In his early forties, Michel Renault skims through his days with as little human contact as possible. But following his father’s death he takes a group hol...more
So, here we have dull, inert, 40-ish Michel, who hates his job, has no partner or o...more
A vicious and incredibly bleak social critique that is as subtle and incendiary as a suicide bomber. Houellebecq’s horror and hatred of our modern world spills from nearly every page; nothing is sacred and no one is spared. The novel is narrated by Michel, a pessimistic middle-aged man who, to his mind, lives in an era so corroded by consumerism, narcissism and terrorism that genuine human contact or happiness can only be obtained through the blissful abandon of sexual orgasm – even if it’s with...more
What is it? Essentially, sociological investigation and provocation through the lens of the international tourism economy:
I liked holiday brochures, their abstraction, their way of condensing the places of the world into a limited sequence of possible pleasures and fares. I was particularly fond of the star rating system, whic...more
e.g. published a half decade before THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, houellebecq writes about a corporate office in suburban France:
"'It's strange,' he said to her. 'Here we are inside the company like well-fed beasts of burden. And outside are the predators, the savage world. I was in S...more
The protagonist -- who's more or less to be identified with the author -- enjoys just about nothing other than sex, and even that leaves him numb by the end. Yes yes much of the plot involves his being in love, but he and his love interest (a fantasy creature who always has a cup of coffee for him after his morning blowjob) never seem...more
this book is not without flaws, in particular its stra...more
(I'd also like to point out I didn't know it h...more
He is dogmatically racist. His world is an either/or system with no spectrum and no shades. Apparently he hated the Muslims and a bit of the Chinese, and loved the tropical Asians, particularly the Thais. I will leave you to read and find out why, I feel stupid just saying it. His world doesn't acknowledge there are subgroups in every nationality, and some of them don't conform, if not opposite, to his worl...more
Il est agaçant, Michel H. Sous couvert d'un peu de fiction, il a surtout l'air de vouloir pousser ses théories (sur une fin de l'Islam, sur le sexe en Occident, sur l'avenir des clubs de vacances), je trouve le procédé bof. Et puis il écrit des choses comme "Le ciel était d'un bleu absolu. Je bus lentement une Singha Gold en méditant sur la notion d'irrémédiable". (Ensuite il enchaîne sur la description un peu salée de deux jeunes filles, rien à voir, mais entre-temps il a q...more
I have never read a book quite like French author Michel Houellebecq’s 2001 novel Platform. Set in what, by all outward appearances, seems to be the real world at the turn of the millennium, the narrative unfolds as a first-person account of a 40-year-old Parisian man (whose name, like that of his creator, is Michel) sleepwalking through a solitary existence, when the unexpected death of his father propels him on a journey that gradually awakens him to the...more
Il vit simplement, au rythme des feuilletons et des jeux télé, des peep shows au sortir du boulot, des purées Mousline dégluties machinalement…
À la mort de son père, "un vieux con", il se décide pour un séjour en Thaïlande, en "voy...more
I have now read this a second time and am having a change of heart about it. A part of me still hates it, hates Houellebecq. But this time through, I heard it as a plea from a beggar (Houellebecq) who lays bare his emptiness and poverty.
Lots of gratuitous sex. Often this gets in the way -- but the book is about sexual tourism; and about the maladies of the western soul.
deadly serious this book is. and dark. but at least he does not deny the encounter.
I feel delighted that I got more from this book than did Mr Somerville. He's not wro...more
Equal parts depressing, darkly comic and gleefully erotic, Houellebecq's Platform is an unflinching look at the dark, pockmarked intersection where sex, religion and globalization collide. Bored, middle-aged Michel has a sudden reversal of fortune in his life when his rich father is murdered by the brother of his Muslim housemaid, leaving him an inheritance of millions of francs. Michel decides to 'celebrate' this event by going on an extended vacation in Thailand, indulging in drugs and copious...more