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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  24,484 ratings  ·  2,477 reviews
In a near-future France, François, a middle-aged academic, is watching his life slowly dwindle to nothing. His sex drive is diminished, his parents are dead, and his lifelong obsession – the ideas and works of the nineteenth-century novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans – has led him nowhere. In a late-capitalist society where consumerism has become the new religion, François is sp ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published 2015 by Heinemann
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Jean-Paul Rasschaert Islamophobe signifie avoir peur de l'islam. Si ceci est la question, il est clair que le monde décrit dans ce livre n'est pas un monde qu'un démocrate…moreIslamophobe signifie avoir peur de l'islam. Si ceci est la question, il est clair que le monde décrit dans ce livre n'est pas un monde qu'un démocrate américain ou européen ne devrait pas craindre (double négation en américain: il faut craindre ce monde). Mais je pense que vous voulez dire anti-islam. Le héros de ce livre ne se révolte pas particulèrement contre l'islam au contraire il s'y complait à la fin pour avancer sa carrière. C'est d'ailleurs, personnellement la partie que je n'ai pas aimée, j'aimerais mieux qu'on combatte l'islam. En ce qui concerne la misogynie, l'islam est misogyne et Houellebecq le décrit comme tel. On ne peut pas reprocher à un auteur de décrire un fait bien établi. Le livre s'inscrit aussi dans le cadre des élections françaises et décrit une situation ou les politiciens préfèrent se soumettre à l'islam que de voter Marine Le Pen. (less)
Alain The translation should be available from September 2015.
The publisher has stated that the terror attacks in France will not impact the planned release…more
The translation should be available from September 2015.
The publisher has stated that the terror attacks in France will not impact the planned release date of the translation.

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3.64  · 
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 ·  24,484 ratings  ·  2,477 reviews

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This week, on Dystopia! Michel Houellebecq discusses the future with Robert Heinlein

- Good evening, M. Houellebecq.

- Bonsoir, M. Heinlein. Alors, please, tell me your vision of the future.

- Sure. So Western civilization, it's already--

- --in a process of, ah, désintegration?

- You got it, buddy. As my old friend Cyril Kornbluth used to say, they breed faster than we do.

- Muslims, monsieur?

- People with low IQs. Same difference.

- Excusez-moi, monsieur, my novel is respectful towards the Muslim wor
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Wow. Great satire ... of French ... of European ... of Western values ... or lack thereof. So well done that the irony often slips by unnoticed. Who the hell are we?


So what do you call a novel about Muslims taking over control of France? A novel of generally cynical politics? A novel where women appear mostly in sexually explicit scenes and have little to say except in defining themselves in relation to men (some exceptions)? A novel where 15 year old girls become acceptable as second
♥ Ibrahim ♥
As a former Muslim, I see that Houellebecq is right on the money. I escaped Egypt my country in search of a land of freedom, and yet here oppression is chasing after me in the West. We love for Europe to be Europe. After all, that is why we left our mother countries in search of a more civilized world where human dignity is respected. By the way, please take a moment to read my story of conversion into Christianity and drop me a line and I will be your friend:
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book “Submission” Houellebecq describes in a calm, almost casual style, the fictional stories of a Paris university professor of literature, who describes his everyday life and thereby taps the social upheaval, after a Muslim party has won the elections. Houellebecq tells about social developments in France, how it leads to the election success of the Muslim party and what the consequences are. The whole book is written in excellent language with a lot of bad irony and subtle humor. For t ...more
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, french
It seems as though Houellebecq wrote the novel to stir up not debate but controversy. I'm afraid to say that charging a small segment of French population with so much power and influence is way too out of proportion. French Muslims have no power (as a bloc), have no media representation (they own nothing), have no think tanks or lobbies to influence decision-making in France or elsewhere in Europe.

Sure, they are the largest religious minority, but the numbers are small in the total population.
Jan 26, 2016 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fionnuala by: Christmas present
I set out to read this book expecting to be provoked because in my experience Houellebecq is always hell-bent on provoking somebody, and very often that 'somebody' is of the opposite sex. I wasn’t disappointed this time; his narrator managed to provoke me right at the beginning, and regularly from then on, so I decided that the only way to review this book was with a full set of teeth on show!

But relax, my teeth are not ‘bared’, just revealed in a wide smile because the only way to take the twe
Michael Finocchiaro
I have never been a big Houellebecq fan finding his obsession with his own intellect and genitalia annoying, so when a friend assured me that this book, Submission from 2015, was his masterpiece and was not just a paen to his intellect, I gave it a shot. Well, aside from the novel premise of an islamic conversion of France in the 2017 election and a few comical observations here and there, the book is still primarily about his own intellect and his genitalia. I was bored from about page 5 and th ...more
Paul Martin
Sep 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Would a society based on "Moderate Islam" be such a bad thing?

