Atomised: Winner of the International Dublin Literary Award 2002

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Random House, Nov 30, 2011 - Fiction - 384 pages

Half-brothers Michel and Bruno have a mother in common but little else.

Michel is a molecular biologist, a thinker and idealist, a man with no erotic life to speak of and little in the way of human society.

Bruno, by contrast, is a libertine, though more in theory than in practice, his endless lust is all too rarely reciprocated.

Both are symptomatic members of our atomised society, where religion has given way to shallow 'new age' philosophies and love to meaningless sexual connections.

Atomised tells the stories of the two brothers, but the real subject of the novel is the dismantling of contemporary society and its assumptions, its political incorrectness, and its caustic and penetrating asides on everything from anthropology to the problem pages of girls' magazines. A dissection of modern lives and loves. By turns funny, acid, infuriating, didactic, touching and visceral.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Steve38 - LibraryThing

An odd combination of soft pornography and philosophy. As a commentary on life it does not lead anywhere in particular. In the end the demi-freres become evident constructs of argument rather than characters. Not disappointing but certainly not inspiring. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DavidCLDriedger - LibraryThing

A book a good many of us formerly or presently pious folk may feel a little guilty reading (oh, its more than a little risque). It reads as a speculative account of the conclusion of our ontology (our 'elementary particles') and what may come after it. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Michel Houellebecq is a poet, essayist and novelist. He is the author of several novels including The Map and the Territory (winner of the Prix Goncourt), Atomised, Platform, Whatever and Submission. He was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 2019.

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