Customer Reviews for

The Elementary Particles

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Elementary Particles

    There¿s another fun last name for you to play with and an author I had been eyeing for a while, particularly his other popular novel ¿Platform¿, but for whatever reason I started with this one instead. It is a short read, a little more than 200 hundred pages, and a fast read, relating the life of two half brothers, born out of a mother that, pretty much never wanted to be one and should not have been allowed to become one. But things happened, and they boys were born and separated, living with their respective families, namely grandparents that chose to take care of them.<BR/><BR/>It is a hard life for the boys, a life of torment for Bruno and of solitude for Michel, who early on realize they have only themselves to see them out of this cruel world they have been birthed into. One of them becomes a mediocre writer, part time teacher and complete sex-a-holic, the other becomes a rather successful biochemist/physicist who¿really has very little sex at all. This book relates, in a rather documentary-style, the life of the two boys, through their childhood, their adolescence and their adulthood, with every jarring detail attached, from the painful to read to the too arousing to read.<BR/><BR/>Oh¿and then there is the little bit dealing with metaphysical mutations, which is explained to you right off the bat, in the first few pages. A metaphysical mutation being the sort of event that changes the world as a whole. For example, you take Christianity. One day we are happy as random people, then comes Jesus, people start Christianity and bam, you got yourself a changed world. Then comes science, which proves evolution and challenges the fundamentals of Christianity and BAM you got yourself another changed world¿¿¿and them comes Michel Djerszinski, who does not even know what he is about to change the world. In fact, even I as the reader could not see how this man would do what the first few pages promised¿until you get to the end and you are just like¿.damn¿¿<BR/><BR/>For that ending alone, this book is worth the read. Just be aware, if you thought Choke had too much sexual content¿this one will ensure you get another `think¿ on the way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2000

    Could have been great...

    The book is a must even if you aren't a fascist. Right in line with Nietzsche and Foucoult (though I can't understand the Camus comparisons...). Unless you are a molecular biologist, you will be confused with some rather technical passages concerning biology and the like, so be prepared to consult a dictionary often. Additionally, if you have no background in philosophy you might be lost at times. However, buy it, read it, and digest it if you can. You will be a better thinker.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Weird tale

    <P>The major aftermath of the free love movement in 1960s France is the abandoned children that parents failed to raise. Two products of the flighty unions of the hippies are half-brothers Bruno Clement and Michel Djerinski. Their mother had no time to raise either child and their different fathers shared the commonality of never being around them. <P>The two are separated as youths. However, in spite of some limited success by Bruno as a writer and Michel as a near Nobel Prize level scientist, both share common perversions as adults. Bruno and Michel worship navels and incessantly masturbate. They also flunk out in life as Bruno is institutionalized and Michel commits suicide. <P>Readers will either recognize author Michel Houellebecq as the modern day Camus or just another biased individual blaming the world¿s woes on the extreme left. This reviewer remains divided about this work. At times the tale read like a powerful eulogy to mankind, but almost as often I felt like quitting without finishing the novel. The story line centers on a look back at the lives of the two siblings, especially that of Michel, throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Mr. Houellebecq takes aim at the hedonist side of the left swinging sixties, but fails to balance the picture with shots at the right me-first excessive eighties. This book is not intended for everyone as the novel is sexually depressingly descriptive and the lead characters even more disheartening. However, those readers who believe that death is the final leveler of humanity will want to read this well-written philosophically morbid maelstrom. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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