think it s all meaningless anyway, right ADDENDUM In the interest of fairness, please also look at Manny s review He does a better job than I at explaining what this book is about Houellebecq using sexuality Western Society s sick obsession with the quick fix as an illustration for materialism is an interesting idea, even if it is mind blowingly depressing. It s a curious idea to reproduce when you don t even like life It s rare to come across a book filled with so pure of hate At first I thought maybe it s was just some good old fashioned misogyny, with maybe a little bit of nationalism and Arab hating thrown in, but then something curious happened, the whole of society got thrown into the hate fest that is this book Hippies Hate them a lot Italians Yep, really hate them, we don t say why we just do Nature Fuck it Sex Love it but hate it French Intellectuals Oh really fuck those guys, especially Deleuze, but make it clear we don t like any of those guys from the 60 s 1968 Hahahaha, fucking assholes Children Masterbation fodder, or else just fucking people Growing old Really hate it People lying to themselves that they aren t old Hate them so much too Hate hate hate hate hate It might not sound possible but this book might possibly hate everything, the author narrator doesn t even seem to place himself in any kind of position where it seems like he would be saying oh look at all of these poor shits If only there were people like me in the world, a race of me s And I ll call them super men Nope, there is nothing Nietzschean here, rather it s all sort of the most pessimistic Kant imaginable One were the ethics are based on total shit as an imperative But through all of this hate and the depressing feelings of the total waste of life we all are, and the simple fact that no one is going to be happy, it will elude us and the desire for happiness will only make us miserable this book ends up being an interesting, and enjoyable read. Wow What an incredible book The Epilogue makes a huge difference in how one might view it on the whole It certainly did for me I was getting so depressed by the end that I almost chucked it aside around the 90% mark because I felt a panic attack coming on But I took a deep breath and I switched up my reading soundtrack and I pushed on and am very glad that I did The Epilogue really clarifies so much that precedes it Leading up to that point it is basically 100% bleak, and I mean truly, truly bleak though extremely interesting and entertaining every step of the way There s a fair amount of gross sexual stuff along the way as well, but it s always presented in a detached, rather ungleeful way, and as such it has a point beyond mere shock and or titillation that fully justifies its presence To say this book is just about sexual frustration is to hugely miss the point This is a BIG PICTURE book but carried out through a tightly crafted narrative mainly surrounding two brothers birthed from a massively disfunctional genetic pool with one shared parent a terminally miserable, often nauseatingly sexually deviant literature professor named Bruno and a largely emotionless but harmless microbiologist in deep almost inhuman isolation named Michel The book covers so many subjects that I m sort of dumbfounded and slow to begin relaying them all Existential, cultural, scientific, philosophical, historical, etc Consciousness, genetics, sex, death, physics, religion, cruelty, love, parenthood, childhood, adulthood, happiness, suffering, etc Despite the often searing and pitiless slings and arrows thrown at humanity, I think it is also a book that is deeply sympathetic to the desperate flailing, the absurd flaws, and the open wounds of humanity, self inflicted and otherwise Its final sentence is a straight up dedication to humankind, despite its many detailed failures and sufferings and defects, and despite the claim that a new and improved species must take its place I was holding a solid four star rating of this in my head until the final leg of the journey, around Section Three and the Epilogue So if any readers who take my opinions as any sort of guide end up having trouble with it along the way, I implore them to press on. Extraordinary, outstanding, and absolutely not to be missed The Elementary Particles holds you captive like only the best of em can Think a long, cold autumn afternoon sipping coffee and reading Never Let Me Go Think Dan Brown poolside All of these experiences that could conceivably last one blissful, insatiable sitting the novels that are not considered novellas, that is this is one of em The artistry is like a painting, the reading is like some immersive exercise that blends sex with study of molecular biology in new and intelligent ways The two brothers are separated entities who belong to the same sphere of humanity It is elegant very very smart Mr Houellebecq, sir I am your devoted FAN I drag my gory knees on the ground, en route to the basilica of French Modern Literature a palace of gleaming rubies that reaches toward the bright summer sky This type of novel, this quality of work, inspires me to even mention Dan Brown I mean, yeah Dan Brown I make reference to him with a smile a vibrant optimism afforded only by the likes of wizards like Houellebecq Okay, I decided I would take a go at actually justifying my rating for this book, rather than just make half hearted apologies at my preference for a so absurdly misogynistic and, let s be frank, pornographic novel First of all, I like Houellebecq s unrelenting pessimism It s far beyond nihlism so destructive and negative, so emphatic in its rejection of bougeoise norms, of religion, culture, capitalism This book as well as the other Houellebecq I read, Platform captures the bleak purposeless of modern life better than almost anything I can think of As a recent college grad who