Michel Houellebecq is one of the most popular and also the most controversial names in French literature. The Elementary Particles is the first book I’ve read from him, but it won’t be the last. The Elementary Particles is nothing like I’ve ever read before, and I cannot wait to read his other work.
The only thing Michel and Bruno have in common is their mother. Michel is a molecular biologist, thinker and idealist; he has no sex life to talk about and lives a little away from people. On the other hand, Bruno is a womanizer in theory rather than practice and a teacher who has little to do with his profession. Both of them are certain members of the society which is separated into atoms. Religion has fallen into the hands of new philosophies, which are quite shallow, and love cannot go beyond meaningless sexual connections.
The Elementary Particles tells the story of these two brothers, but the main subject of the book is the disintegration of contemporary society. This includes the society’s assumptions, political mistakes and the acid and potent sides of everything from anthropology to problems in teenage magazines.
When your mother or child asks about this book, you will struggle to talk about it. That is what I love about it the most. If you are looking for a controversial author to read, you’ll love Houellebecq. Enjoy!
The Elementary Particles
An international literary phenomenon, The Elementary Particles is a frighteningly original novel–part Marguerite Duras and part Bret Easton Ellis-that leaps headlong into the malaise of contemporary existence.
Bruno and Michel are half-brothers abandon by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the so sixties. Bruno, the older, has become a raucously promiscuous hedonist himself, while Michel is an emotionally dead molecular biologist wholly immerse in the solitude of his work. Each is ultimately offered a final chance at genuine love, and what unfolds is a brilliantly caustic and so unpredictable tale.
Translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
Michel Houellebecq; born Michel Thomas; is a French author. Know for his novels, poems and essays, as well as an occasional actor, filmmaker and so singer. His first book was a biographical essay on the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Houellebecq published his first novel, Whatever, in 1994.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: