Michael Finocchiaro's Reviews > Soumission

Soumission by Michel Houellebecq
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it was ok
bookshelves: novels, dystopian, french-21st-c, fiction
Read 2 times. Last read January 10, 2018 to January 12, 2018.

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 that ennui never really left me up to the end. Yes, there are some interesting observations and he does know an awful lot about Huysmans, but his characters are flat and two-dimensional, his female characters are either ugly (read unfuckable) or sexy (and it follows fondly fucked by the protagonist) or inaccessible (because they belong to another more powerful male). Despite the novelty of the central theme of Islam vs modernity, Houellebecq's own view of women is utilitarian and reductive.
In sum, my low opinion of Houellebecq remains low and I will be far less inclined to give him another shot to change that opinion in the future.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Paperback Edition)
November 18, 2016 – Shelved
November 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
November 21, 2016 – Shelved as: novels
January 10, 2018 – Started Reading
January 10, 2018 –
page 50
January 10, 2018 –
page 50
January 11, 2018 –
page 109
January 12, 2018 –
page 181
January 12, 2018 – Shelved as: dystopian
January 12, 2018 – Shelved as: french-21st-c
January 12, 2018 – Shelved as: fiction
January 12, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by BrokenTune (new)

BrokenTune One to avoid. Thanks for the heads up.


message 2: by Denise (new)

Denise H. Thank you for the honest review dear Michael ! :) x


message 3: by M.J. (new)

M.J. Payne Cool review Michael. Author sounds like a narcissist.


message 4: by Pickle. (new)

Pickle. M.H. Is the author I have most often thought I need to read, then reminded not to. Cheers!


Michael Finocchiaro Thanks everyone. MH does have his followers, I just cannot count myself among them. There is lots of other good stuff to read out there and more interesting dystopian lit as well.


message 6: by Den (new) - rated it 2 stars

Den Walton 100% Agree...


Maryb I agree thoroughly with your review. I found this book very boring and there was nothing particularly controversial about it.


Michael Finocchiaro Thanks Den and Maryb. I think maybe you have to be Catholic to appreciate it because that is by and large the politico-religious line held by all of those I know that liked it.
I cannot stand Houellebecq, too much mental masturbation without any real content. Kind of the epitome of the sexist French basic mentality.


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