for the first time in her life finds herself waking at 7 30 am each morning so she can go plug herself in to the grinding mechanics of capitalism someone whose weekends consist of the churn of drunk hungover drunk hungover, who struggles to find meaning in music, beauty, sex, religion, whatever I can relate to this The emotionally unavailable scientist The absolutely pathetic, lonely, sex addicted failure The petty, worthless little bureaucrat in Platform I m not, you know, depressed or anything, but I can share at least in some part their view of the world as bleak, lonely, and irredeemable except through very brief moments of relieved pain via drinking and sex.Secondly, the book is darkly funny Not amateurish darkly funny, because, I mean, this book is dark The things in it that are funny are the things that have to do with the inevitability of death, the pointlessness of life, the drive for sex that is unsatisfied in pathetic, heartbreakingly inadequate losers are you cracking up yet If not, you might not get it The humor is subtle, and when I first read this book in the original French , I missed a lot of the humor But the humor is there the question is whether or not the reader is capable of appreciating it One of those laugh if you don t want to cry things.Thirdly okay, yes, the book is misogynistic, maybe kind of racist, certainly anti religion but at least Houellebecq is fair His hatred with modern society is pretty blindly applied The men in this book aren t exactly great upstanding characters, either, you know So, there you go like I said, don t go telling the feminist sisterhood or my mom that I enjoyed this book But if you re looking for some dark, high brow pornography, and you have a strong stomach, this might be a good choice for you. I wish I was able to write a detailed reaction to this novel, but I feel nothing Not in the sense of poetic existential despair nothing, but total non commitment.These cynical rants against humanity are really all the same, aren t they Occasionally you find one with at least some stylistic flair and originality, like C line s, but here I see failed edgy attempts to shock with bad sex, loneliness, and a touch of misogyny So fucking what I d go read Reddit comments if I wanted to read that I do not That s all. Michel Houellebecq,Michel Houellebecq magnum opus . 12 20 , 68 ,. Years ago, I went out on a few dates with a French guy He was rich and good looking though, of course, way too short , and he seemed pretty smart but I never could bring myself to kiss him He had this typically Gallic extreme snottiness that I found amusing, even endearing, but even as I enjoyed this I suspected that his disdain for everything non French might indicate something a bit too dark for me At a certain point I decided that he wasn t a regular charming misanthrope I discerned that he hated Muslims, black people, and homosexuals even than he hated everyone else, and so I didn t go out with him again.That French guy was a big fan of Michel Houllebecq.At the time, I wondered for a moment why I find generalized misanthropy acceptable even kind of charming but felt specifically targeted hatreds were completely repellant I mean of course I understand why I think that, but how rational is it Why is hating fewer people not okay, while hating everyone is fine Again, of course I understand why that s the case, but it is a little funny Anyway, this train of thought doesn t have much to do with this book, except that maybe it does relate to the French and the way that they think about people But I don t know much about them as a culture, and therefore won t generalize here.I was so into the first half of The Elementary Particles that it made me feel terrible in that amazing hedonistic I hate myself for loving you way that top shelf Martin Amis brings on This book has a lot in common with St Aubyn s The Patrick Melrose Novels which I never got around to reviewing properly both in that it s about the extraordinarily fucked up children of wealthy Europeans, and that it degenerates somewhat into overly expository and transparently philosophical fake monologues later on in the book In other words, I was obsessively entranced by the first half, and the second half was just okay.My favorite thing about The Elementary Particles was the way that it would constantly pull back from the story of its characters to tie their experiences to generalized historical and biological trends This is what fiction is, and how it works, and I love seeing it spelled out like that This book is about two half brothers with a terrible mom, and tries to describe and comment on massive transformations in human life and experience For the most part, I think it did do a pretty good job, though I m not sure I agree with its arguments and conclusions.Again, I really loved the first half of this book, though I didn t think the second half was as good I d be embarrassed to recommend it to most people, based on its graphic sexual content and bleak view of human relations, though if I were honest I d admit I think he s got a lot right.I think, based on this book, that Houllebecq wrestles with a lot of the questions most significant to the time we re upon He does this wrestling in a way that might not be palatable to all, and while I find this compelling I haven t yet decided if I ll go out with him again.
Michel Houellebecq born Michel Thomas , born 26 February 1958 birth certificate or 1956 on the French island of R union, is a controversial and award winning French novelist To admirers he is a writer in the tradition of literary provocation that reaches back to the Marquis de Sade and Baudelaire to detractors he is a peddler, who writes vulgar sleazy literature to shock His works though, pa
- 352 pages
- Les particules élémentaires
- Michel Houellebecq
- 12 October 2019 Michel Houellebecq