Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Serotonina” as Want to Read:
Serotonina
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Serotonina

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  11,808 ratings  ·  1,311 reviews
Florent-Claude Labrouste è un quarantaseienne funzionario del ministero dell'Agricoltura, vive una relazione oramai al tramonto con una torbida donna giapponese, più giovane di lui, con la quale condivide un appartamento in un anonimo grattacielo alla periferia di Parigi. L'incalzante depressione induce Florent-Claude all'assunzione in dosi sempre più intense di Captorix, ...more
Paperback, Oceani, 332 pages
Published January 10th 2019 by La nave di Teseo (first published January 4th 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Serotonina, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Serotonina

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,808 ratings  ·  1,311 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Serotonina
Fionnuala
Ten books ago (I find I measure time in books these days), I read a story about a forty-something year-old bachelor who spent his life, at least within the time of the story, driving about the country in the kind of fashionable vehicle a single man of his time would not be ashamed to be seen in. While he travelled, he liked to dream, though less and less as his story went on, of finding someone with whom he could settle down and start a family. And as he drove about the highways and byways of th ...more
BlackOxford
The New European

I try; I really do. I want to be hip, and cosmopolitan, and wittily detached. I even take the trouble to track Houellebecq’s locations on GoogleEarth in order to keep my interest levels up. But I fail. I do; I fail. I feel broken, dissipated, impotent. I try to hide it but the lines on my face are unmistakable marks of defeat as well as age. I must be the wrong temperament, or the wrong nationality, or perhaps have the wrong hormones. Yes, that’s it, the hormones.

I do enjoy the s
...more
Meike
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, france
Now Longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020
You have to give it to Houellebecq that he knows how to ridicule the media hype machine by making it his willing accomplice, so don't get distracted by the flashy trigger words (masturbation! impotence! suicide! paedophilia! sodomy! drugs!) and let's look at the heart of this story that beats underneath all of this, and beats much stronger than the hearts of the people depicted. Houellebecq's new novel is told from the perspective of 46-year
...more
Adam Dalva
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a shark-jumper for Houellebecq, whose talents as a writer remain undeniable. SEROTONIN is a fast read, gripping despite a lack of suspense. It the story of a gourmand who medicates for depression and makes increasingly odd choices while journeying through his past. The polemic treatment of "the west in decline" is often fascinating, and though I don't agree with Houellebecq on many things, it is fun to argue with him internally about things like free-trade (a lengthy dairy farmer sequen ...more
Agnieszka

Suprisingly touching and perceptive novel. Don't get me wrong, I do think Houellebecq is a very skilful writer, his novels are linguistically perfect but he himself a bit aloof and distanced. It took me some time/books to get used to him and by then I could see a provocateur, enfant terrible of French literature, someone with pleasure stirring up a hornet's nest. I saw him criticised from right to left. For misogyny, pornography, aggressiveness, amorality, cynicism and misanthropy. But this ? Ma
...more
Manny
[Before reading]

Celebrity Death Match Special: Sérotonine versus Snow White


Payot! Payot!
It's off to shop we go!
With a hammer and a pick and Houellebecq's dick
Payot!
Payot, Payot, Payot!
Winner: the inevitable collapse of Western society
_______________________________

[After reading]

As usual, the idiots who just flick through the pages looking for things to get agitated about have found passages to fill up their vacuous articles, and you will see ugly woman academics who have made a profession
...more
İntellecta

Serotonin" by Michel Houellebecq
The protagonist of the novel is the 46-year-old Florent-Claude Labrouste, an advisor to the Agriculture Department, suffering from depression and taking Captorix (fictitious antidepressant). The life story is accompanied by numerous political and social changes in France. Linguistically very impressive again, the plot here is the language. I like Houllebecq's amazing writing style, and consider him an interesting author! His novels are essentially very similar. Wh
...more
Hanneke
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the saddest and most tragic novel by Houellebecq I have read so far. Houellebecq seemed to have lost the bite of his provocative aggressiveness in this novel and although we readers got used to it and found it amusing (at least I did), I must say it really moved me to read this unusually compassionate novel by him. He still has plenty of aggravating and sharp things to say, so we don’t have to worry there’s nothing left to chuckle over! I hope he will continue in this new voice. I am per ...more
Vicky "phenkos"
I think I'm going to create a new shelf entitled 'pornography with pretentions'. No, God forbid, because I'd risk incurring the wrath of the brigade who understand good literature and are not going to be put off by a few manifestations of misogyny or a dozen half-naked women swaying their arses around in search of a good c*ck that the hero of the book is happy to point their way. Or rather, not is, was. Alas, not any more. What a predicament! What a sad state of affairs. Definitely worth 320 pag ...more
Paul Fulcher
Mar 01, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
With apologies to Gwen Stefani: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgjkt...

