In his new work, Michel Houellebecq combines erotic provocation with a terrifying vision of a world teetering between satiety and fanaticism, to create one of the most shocking, hypnotic, and intelligent novels in years. In his early forties, Michel Renault skims through his days with as little human contact as possible. But following his father's death he takes a group holiday to Thailand where he meets a travel agent--the shyly compelling Valerie--who begins to bring this half-dead man to life with sex of escalating intensity and audacity. Arcing with dreamlike swiftness from Paris to Pattaya Beach and from sex clubs to a terrorist massacre, Platform is a brilliant, apocalyptic masterpiece by a man who is widely regarded as one of the world's most original and daring writers.
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.