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1001 book reviews > Platform by Michel Houellebecq

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message 1: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1918 comments Rating: 1.5 Stars
Read: June 2017

Ugh. So not my thing. This is the story of a middle-aged loser (with the same name as the author, go figure) who inherits money after his father's death and decides to go on vacation to Thailand (presumably because he thinks prostitutes are cheap, plentiful, and more skilled than those of the Western world). He meets a white woman on the trip who, *surprisingly* falls for him, even though she is essentially perfect, smoking hot, in her 20s, highly successful, and great in bed - just the type of unrealistic fantasy relationship I am increasingly seeing created by other middle-aged authors on the list. This ridiculously perfect woman decides to throw away her up and coming career and run with his suggestion to start a sex tourism business.

This is basically porn. It is almost like reading two books in one. The part with the story line and plot is actually well-written. However, you read a profound thought and then - wockawow! - you are in the midst of yet another graphic sex scene. In addition to the copious amounts of kinky sex, there's lots of misogyny, bigotry, and crude language here.

I was hesitant to read this after being traumatized by Whatever. However, a friend whose book taste is usually similar to mine highly recommended it. I'll forgive her this time. Overall, I think the premise of the book is good, but the author ruined it with all of the gratuitous "extras". The abundance of this sort of book on the list makes me really question the taste of some of the people who compiled the list.

I totally think this book is NOT worthy of its spot on the list.


message 2: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3821 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "Rating: 1.5 Stars
Read: June 2017

Ugh. So not my thing. This is the story of a middle-aged loser (with the same name as the author, go figure) who inherits money after his father's death and decid..."


I think you are totally right about pure porn. I haven't read it but not really planning on reading it either.


message 3: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3821 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "Rating: 1.5 Stars
Read: June 2017

Ugh. So not my thing. This is the story of a middle-aged loser (with the same name as the author, go figure) who inherits money after his father's death and decid..."


I read this awhile back. I liked it and I agree that there are a lot of layers. I just read her Left Hand of Darkness.


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
I really dislike this author's books. I feel like he tries to be intentionally provocative for the sake of being shocking or controversial and I dislike that. His writing is too nihilistic for my tastes. I can't remember which one I read, maybe Elementary particles.


message 5: by Jen (new)

Jen | 116 comments 3*
I cannot say I loved this book, but I found it intriguing and quite unlike anything I've read before. The author's heavy handed style of delivering his message (often through characters' over-stylized speeches) is quite off putting. I'm also surprised that such a flat, one dimensional protagonist kept my interest at least until the end. So something works, though I can't really say what... maybe it's just all the sex scenes (though some of those are cringworthingly bad, too). I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but it kept my attention and the world weary, pessimistic messaging came through loud and clear. It's certainly a book of its time.


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