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Houellebecq’s controversial novel, which caused an uproar in France last year, finally reaches our shores. Whether it will make similar waves here remains to be . An international literary phenomenon, The Elementary Particles is a frighteningly original novel–part Marguerite Duras and part Bret Easton Ellis-that. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of The Elementary Particles / Atomised by Michel Houellebecq.

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After her death, he was sent to a boarding school where he was relentlessly and violently harassed by older pupils.

I prefer the title The Elementary Particles. The hypothesis of a core of personal identity, of a permanent core in its main characteristics seemed obvious to him. To enjoy the act of sex, to love through it, is a purity men cannot seem to achieve on their own. Hate them a lot.

Quotes from The Elementary Pa This is what fiction is, and how it works, and I love seeing it spelled out like that. Conventions and social rules build layers around it, that all. As another example, below, the modern world takes on a very dark shadow throughout the book, but nowhere like when he first describes abortion issues.

Bruno and Michel are half-brothers abandoned by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties.

Sep 08, Amrit Chima rated it it was amazing. While sometimes pleasurable it is basically a simple necessity, often unavoidable, and often unpleasant and embarrassing. These cynical rants against humanity are really all the same, aren’t they? But I took a deep breath and I switched up my reading soundtrack and I pushed on and am very glad that I did. The part of the novel I found least engaging was the thread that followed Michel, Bruno’s half-brother. I think I prefer the title Elementary Particles.


The Art of Travel Alain de Botton. His hatred with modern society is pretty blindly applied.

Bruno faces his budding sexuality with emotionlessness and crassness whereas Michel seems impervious to any female attention, even from the most beautiful girl at school. At best, they move in space and greet one another sadly.

A lot of people view it as a depressing, hate-filled rant, filled with a really startling amount of unpleasant sex. Bruno wallows in sex: As for the signs of the times and the path of their respective lives, Michel almost seems immobile, stationary, solid against he flow of time and its social effects on Western civilization; for him, the progress of science and those small revolutions are the impetus for him to continue to study and make his own big revolution. It takes place in Lyon in the popular neighbourhood of La Croix Rousse.

Atomised (film) – Wikipedia

I have a feeling that I would feel the same way about this book as you. Further, Houellebecq gives an heuristic account of where Western civilization goes in the fictional future. He’s not getting any sex, and that’s all HE can think about. He depicts it as an empty wasteland that has been “atomised” as people have lost themselves in individuality, society itself crumbling as people particls incapable of forming meaningful bonds or ties — or being in love.


He sublimates his personal needs pwrticles a higher goal, his research. Nevertheless, one cannot help but laugh at how the whole story develops and finally ends. Not many novels can do that. To alleviate this awkward state when no other means of satisfaction is around, elementzry resorts to himself.

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The Elementary Particles

The psychology isn’t too bad either. Houellebecq’s critique is not simpleminded, though the presentation occasionally lacks subtlety.

View all 8 comments. International Dublin Literary Award recipient Note that there is a lot of sex in The Elementary Particles — generally of the gratuitous, unpleasant, and unfulfilling variety. Breakfast at Tiffany’s Truman Capote. Again, of course I understand why that’s the case, but it is a little funny Though they were both products of the same time, their forms were cast differently under moulds.

How can you not warm to a book that contains elmeentary such as the following: Not many novels can do that. Physical violence, the most perfect manifestation of individuation, was about to reappear.