The Elementary Particles
By Michel Houellebecq
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727016, 272pp.)
Publication Date: November 13, 2001
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An international literary phenomenon, The Elementary Particles is a frighteningly original novel–part Marguerite Duras and part Bret Easton Ellis-that leaps headlong into the malaise of contemporary existence.
Bruno and Michel are half-brothers abandoned by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties. Bruno, the older, has become a raucously promiscuous hedonist himself, while Michel is an emotionally dead molecular biologist wholly immersed in the solitude of his work. Each is ultimately offered a final chance at genuine love, and what unfolds is a brilliantly caustic and unpredictable tale.
Translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
Michel Houellebecq lives in Ireland.
"An original work of art–ironic, intelligent and as airtight and elegant as a geometry proof."
--The New York Times Magazine
"[A] brilliant novel of ideas... [A] riveting novel by a deft, observant writer."
--The Wall Street Journal
"Fearless, vivid and astringently honest…surprisingly funny... [C]an permanently change how we view things that happened in our own lives. Not many novels can do that."
--Los Angeles Times