Few times I've been around that track
So it's not just gonna happen like that.


This is my 5th Houellebecq novel and his 8th.

In the best, and most quoted, line in Shaun Whitehead’s translation of Michel Houllebecq’s Serotonin, the narrator argues that, for Western culture, the third millennium is one millennium too many, in the way that boxers have one fight too many, which is perhaps the overriding theme of all of the author’s
...more
Lee Klein
A generous three stars — felt like a loose first draft for maybe 200 of its 300 pages. Worth it for a little essayette about Mann and Proust toward the end, not to mention particular, peculiar, often amusing, unexpected, abstracted turns within a sentence (". . . I found myself on my own again, more alone than I had ever been; well, I had hummus, which is suited to solitary pleasures . . ." (p 360), or within the overall story (relationship story morphs into story about agrarian rebellion), and ...more
MJ Nicholls
A botched attempt at hot-topic triggering and snowflake-baiting turns into a meandering and unconvincing depiction of depression with some B+ black humour and snark.
Murtaza
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At this point, Michel Houellebecq is very good at writing the same well-worn story that he first helped popularize. That story can be efficiently summed up as: (Decline of the West) + (Death from Despair) = European Man. This book like all of his others is festooned with the provocations familiar to his writing. They have by now lost the capacity to shock and are genuinely humorous; even charming in a way. They've become like stock features of his work that one is already well prepared for him t ...more
Jason Pettus
THE‌ ‌GREAT‌ ‌COMPLETIST‌ ‌CHALLENGE:‌ ‌In‌ ‌which‌ ‌I‌ ‌revisit‌ ‌older‌ ‌authors‌ ‌and‌ ‌attempt‌ ‌to‌ ‌read‌ every‌ ‌book‌ ‌they‌ ‌ever‌ ‌wrote‌

Currently‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌challenge:‌ ‌Martin‌ ‌Amis‌ |‌ Isaac‌ ‌Asimov's‌ ‌Robot/Empire/Foundation‌ |‌ Margaret‌ Atwood‌ |‌ JG‌ ‌Ballard‌ |‌ Clive‌ ‌Barker‌ |‌ Philip‌ ‌K‌ ‌Dick‌ |‌ Daphne‌ ‌Du‌ ‌Maurier‌ |‌ William‌ ‌Gibson‌ |‌ Michel‌ Houellebecq‌ |‌ John‌ ‌Irving‌ |‌ Kazuo‌ ‌Ishiguro‌ |‌ John‌ ‌Le‌ ‌Carre‌ |‌ Bernard‌ ‌Malamud‌ |‌ China‌ ‌Mieville‌ |
...more
Juno
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love to hate him.
Tommi
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The narrator of Serotonin is uncomfortable company, not just because he tells tasteless stories for shock value, but mainly because he reminds me of a certain type of adult men who refuse to grow up. The sort of people who wallow in their life-long grudges and dress it as some kind of ‘deep and sexy nihilism’. The people who take a decisive stance against political correctness in the name of free speech but whose attacks in fact have more to do with teenage cynicism. The people whose notion of s ...more
Florian Pfeiffer
It was ok. I started really nice but the main protagonist is real (SUV-driving) pretentious asshole, drowning in self-pity. If you scratch all the endless remarks about french cuisine this might be still a pretty solid novell, but it’s going nowhere and it was not enough for me. The book had it’s strong moments but for me it was not enough. It seems to me that not few authors are damned to only write one good novel. And in the end i still don’t think Mr Houellebecq knows a thing about love, nor ...more
Jan Rice
Why, oh, why can't one rely on the strong, assertive male voice, telling us authoritatively how things are and what to do? Everything used to be so simple when you could (or thought you could).

Oh, for those days when all was made clear. One could simply rest assured that everything was being taken care of and would certainly turn out okay. Because somebody knew what was going on, and he knew what to do about it. Someone had everything analyzed (correctly). Someone understood.

Right?

Oh, how I wi
...more
Jovan Autonomašević
Great read. I picked it up by chance in a hotel in Vietnam. I had already read his best-known work, Les particules élémentaires, which I found to be rather dreary. As such I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It has many elements in common with the other book, such as a liberal sprinkling of explicit and uninhibited sex. But rather than being gratuitous, it adds to and drives the main story - and even makes it tolerable, which I suspect is the author's aim. The main story is the twilight yea ...more
Bloodorange
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
4,5 stars, rounded up. This book may be depressing, but I found it melancholic, since to me it was a flirtation with the kind of life I ultimately did not have. I'm reading this as an ode to love, and, to a lesser extent, freedom of an individual. Highly recommended.
Supreeth
A slow-burning suicidal internal monologue of a middle-aged European man along with occasional genitalia talk and paranoia over the decay of western civilization where nothing happens (if you're expecting) but still a good read considering that depression seethes off the pages.
Nigeyb
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second novel I've read by Michel Houellebecq and another uneven, if ultimately enjoyable ride.

