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Showing 1-10 of 45 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 100 reviews
on September 14, 2015
This is the kind of book that examines life, death, love, success, and failure through the world of art. The book is a serious effort to tell a story about a man who lives his life without a big game plan and without big ambitions. The life of the main character is a blueprint for the intersections of chance, few expectations, and just showing up. It's a smart book about the essence of existence. To paraphrase Harm de Blij, we are the sum of our geography.
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on June 19, 2016
...and funny, did I mention funny? Houellebecq is
a cool tonic for these bewildering times. The Detective Story contained within ranks, easily, amongst the best detective fiction I've read. As wonderful as, but very different from, "Submission". For the full Houellebecq experience, please watch the movie "The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq".
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on June 26, 2013
I enjoyed the quality of writing, which required looking up atypical word choices (thank goodness for the ease that Kindle provides in doing so) and a thrilling plot which deviated from the American standard. Unpredictable & eloquent, we meet rich & fully realized characters, all with a passion for their work, whether it's that of a writer, artist, investigator, guide book editor, or rare insect thief. This book was a deep breath of fresh air in a world of uniformity. Perfect for an intelligent reader who enjoys mulling over the profound.
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on May 10, 2013
Michel Houellebecq again proves he is Europe's front running writer with himself cast as the innocent victim who loses his head.
In this tale Michel is the innovative modern artist personified. Current visual art giants Damien Hurst and Jeff Koons are cast aside as he features his leading character as the next big art star. On the way the chronicler of modern France places his own decapitated head as a symbol of his own creative genius and the bleak future for all of us... if we are as bleak as Michel Houellebecq!
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on November 20, 2014
Jed is an artist in Paris who independently of artistic trends develops ideas for photographs and paintings that turn out to be just ahead of the curve. They make him enormously wealthy, but a very painful relationship with his father takes up a large portion of his emotional life, and along with his art, he doesn't have time for the outside world of impersonal communication and endless conflict. He is by nature a loner, and doesn't pursue more in life. Actually, life seems to find him.

I really enjoyed this book because the artist isn't tortured (how many times do we hear about that?) and is wise enough to pause when he isn't inspired. Jed tries to find out who he is, and his journey includes a fresh take on the modern world of art. In addition, he becomes involved with officers of the famous quai des Orfevres in the solving of an unspeakable murder,
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on February 17, 2012
Having read all of his previous novels, I am familiar with the terrain he has traversed. This work evinces a maturity and calm, a shift away from bratty angst and toward a deeper understanding of the human experience. At the same time, the words create an anthropological dissection of today's consumerist/bourgeois culture, the most biting available in any recent novel. Well worth a read.
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on August 1, 2017
France has done well with Nobel laureates in recent years, and each is more than deserving; with The Map and the Territory, Michel Houellebecq may soon be joining their ranks.
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on April 5, 2016
I have always loved Houellebecq ability to aptly express the trivial things of everyday life and to notice and accurately describe the things that people often do not speak about, yet most of us carry within every day.
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on June 7, 2016
Seems to offer a bit of autobiography for a mysterious writer -- much of it no doubt misleading. But no less interesting. Fans of this author should definitely give it a read.
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on September 6, 2012
I'm still not sure what this book is about, but I enjoyed reading it. Featuring the author as one of the characters and with a slightly meandering plot, this book is typical Houllebecq. I've read most of his work and I would rate this as one of is better efforts.

Being Irish, I loved his description of his visit to Houellebecq (the character)'s house in Limerick : anyone who has flown into Shannon airport will find it sharply observed and very funny!
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