Michel Houellebecq continues to say the unsayable in The Possibility of an Island, but to what end, asks Tim Adams. Michel Houellebecq’s misanthropy is all too evident in his latest, The Possibility of an Island, says Michael Worton. Being thought to be avant garde has its advantages; people take you seriously and pay you shed loads of cash for any old tosh. And you get.

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Or probably I should just say I’m dying, we all are, mortality is what it’s about, but maybe we’ve got a couple of years left so why not spend them together torturing each other?

In English, at least, thanks to Gavin Bowd. So perhaps that’s the silver lining.

The Possibility of an Island is extremely depressing. And in and among all this, there is Love. So that maybe the neohuman can be human? When our mind and body decline, what do we make of life? The first great novel of the twenty-first century written by the only writer living today who really matters.

The Possibility of an Island

This signals, I think, an efficiency in thinking and more of a thought for form – after all, by this point Houellebecq has enough credibility that his mentioning “Rochefoucauld” should be enough for the dedicated reader to look the man up for himself.

A lifetime of reflection and contemplation. Daniel has a son he doesn’t see and in whom he isn’t interested, just as Houellebecq for a long time showed no interest in his son.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Fortunately, you have the temperament to find this state of affairs not only vaguely tolerable, in spite of your profound alienation from society and its moral strictures, but also somewhat funny, and when you’re not banging hot girls you take fulfillment where you can find it, which seems to be most places.

I would say this is Houellebecqs’ vision of shiny happy endless people, who still end. There is something about Houellebecq’s brutal honesty which shouldn’t be dismissed as mere controversy that appeals to me but at this moment I can’t quite elucidate. It really is frighteningly powerful stuff, and may even convince you that the sex and colour and age and sexuality of an author is not the driving force behind the work?

I’m even deep When I’m asleep Daniel 1, 3: What’s so great about it is the way he uses this character’s thoughts who undoubtedly shares a great deal with the real Houellebecq himself to lay bare an ugly, unpleasant notion hidden away and present it in all its grotesque splendor.


This one experiments with SF concepts alongside its middle-aged-misanthrope-having-lots-of-implausible-sex plot the protag in this case a bile-spouting gagmeister as our antihero secures himself immortality as part of a sex-tourist cult during his post-midlife crisis.

There is no other Houellebecq.

There is nothing he wont write, no boundary he wont cross. I was recently in a class where the teacher was talking about how “meaning” is derived from literature through aan. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. In Atomised, his iconoclastic bestseller, on the basis of which he was proposed as the most significant French literary export since Camus, he saw links between the march of individualism and the science of genetic engineering.

Michel Houellebecq writes characters, voices, versions of himself that are all victims of the fallout from the Sixties. The kind of book I thoroughly enjoy.

Review: The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq | Books | The Guardian

So where was I? Houellebecq this is the second time I’ve written Celine in place of his name, despite that their writing is not similar in the least has a brutal mind for the kitsch. I’ve hesitated on this one, Houellebecq is a very bad boy and I’m only slightly bad. Daniel despises mankind and its contemptible—and doomed—efforts to find happiness. Reading negative reviews of Houellebecq novels is a good way to be amused for about five minutes, because, aside from the rare honest ones where the reviewer frankly states they just didn’t care for him, it’s pretty obvious that most of his detractors know that something is going over their ot, but they can’t admit out loud that they don’t get the joke.

Houellebecq will have his beret-clad apologists, I’m sure, who will play the “you just don’t get it” card, but you know what?

Set adrift by the sexual revolution, alienated by consumerism, incapable of belief and prisoners to their restless desire, they spin around the globe disgusted by everything but the hope of blowjobs from women half their age. There was no authority except for us as their parents who were having a hell of a time keeping them from self destruction and wishing they would just grow up and move out.

View all 4 comments. Surprisingly poignant, philosophically compelling, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, The Possibility of an Island is at once an indictment, an elegy, and a celebration of everything we have and are at risk of losing. They are the neohumans.

The Possibility of an Island – Wikipedia

Brave New World is our idea of heaven: They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. The answer is to preserve one’s DNA; to make yhe.

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It is at this point in the story that Daniel1 undertakes an analysis, not only of his own life, but of human life in general. The story is that of Daniel, a bitter Frenchman from roughly our times, as told by himself and commented upon by Daniels 24 and 25, the latest in a line of neohuman clones who have descended from the original’s recorded DNA.

In its absence, you are left with a repetitive, clever shell of a world, a calculated atmosphere of pornography, gratuitous and starkly lit, which, though it is perhaps what the author is striving for, never feels quite enough.

As in his previous novels, the sex is usually erotic and depressing at the same time and the prose touches upon the brutal truths of life, the first being that all males are self-loathing humping machines, and others similar in timbre with a lot of cod-scientific waffle to beef up the general concept.

Before I forget, when we have sex you need to pay attention to my balls, stroke them or maybe lick them, it’s essential. Despite the inevitable process of aging, which the youth-obsessed general culture unavoidably reminds you of as frequently as possible, and your near-total emotional isolation from your fellow man, you can conclude that life’s not so bad really, or at least that the idea of life being any better is an idle dream unworthy of a sophisticated misanthrope such as yourself.

And when he’s worn out, they’ll create a third me, and so on. If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? The physical bodies of young people, the only desirable possession the world has ever produced, were reserved for the exclusive use of the young, and the fate of the old was to work and to suffer. Then the clone will read what I’ve written and he’ll basically become a second me. Rather new and horrible dreams will recur endlessly.

See all 57 reviews. Sep 03, Aaron Arnold rated it it was amazing Shelves: It’s a pose alright but it is also true ,I think. And his novels, especially this one, can seem like therapy sessions, with the reader cast in the role of the therapist, condemned to listen silently to a torrent of platitudes and prejudices. On the one hand cloning feigns immortality. Hamlets’ fear is that there will be no rest upon death.