Michel Houellebecq seems to take pleasure in being provocative and offensive, and he struggles to write remotely convincing female characters. Put that to one side and he offers some interesting and unusual insights into modern life and the state of the world.

In Serotonin he shines a light on the state of European farming in a globalised world, and the impact of this on traditional farming familie
...more
Liina Bachmann
Oct 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Reading Michel Houellebecq is a lot like sitting in a bar and listening to a middle-aged man with rosacea nose semi drunkenly telling you his sad life story whilst staring at your breasts at all times. Serotonin is not different in this regard. Women are downsized and judged by how accomplished they were in bed except for the protagonist's wife whom he talks about and reminiscences about with surprising tenderness.
Roughly half of the book is mostly about his love life and if not familiar with h
...more
D
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Excellent book about a man in his forties dealing with depression, by taking an anti-depressant pill each day. Hence the title. Plenty of flashbacks, suicidal thoughts etc. Not only is the style sublime, the story is perfect as well. It mixes cynical considerations about today's society with surprising action. Only the last few lines of the book disappoint, but I suspect that may have been on purpose. Vintage Houellebecq.
Brendan Monroe
Michel Houellebecq is one of those rare writers whose latest work I consistently bump to the top of my increasingly endless "to read" pile. I can't think of any writer as prescient as Houellebecq or who writes about current issues with as much aplomb.

Houellebecq's subjects seem to reflect the new political reality in Europe and, increasingly, the globe. The "everyman" his books depict war against the EU and feel increasingly victimized by globalization. The most vulgar insult a narrator in a Hou
...more
Leo Robertson
Had its funny bits but didn't hold together.

Don't understand what his job had to do with anything, what the antidepressants had to do with anything—or really what anything had to do with anything.

For that I fault Houellebecq's quintessential style, which is that his protagonists never really seem to give a shit. Therefore, it never seems to matter what it is they don't give a shit about!
Manuela
Just not my cup of tea...
bezprawie
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*cries in pain*
David
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-lit, francais

I just finished this book with profound sadness and almost a loss of words.

It didn’t start out that way. In fact I picked this book up in a Paris train station. I read it in the south of France and Spain. Oddly, this book starts with his main character Labrouste in Spain. It starts at a truck stop where he picks up some girls. Sounds like Houellebecq. Then he travels with his Japanese girlfriend, traveling across Spain. He complains about the tourist industry, even the Spanish Paradores. It gets
...more
George
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting, engaging, original, smoothly written novel about the life of Florent Claude Labrouste, a lonely, odd, 46 year old man living in Paris, who is seriously considering killing himself. He is indifferent to his existence. He takes anti depressants. He is a smoker. He reminisces about his past life, - in particular, about the women he has lived with. He is well off, so he is able to decide to voluntarily go missing.

This is my fifth Houellebecq novel and I have enjoyed them all. He has
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Mookse and th...: 2020 International Booker Longlist: Serotonin 46 69 Apr 06, 2020 08:39AM  
NEW FRENCH FICTIO...: Serotonin 2 10 Mar 09, 2020 01:02AM  
Book Club: Serotonin 1 21 May 16, 2019 10:28AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Faces on the Tip of My Tongue
  • Možnosti milostného románu
  • The Other Name: Septology I-II
  • Vi er fem
  • Vernon Subutex, 1 (Vernon Subutex, #1)
  • Leurs enfants après eux
  • Kult
  • Red Dog
  • Mac y su contratiempo
  • Teoria opanowywania trwogi
  • Statystycznie rzecz biorąc, czyli ile trzeba zjeść czekolady, żeby dostać Nobla?
  • Μαύρο νερό
  • Emigracja
  • Félix et la source invisible
  • Ondraaglijke lichtheid
  • Klubben
  • Sábado, domingo
  • Voksne mennesker
See similar books…
4,753 followers
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

News & Interviews

In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
52 likes · 37 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“God takes care of us; he thinks of us every minute, and he gives us instructions that are sometimes very precise. Those surges of love that flow into our chests and take our breath away -- those illuminations, those ecstasies, inexplicable if we consider our biological nature, our status as simple primates-- are extremely clear signs.

And today I understand Christ's point of view and his repeated horror at the hardening of people's hearts: all of these things are signs, and they don't realise it. Must I really, on top of everything else, give my life for these wretches? Do I really have to be explicit on that point?

Apparently so.”
6 likes
“... it isn't the future but past that kills you, that comes back to torment and undermine you, and effectively ends up killing you.” 4 likes
More quotes…