El's Reviews > Atomised

Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
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's review
Oct 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 1001-books-list, 20th-centurylit-late, science-and-medicine
Read from October 10 to 16, 2011

I think many people who know me and who know anything about this book will be surprised that I'm giving it the rating I have. This book is almost pornographic in all its talk of masturbation, vaginas, blow-jobs, you-name-it. On the surface it seems it's really all just about sex, and at times that sex in this story is overwhelming. It's all in your face. Sometimes it's a little nauseating.

But if one really looks at the story it's evident that all of that is so incredibly purposeful.

Michel and Bruno are half-brothers, and this is their story. Michel is an introverted molecular biologist and Bruno is a sex addict. Their lives couldn't seem more different. But they have more similarities than one would previously expect. They're both looking for some meaning in their lives, they're both on a journey that represents something bigger than themselves, whether or not they realize it. They have the same mundane lives, though their actions may be different.

Isn't that everyone's story? Isn't everyone on the same track heading in relatively the same direction, even if everyone's mission statement is different? Everyone wants purpose. Everyone wants to be here for a reason. Everyone wants a goal. Everyone wants to find a connection.

And all of it doesn't really mean anything.
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Quotes El Liked

Michel Houellebecq
“When we think about the present, we veer wildly between the belief in chance and the evidence in favour of determinism. When we think about the past, however, it seems obvious that everything happened in the way that it was intended.”
Michel Houellebecq, The Elementary Particles

Reading Progress

10/10/2011 page 79
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