This seems to be the kind of book that divides critics into the two equally useless camps:

1) This is islamophobic and racist garbage!
2) Bravo! A dark satire!

My view is that it's neither.

All Houllebecq is saying is that a completely secular society is like a vacuum. Given the opportunity, it will let itself be filled. If you don't want to risk it being filled with something you don't like, then you shouldn't have emptied it complete
This is a case of a novel of ideas with the best (or worst) possible timing. The very day it was published in French was the day of the Charlie Hebdo shootings; a few short weeks after the English translation came out, Paris was attacked again.

Our protagonist, whose name I've already forgotten, is a professor of 19th century literature and an gormless slob who eats microwave food and hires prostitutes to lick his balls. He, like many Houellebecq protagonists, moves through life with a depressed
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Sex, Religion and Politics

If you only read one book about sex, religion and politics this year, make sure it's this one!

It packs enormous punch into (far) less than 300 pages, raising the question yet again why novels need to be 562 or 1,376 pages long (and if they do on the basis of some subjective criterion, why they aren't written with such consistent verve, intelligence, wit and humour as "Submission").

For all the philosophy, this novel is paced like a mass market thriller or the screenplay
Yves Gounin
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il est de bon ton de critiquer le dernier Houellebecq.
Les fans des Particules élémentaires y voient une œuvre mineure, annonciatrice de l'inéluctable déclin du grand homme ; les contempteurs du prix Goncourt, un énième ressassement de sa veulerie beauf.

Je ne crierai pas avec les loups. Pour trois raisons.

1. Le style. Houellebecq écrit bien. Fichtrement bien. Avec l'air de ne pas y toucher. Et pourtant avec un perfectionnisme qui force d'autant plus l'admiration qu'il a l'humilité de ne pas se la
Για έναν συγγραφέα όπως ο Ουελμπέκ, τα συναισθήματα είναι ακραία μεταξύ των αναγνωστών: είτε τον λατρεύεις είτε τον απεχθάνεσαι. Την απέχθεια δεν την καταλαβαίνω, μα τα πράματα έτσι είναι και δεν μπορούν να είναι αλλιώς. Μιλώντας για ένα βιβλίο το Ουελμπέκ, λοιπόν, θεωρώ πως πρέπει να είναι ξεκάθαρη η αρχική θέση του αναγνώστη. Κι εγώ δηλώνω οπαδός του. Το βιβλίο αυτό το έπιασα μετά το μάλλον μέτριο «Ο Χάρτη και η Επικράτεια». Οι προσδοκίες μου ήταν ανάμεικτες και σαφώς επηρεασμένες από το ευρύτ ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
The people believing in a religion, any religion, have different degrees of faith. There are for example fundamentalists who not only take their own religion seriously, following their holy books with strict literalism and who often also want to force their beliefs on others using different methods.

Then there are traditionalists who stick to their religious traditions but respects people of other religions. They are the ones always seeking shelter in freedom of beliefs and to carry on their trad
I'm just not sure

I wonder why it is that sticking my dick up girls' arses doesn't interest me like it used to

why a book that has something interesting to say about academia

The girls love it. Especially when I take my dick out of their arse and get them to lick it. They really like that.

and also about politics

Maybe if I fucked two girls' arses and then got them to lick my dick. Maybe I'd enjoy that like I used to. Hmmmm.

should interleave his ideas and quite amusing prose

Or maybe. Oh, I don't kno
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Above our heads the linden branches stirred in the breeze. Just then, in the distance, I heard a soft, muffled noise like an explosion.

This wasn't the dystopia I had expected. Scandalous -- such was the domestic response to this alleged fragmentation grenade. Set a few years in the future, the Muslim Brotherhood in France forms a coalition and becomes ruling party -- but what exactly follows? Changes, for sure, but ones that often elude the eye. That is, however, from a man's perspective. Women
Kyriakos Sorokkou
Μια μακάβρια σύμπτωση καλύπτει αυτό το βιβλίο.

Εκδόθηκε στις 7 Ιανουαρίου 2015 και την ίδια μέρα το σατιρικό περιοδικό Charlie Hebdo έκδωσε το τεύχος με την καρικατούρα του Ουελμπέκ ως μάγου να λέει ότι το 2022 θα γιορτάζει το Ραμαζάνι.

