Whateverby Michel Houellebecq
Just thirty, with a well-paid job, no love life and a terrible attitude, the anti-hero of this grim, funny novel smokes four packs of cigarettes a day and writes weird animal stories in his spare time. A computer programmer by day, he is tolerably content, until he's packed off with a colleague - the sexually-frustrated Raphael Tisserand - to train
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Just thirty, with a well-paid job, no love life and a terrible attitude, the anti-hero of this grim, funny novel smokes four packs of cigarettes a day and writes weird animal stories in his spare time. A computer programmer by day, he is tolerably content, until he's packed off with a colleague - the sexually-frustrated Raphael Tisserand - to train provincial civil servants in the use of a new computer system
Houellebecq's first novel was a smash hit in France, expressing the misanthropic voice of a generation. Like A Confederacy of Dunces, Houellebecq's bitter, sarcastic and exasperated narrator vociferously expresses his frustration and disgust with the world.
Meet the Author
Novelist and poet Michel Houellebecq was born in 1958, on the French island of Reunion. At the age of six, Michel was given over to the care of his paternal grandmother, a communist, whose family name he later adopted. Houellebecq has won many prizes, including the Prix Flore in 1996, the Grand Prix National des Lettres Jeunes Talents in 1998, the Prix Novembre and, most recently, the Prix Goncourt in 2010. His first album, Presence Humaine, was released in 2000. He currently lives in Spain.
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A social commentary about today's 'short attention span' society, this book reminds me more of the lines of Camus or Sartre (or, perhaps, even Joseph Heller, yet more sentimental) than of anything produced today. The first person protagonist is a modern day programmer for a large firm. His thoughts as we follow him through his day (talking with colleagues, acquaintances, a business trip) are the type that are a bit risque but, yet, everyone thinks them (just chooses not to say them aloud). This 30something bachelor is very easy to sympathize with, the modern 'everyman'. Yet amid the plot is hidden the fresh flower of language: Houellebeqc relies heavily on physical imagery and the description of emotions, not much on symbolism. If you like existential writing, (while this is not a wholly existential book) this is definitely recommended.
...you should start to read this book. At first I liked it very much, but then i started to dislike all about it, the looser that stands in the middle of it and his extremly cruel approach to this world. He sounds in some part like Camus Etranger, just that he is more horny and sarcastic. Even if you want to quit this book, you will not stop to read it, because of its unbelivable social dramatic, because you want the trouth even if you don't like it, even you don't need it.