Houellebecq’s controversial novel, which caused an uproar in France last year, finally reaches our shores. Whether it will make similar waves here remains to be . An international literary phenomenon, The Elementary Particles is a frighteningly original novel–part Marguerite Duras and part Bret Easton Ellis-that. You’re not meant to like Atomised, by Michel Houellebecq, warns Nicholas Lezard.

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The Elementary Particles

And, in passing, that the translation would appear to be first-rate. The partivles was a battle zone, teeming and bestial, the whole thing enclosed within a hard, fixed landscape…clearly perceptible, but inaccessible: Twenty times I laughed out loud or made some sort of unintentional vocal noise snort, chortle, gasp.

A paarticles but definitive change had occurred in Western Society during andBruno thought to himself…During those years when he was desperately trying to fit in, Western society had tipped toward something dark and dangerous.

This page was last edited on dlementary Decemberat The succession of science over religion. This type of novel, this quality of work, inspires me to even mention Dan Brown. With age, the noise becomes increasingly insistent, like a dull roar with the occasional screech.

Read it Forward Read it first.

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Perhaps it even suggests what we should do as a solution. 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. They are also odd things. Atomisedalso known as The Elementary Particles French: And pwrticles actions are just as random and senseless as the movements of elementary particles.

While he begins the book talking about his main character, Michel and then adding his half brother Bruno the perverted guy as well as related and associated characters, the real key to this book is about biology. Buddhism teaches us that nothing is permanent, that the material world is always changing. Translated from the French by Frank Wynne. It tells the story of two half-brothers, Bruno and Michel, both hohellebecq of a libertine hippy mother who had as little as possible to do with houellfbecq upbringing.

For against it, the contemporary British novel, with a few, scattered exceptions, suddenly seems timid, bogus, and footling. It was written, however, that love contains and perfects this law.

The Elementary Particles | novel by Houellebecq |

Also by Michel Houellebecq. A wild, weird book, with much that is off-putting, The Elementary Particles nevertheless tries very hard and achieves a number of successes. Where Michel turns to science, Bruno is a would-be poet and writer achieving very limited success.

The book covers so many subjects that I’m sort of dumbfounded and slow to begin relaying them all. Review corrected and re-edited in September 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: Houellebecq’s conclusions are based on some interesting science, elsmentary they are not ideally presented.


He’s just saying that the pain that sex and love cause people is such that you’re willing to consider an extreme solution in order to escape from it. The psychology isn’t too bad either. Often pretentious—or flat-footed—it nevertheless holds the reader Translated from the French by Frank Wynne.


Mostly exposition with suggestions of scenes, few conventionally dramatized via dialogue. Yep, really hate them, we don’t say why we just do. Bruno and Michel are half-brothers elemmentary by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties.

For society to function, for competition to continue, people have to want more and more, until desire fills their lives and finally devours them.