Την ίδια επίσης μέρα τα γραφεία της Charlie Hebdo δέκτηκαν επίθεση με αποτέλεσμα να πεθάνουν 12 άνθρωποι.

Τον Οκτώβρη του 2015 βγήκε και η ελληνική έκδοση, και λίγες εβδομάδες μετά έγιναν οι πολύνεκρες επιθέσεις στο Παρισι (Σταντ ντε Φρανς, Μπατακλάν κλπ)

Ο Ουελμπέκ
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Not only none of this sound scary, none of this sounded especially new.

Francois, the protagonist and narrator of Submission, is a man thoroughly burned out; although he teaches at the Sorbonne and is a specialist in the work of Joris-Karl Huysmans, he thinks little of his job and by his own admission has not done any important academic research in decades. At 44, He has no contact with his divorced parents, and no real, close friends; he eats TV dinners and browses porn sites. Francois seems una
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francia, saggi

Sottomessi…alla religione?

Il libro, ambientato nella Francia dei nostri tempi, descrive l’ipotesi della vittoria alle elezioni di un partito chiamato “Fratelli musulmani” e la conseguente islamizzazione della Francia stessa in seguito al progressivo decadimento morale e degrado dei valori di riferimento occidentali.

Mi rendevo tuttavia conto, e ormai da anni, che lo scarto crescente, divenuto abissale, tra la popolazione e chi parlava in suo nome, politici e giornalisti, era destinato a portare
Why do I always have to think of an iceberg when reading Houellebecq? It is that icy tone of voice in his writing while you sense that there is a vast amount of nasty coldness that stays hidden underneath. His dislike of women and, really, his disgust for mankind is always evident. I do admire though how he evokes in this novel a world that could be entirely possible. One could fit perfectly in this new world order if you do not care about your principles in any strong way. Francois, the protago ...more
Στη Γαλλία του πολύ κοντινού μέλλοντος, την εξουσία καταλαμβάνει μέσω της δημοκρατικής οδού των εθνικών εκλογών το μουσουλμανικό κόμμα, το οποίο στο δεύτερο γύρο έχει να αντιμετωπίσει την ακροδεξιά. Κεντροδεξιοί και σοσιαλιστές βρίσκονται μεταξύ δύο ακραίων κομμάτων τα οποία βάλλουν ευθέως, από διαφορετική αφετηρία αλλά με την ίδια ένταση, κατά των θεμελιωδών αρχών και κατακτήσεων του δυτικού πολιτισμού και επιλέγουν να συνεργαστούν με ό,τι θεωρούν ως το μικρότερο μεταξύ δύο (εκ πρώτης όψεως το ...more
Το Άσχημο Ρύζι Καρολίνα
Είχα καιρό να γελάσω έτσι. Το κακιασμένο σχεδόν μισάνθρωπο χιούμορ του Ουελμπέκ τσακίζει κόκαλα. Δεν ξέρω αν είναι ταλαντούχος συγγραφέας, αλλά είναι σίγουρα μια παμπόνηρη αλεπού, που ξέρει τον τρόπο να σατιρίζει ανελέητα. Αντί να γράψει ένα έργο που να καταφέρεται ενάντια στο Ισλάμ γράφει ένα βιβλίο που φαινομενικά το εγκωμιάζει, το παρουσιάζει να επικρατεί και πετυχαίνει έτσι και τους Μουσουλμάνους να μην προσβάλλει και τους Δυτικούς να προβληματίσει. Βασικά τις γυναίκες. Να κάτσω εγώ να φορέσ ...more
Manuel Antão
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

I couldn't read it in the original (I don’t speak French), so that qualifies my impression somewhat, but the English version I read was a poorly-written vehicle for (sophomoric) ideas... a second-rate Kundera with none of Kundera's learning or wit or talent for structural elegance. I cautiously read a second novel of his and then half of a third novel and my opinion of the author was not changed. I have nothing against a dour worldview
Jan Rice
(Originally reviewed March 6, 2016)

For years now, probably decades, Le Monde and all the other center-left newspapers, which is to say every newspaper, had been denouncing the "Cassandras" who predicted civil war between Muslim immigrants and the indigenous populations of Western Europe. The way it was explained to me by a colleague in the classics department, this was an odd allusion to make. In Greek mythology, Cassandra is a very beautiful young maiden ("like the golden Aphrodite," Homer wri
Aug 25, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-frança, 1e
Esta review contém spoilers e linguagem obscena

