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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  26,250 ratings  ·  2,615 reviews
Een professor aan de Sorbonne, groot kenner van het oeuvre van Joris-Karl Huysmans, ziet zijn land in 2024 aan de vooravond van de presidentsverkiezingen steeds verder polariseren: een burgeroorlog lijkt onvermijdelijk. De traditionele partijen zijn uitgespeeld, de strijd gaat tussen het Front National en de Fraternité musulmane (Moslimbroederschap). Op de valreep doet een ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by De Arbeiderspers (first published January 7th 2015)
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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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 ·  26,250 ratings  ·  2,615 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
ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos)
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, fiction
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
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
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
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
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
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
May 22, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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
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
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
MJ Nicholls
An amusing fictional mirroring of the life of Joris-Karl Huysmans: a misanthropic scholar, contemplating suicide, fed up of his philandering and hollow ways, over the hill in his career, unable to understand Huysmans’s Catholic conversion, follows the 2022 elections, where the Muslim Brotherhood come to power, leading our anti-hero into his own religious conversion, albeit for impure and perverted reasons. The novel contains nothing controversial about Islam—its worst sin is misinformation. Subm ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ladies and gentlemen, I ask forgiveness for taking so long to write a new criticism, for the users of Goodreads. I had promised my friend Sergio Araújo Cruz, who would read your wonderful book of "the legend of the broken sword" & from_search = true
, which God willing will be following criticism that type to Goodreads. The next week will be very busy reading "code Da Vinci" Dan Brown & from_search = true
Is this well written? Quite. For someone who is definitely not a literature expert anyway. In terms of the lanuage, it's easily read.

But it has a plot, so alas, it's a pain in the ass. The plot is thus: Muslims take over French politics and the university Paris-Sorbonne becomes a muslim university and all women wear veils and everyone's fine with this.

In conclusion, we can already say that realism is not this book's strongest suit. Perhaps that is because Houellebecq decided to keep the politica
Greg Watson
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are spoilers ahead. Michel Houellebecq's novel follows the career of a French academic during a future election in France in which a Muslim party wins. Francios, the novel's main character, is a scholar of the nineteenth-century French writer J.K. Huysman. Much like the life of Huysman, Francios moves from a life of hedonism and emptiness toward a life of faith and meaning. However, whereas Hysyman found his way back to Catholicism; Francios converts to Islam from being an academic atheist ...more
Stephen Durrant
Many readers have read “naughty boy” Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel as an Islamophobic diatribe. I don’t agree. Houellebecq has been justifiably criticized for earlier comments about Islam and surely “Soumission” does cater to the increasing French concern that what happened near Poitiers in 732 CE was only, for Islam, a temporary setback, but the real targets of his satire here are French politicians and French professors. In fact, one can read this as one of France’s relatively rare “academ ...more
Barry Pierce
Set in Paris in 2022, a controversial Muslim leader wins the presidential election and introduces Islamic law throughout the country. An academic, François, now has to try and deal with a Paris in which all women must be veiled and his job at the Islamic University of Paris-Sorbonne is in jeopardy.

I really quite enjoyed this novel in the beginning. The translation is very good, the whole thing flows well. The musings of François are interesting if highly conceited and insufferable. I liked being
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

I have to admit, despite its more prurient elements, I really love reading the work of a writer like Michel Houellebecq. A nihilist in the classic sense of the term, he writes contemporary human-interest (and sometimes science-fiction) novels that are not just offensive but quite literally offensive to eve
Tom LA
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a book!! I had HATED one of his previous novels (“Platform”), so I made an effort to be open minded and boy, was I rewarded.

Mind you, this is NOT an anti-Islam book at all, like some commentators, including France’s former Prime Minister, said. In fact, quite the contrary is true. The only thing the author is against is Europe’s cultural suicide - this slow but relentless process that’s been unfolding over the last decades.

Also, it is about a future scenario (2022) where a Muslim gov
Liz Janet
“Only literature can grant you access to a spirit from beyond the grave—a more direct, more complete, deeper access than you’d have in conversation with a friend.”

That is as far as I agree with Michel Houellebecq’s views, and for that I was a bit fuzzy if I should read this book or not. In one hand, it sounded brilliant, in the other, Islamophobic. But I picked it up anyways, and now I rest in a limbo, a fun in-between a well written novel and a ridiculous view of Islam.

Now, this book is set i
Francois is a middle-aged college professor living in Paris. He's an empty, depressing sort of guy who only seems to perk up for food or sex. He has no real community, and his sole relationship--an on-again-off-again thing with a 22-year old student--is going nowhere.
When various machinations bring the Muslims to power, all of France falls under religious rule almost overnight. Francois loses his job since only Muslims can teach at government-funded schools, but he’s welcome to return if he’s w
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Goodreads România: Septembrie 2019: Supunere, de Michel Houellebecq ( 4.3⭐ din 4 ✔) 37 79 Sep 09, 2019 10:00PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 17 Nov 16, 2018 08:40AM  
Marginalia: Submission by Michel Houellebecq 6 6 Apr 01, 2018 10:30AM  
half the people who give 4 or 5 stars have not read the book.. 9 336 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  

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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.” 55 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.” 46 likes
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