To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Michel Houellebecq's The Elementary Particles follows these brothers through the latter half of the 20th century. Bruno and Michel are buffeted by history, vessels of disappointment and desire rocked by the ocean of time. Shuttled away to a boarding school where he's sexually abused by other boys, Bruno grows up full of twisted sexual longings and a contempt for aging women so palpable that at times it's stomach-churning. At a commune in the country, Bruno takes stock:
The women were intolerable at breakfast, but by cocktail hour the mystical tarts were hopelessly vying with younger women once again. Death is the great leveler. On Wednesday afternoon he met Catherine, a fifty-year-old who had been a feminist of the old school. She was tanned, with dark curly hair; she must have been very attractive when she was twenty. Her breasts were still in good shape, he thought when he saw her by the pool, but she had a fat ass.Michel doesn't hate women; he doesn't even notice them. Instead of leering at bodies by the pool, he stares at particles in microscopes. He wins prizes for his experiments, but never experiences the rush of life. For both men, the damage has been done by history, by mother, before the story begins. What interests Houellebecq are the permutations and recapitulations of damage--the way the particles of the self can never be completely reconstituted. --Emily White
Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The writer is clearly very gifted, and the book has some memorable sections, but as a whole it is awful--undisciplined, all over the place, and ugly in a seemingly deliberate way.Published 2 days ago by Valerie Horst
Houellebecq is a wild ride. "The Elementary Particles" is about sex, death and muddled science. It's really about two brothers who cannot love. They can barely feel. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Kindle Customer
This is a strange and interesting novel. Bookended by a vision of an “asexual and immortal” future for the human race, the bulk of the story concerns two half-brothers, Michel... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Timothy Haugh
Sex-obsessed Western European culture, despite suicidal decadence, ultimately transcends sex and discovers the secret to immortality - non-sexual reproduction.
Good luck! Read more
A profound - and "truly repugnant" work of art that takes the whole contempoprary fiction narrative to an entirely new level. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Garfield The Fat Cat
MH is obsessed with sex and death. Most of the writing is extremely graphic, as it relates to sex, degradation, the banality of life and pornography and even snuff films. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bill ISTT
I found it difficult to believe that people actually think this way. Can people's desires really be this distorted? Read morePublished 11 months ago by Anthony Lucic
A diatribe of flawed philosophy attempting to be made interesting by gratuitous, unlikely sexual encounters from unlikely partners. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Thuringer