Submissão é um livro que pode ser mau ou bom, triste ou divertido. Depende de quem o lê; ou de como o lê; ou de como o quer ler; ou se lê mais, ou lê menos do que aquilo que está escrito.
Lê-se bem e depressa; a escrita é simples e as letras são gordas.
A única estrela com que o avalio não reflete desprazer pela prosa, ou pela forma como o romance está estruturado, no entanto, o conteúdo...(nas pesquisas que fiz sobre Michel Houellebecq li que, qu
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ένα δυστοπικό μέλλον που θυμίζει έντονα το παρόν, την πολιτική και πολιτισμική αναστάτωση που βιώνει ο σημερινός άνθρωπος. Η γραφή, όπως σε κάθε έργο του Houellebecq, είναι ερωτική, με καίριες πολιτικές και κοινωνικές παρατηρήσεις ενώ το προσωπικό ύφος, ιδιαίτερα η χρήση πρώτου ενικού, αφήνει μια αίσθηση αυτοβιογραφικής μαρτυρίας. Οι προβληματισμοί που θέτει δεν περιορίζονται, ωστόσο, σε πολιτικό επίπεδο, καθώς το έργο βρίθει θρησκευτικών και υπαρξιακών αναζητήσεων, αμφιβολιών, κριτικών σκέψεων. ...more
Oct 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a waste of a good idea! The basic premise for this book is both interesting and pertinent. Set in the near-future, there’s been an Islamic take-over of France. The Muslim Brotherhood has come to power – relatively peacefully and democratically. It seems an almost natural progression. Of course there are changes in society. Women are back in the home. No more revealing clothing allowed, and so on. Our protagonist is a middle-aged academic who essentially sees the world around him in terms of ...more
Description: In a near-future France, François, a middle-aged academic, is watching his life slowly dwindle to nothing. His sex drive is diminished, his parents are dead, and his lifelong obsession – the ideas and works of the nineteenth-century novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans – has led him nowhere. In a late-capitalist society where consumerism has become the new religion, François is spiritually barren, but seeking to fill the vacuum of his existence.

And he is not alone. As the 2022 Presidential
Sam Quixote
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel Submission is set in France in 2022 where a Muslim political leader becomes President and Islamic law is established nationwide. Women must be veiled while their education and equality is curtailed, and polygamy is encouraged.

The protagonist is Francois, a middle-aged academic who teaches the work of nineteenth century novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans at the Sorbonne. A sad single man, Francois reminisces on the many former affairs he had with his students and feel
Die Prämisse dieses Buchs habe ich für ausreichend interessant erachtet, um es mir zu kaufen. Leider hat mich der jüngste Roman von Michel Houellebecq in mehrerlei Hinsicht enttäuscht.

Ich-Erzähler dieser Geschichte ist François, Professor für Literaturwissenschaft an einer Universität in Paris im Jahre 2022. Bei der Präsidentenwahl in Frankreich erlangt die islamische Partei der Muslimbrüder überraschend die zweit meisten Stimmen und kann in einer Koalition mit den Sozialisten die Regierung bild
Dec 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, fiction, politique
C'est l'histoire d'un homme falot, malheureux et apathique qui embrasse une religion, non pas tant par conviction que par opportunisme. Finalement, comme il n'avait pas tellement de principes avant, ce n'est pas si terrible. Il y gagne même plutôt au change, en retrouvant un goût à la vie qu'il semblait avoir perdu.

Le tout prend place dans une anticipation politique dont j'étais très curieux de voir quelle forme allait être imaginée. C'est celle de la défaite des extrémistes, du triomphe de la
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Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 17 Nov 16, 2018 08:40AM  
Marginalia: Submission by Michel Houellebecq 6 5 Apr 01, 2018 10:30AM  
half the people who give 4 or 5 stars have not read the book.. 9 328 Feb 23, 2018 10:33PM  
Lietuva / Lithuania: Ar geras vertimas? 5 152 Aug 03, 2016 05:11AM  
Michel Houellebecq: Submission in english 5 136 Oct 10, 2015 11:39AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Soumission by Michel Houellebecq 2 47 Jan 23, 2015 06:45AM  
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Michel Houellebecq (born Michel Thomas), born 26 February 1958 (birth certificate) or 1956 on the French island of Réunion, is a controversial and award-winning French novelist. To admirers he is a writer in the tradition of literary provocation that reaches back to the Marquis de Sade and Baudelaire; to detractors he is a peddler, who writes vulgar sleazy literature to shock. His works though, pa ...more
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“It’s hard to understand other people, to know what’s hidden in their hearts, and without the assistance of alcohol it might never be done at all.” 51 likes
“The past is always beautiful. So, for that matter, is the future. Only the present hurts, and we carry it around like an abscess of suffering, our compassion between two infinities of happiness and peace.” 42 likes
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