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

It’s a pose alright but it is also true ,I think. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Yet he deftly dissects the obession with self, the evolution of virtue into the fulfillment of personal desire, and the sex-celebrity-youth obsessed culture that we are in the process of fully-forming in our own world.

Share your thoughts with other customers. Houellebecq is a controversial writer, and his latest novel is certain houelelbecq increase the controversy around him. Predictably, his favourite philosopher is the pessimist Schopenhauer, who believed that people could not have individual wills but were part of one vast universe-embracing but evil will, which is the source of all endless suffering.

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They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. In the absence of the necessity of sex and death, the post-human clones have houelebecq that all human emotion has, over the centuries, become extinct. The latter offered us a way out: Thanks for telling us about the problem. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. To ask other readers questions about The Possibility of an Islandplease sign up.


I sound like an old man.

Get to Know Us. The Possibility of an Island is a sad, sad depiction of the possibility, or impossibility, of humanity. The social criticism offered in this novel is often surprisingly relevant and revealing, [with] an underlying empathy for the plight of humanity.

It’s most interesting facet is the cult that the character a practicing nihlist from what he tells and shows Daniel, or Daniel1, becomes a part. I agree – Good job! Sep 27, Leonard rated it really liked it Shelves: Also by Michel Houellebecq. There is little point in thinking about what Houellebecq says or following up his references, since their irrelevance is the point.

Critical of modern society — definitely. His world view is certainly very dark but if you can enjoy his insights without getting sucked into the black hole, it is well worth it. A personal note here. The same problem arose in Soumission. Here he is on sharing feelings: But it’s the way that you agree or disagree with him that’s important.

LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. What in fact is the right way to look at love? A lifetime of reflection and contemplation The species have reached immortality. The book is set up as a dialogue between Daniel1, a scabrous contemporary comedian, and his cloned progeny of a thousand years hence, Daniel There’s a frame story set in the future that confirms this, and shows how empty and meaningless it is to remove human weaknesses without adding in new strengths to replace them.

The Book of Daniels

To me, this was possibilitj sentimental, even arguably kind of sweet. 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.


The Elohimites are based on the Raelians, a sect in whom Houellebecq became interested when living in Spain and who believe that the ancient Hebrew concept of Elohim should not be translated as “God” in the singular, but as “those who came from the sky”, flying in from another planet to create life on earth.

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The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq

In Houellebecq, we have become so distanced, alienated from any islqnd, we have become merely plastic objects who should be put out of our misery. He has not only delighted in satirising their revolutionary hypocrisy, but he has also enjoyed trampling on their political correctness, in particular with Islamophobic outbursts that had him in the dock for inciting religious hatred.

Then we had our own kids.

Scattered around are the remnants of tourist resorts, cities and consumer items and some natural humans living in small tribes without any knowledge of the past or of civilization.

Just because the narrator or evangelists, hippies, etc.

Maybe the few interviews I have seen of the author has conditioned me somehow, had thought me to gently roll with the punches. In one case, the woman, Isabelle, provided a strong love interest but, finally, lacked the necessary sex drive.