Disappointing. The otherwise observant and sharp critique of post modern and brainless movements of the self appointed intellectual Western European elite succumbs to populism. The protagonist of the book as an agriculturalist who has, of course, worked for evil Monsanto, doesn't distance himself of the eco-romanticism that is so popular as ill-informed among the affluent urban elites, who afford themselves in their luxury cars luxury organic food from happy cows, ignoring that feeding 8 billion people requires smart, efficient, mechanized and industrial production methods. Houellebecq simply hasn't done his homework when he enters the agricultural arena in this book. Just one example: the friend of the protagonist had a herd of 300 milk cows that he milks twice a day by hand alone. That's simply impossible. If that friend's production philosophy and methods weren't central to one of the core messages of the book, one could simply ignore that. Where he was visionary in Lanzarote and Atomised, he takes a 180 degree turn and adopts popular myths of land uses and food production that have long gone.
Most readers, I assume, would take all this as the backdrop to his disillusioned and ever explicit descriptions of modern relationships between the sexes, where Houellebecq stays true to himself. But that's what we expect from him anyway, and he reliably delivers. I have always found the backdrop parts of his books to be the more fascinating ones.
Not here. But I'm sure, the next one will be better again.
- Hardcover: 334 pages
- Publisher: DuMont Buchverlag GmbH (7 January 2019)
- Language: German
- ISBN-10: 3832183884
- ISBN-13: 978-3832183882
- Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3 x 21.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 481 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
58,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #42 in Social Fiction