Ben Payne's Reviews > Whatever

Whatever by Michel Houellebecq
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's review
Nov 27, 11

liked it
Read in November, 2011

Houllebecq is apparently a controversial author, and going by this book, the first I’ve read, it’s easy to see why. The central character veers between distant and amoral, humorous and cruel, unconventional and insane. Houllebecq takes us through various staples of modern life, work, and friendship with a cynical and cold gaze. At times this is funny, at other times disturbing. His character is not quite unrealistic enough for the laughter to be a relaxed kind of laughter; instead, his sociopathic tendencies ring uncomfortably close to “normal” mindsets. Houllebecq has a memorable voice, and it was hard not to warm to this novel, despite the darkness at its heart.

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