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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  39,642 ratings  ·  3,628 reviews
Francia, en un futuro próximo. A las puertas de las elecciones presidenciales de 2022. Los partidos tradicionales se han hundido en las encuestas y Mohammed Ben Abbes, carismático líder de una nueva formación islamista moderada, derrota con el apoyo de los socialistas y de la derecha a la candidata del Frente Nacional en la segunda vuelta. François, un profesor universitar ...more
Paperback, Panorama de narrativas #893, 288 pages
Published April 29th 2015 by Anagrama (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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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
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
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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.
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
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 the '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 twen
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 comple
13 September 2020: Why would you let a book like I Hate Men gad about willy nilly? Get the damn thing banned now!

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
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
Steven Godin

No sex holidays.
No swingers clubs.
The smutty stuff kept to a minimum (some ball-licking is about as hardcore as it gets).

What the hell is going on?

This is a side of him I didn't think possible; having a male protagonist thinking less with his dick and more with his head. Houellebecq tackles one of the most challenging and controversial topics in recent times: The Islamification of Europe. Trouble is that Submission, despite the fact of it feeling like an important and relevant novel, really did
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 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
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
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-read, france
French: Soumission/ English: Submission
Yup, that's the infamous novel that was the cover story of Charlie Hebdo when the massacre happened in which 12 people died, among them Bernard Maris, a good friend of Houellebecq. The story is set in 2022, when an Islamic party is voted into power in France. Our narrator François (the most French name ever) is a professor of literature at the prestigious Sorbonne and at the crossroads of his life: At 43, it is questionable how long his lifestyle of having
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
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
, and it
On the basis of a summary I expected this novel to present a strong criticism of Muslim fundamentalism. But clearly that didn’t take into account the irony and sarcasm of Houellebecq. The beginning of this book reintroduces the reader to his typical universe: the perspective of the story telling protagonist, the 44-year-old professor of literature François, is once again one of world-weary nihilism, or as he puts it himself, he is “beyond his intellectual and amorous peak”, lonely, anti-social, ...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 w
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
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
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
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
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
To-The-Point Reviews
An academic watches as Islam gradually takes over France. Things get based. Everyone gets a wife.

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
Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
In light of the attack on Rushdie, I will need to read this book again. I will, of course, also need to read Rushdie's book that has incensed the Iranian government for decades. When I do, and when I love it, I will not write out a review for obvious reasons. I'll drop a 5-star review and let everyone's imagination do the job. The fight for the right to speak should not stop. ...more
Nick Grammos
It's not only France and the narrator who are tired in Submission, it's the prose and the narrative style.

No one likes a middle-aged, overthinking, curmudgeonly, exhausted narrator more than me. I don't think there's enough of them in Literature. We've been around the block enough times to know that we have something to say about it.

The idea that the modern world, it's ideas, values etc are weakened, tired, flat lining, offers a great prospect for imagining the immediate future world as one th
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
John Anthony
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Paris in 2021, Francois, the central character, teaches at the Sorbonne and has done so for some years. His specialism is the life and works of a minor French novelist. He is in a rut, drinking and smoking excessively. Although he has little interest in politics, we follow the French presidential elections in France through his eyes. In the second round the fight is between the National Front and the Muslim Brotherhood. The latter is successfully elected. Its leader is a shrewd operator a ...more
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Goodreads România: Septembrie 2019: Supunere, de Michel Houellebecq ( 3.4⭐ din 5✔) 43 103 Sep 30, 2019 05:07AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 19 Nov 16, 2018 08:40AM  
Marginalia: Submission by Michel Houellebecq 6 10 Apr 01, 2018 10:30AM  
half the people who give 4 or 5 stars have not read the book.. 8 373 Feb 23, 2018 10:33PM  
Lietuva / Lithuania: Ar geras vertimas? 5 161 Aug 03, 2016 05:11AM  
Michel Houellebecq: Submission in english 5 140 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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