Houellebecq's novel is written in the style of a memoir, only it's authored by a multitude of clones. So we get Daniel 1's perspective, Daniel 25's, 24's, etc. If it sounds confusing, it really isn't.
It's an interesting concept, executed well, and contains a number of sad truths regarding humanity. It's described as a dystopian sci- fi novel, and I guess it's partly that; but I found there was a sentimentality to Houellebecq's seemingly- nihilistic view of the world and man's place in it. He is certainly mischievous, but I get the feeling he's a loving soul that only masquerades as a misanthrope.
His English friends call him "Hollaback." I first heard of this book because a few years ago Iggy Pop released a terrible album that was inspired by it. When you look up Houellebecq, you're bound to encounter the adjective "controversial" because of his statements about Islam, women, and sex. But really the controversy is how this terrible book was published. It's kind of sci-fi with clones and such, but it's more about sex, culture, and being a jerk.
Only the French can mange to combine pretentious name dropping (quoting Nietzsche does not mean you understand Nietzsche) with graphic sex and manage to make both boring. I almost have to read another book by him to see if everything he writes is this bad. Pardon my French, but this novel is taureau merde.
Houellebecq on his characters: ‘My typical narrator is often in the position of zigzagging between holes of nothingness. And strangely enough he doesn’t fall in.’
‘There exists in the midst of life / The possibility of an island.’
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