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The Possibility of an Island
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About the Author

Michel Houellebecq has won the prestigious Prix Novembre in France as well as the lucrative International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He lives in Ireland.

Reviews

Upended by a midlife crisis, Daniel enters a cult that aims to secure eternal happiness-through cloning. A 50,000-copy first printing and a nine-city tour; from the bad-boy French author and winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Like the New Age camp of The Elementary Particles and the Thai sex tourist hotels of Platform, Houellebecq's latest novel has a self-enclosed setting: the shifting sites at which the Elohimites, a UFO/cloning cult, hold their seminars. Daniel, a shock jock famous for such slogans as "We prefer the Palestinian orgy sluts," narrates what turns out to be his life story. Early on, Daniel's partner, Isabel, leaves him after her breasts begin to droop and she gains some pounds. Then Daniel, following a catastrophic love affair with nubile Spaniard Esther, gets interested in the Elohim, gets close to the "prophet" and witnesses an event that catapults the group into the center of world history. Daniel's part in this converges with his jealousy of Esther. Meanwhile, the West is going to hell in a handbasket, and the Elohim idea of substituting cloning and suicide for reproduction and old age is catching on. Everything ends frighteningly (unless you like clones) and satisfactorily (if you take a cynical enough view). Houellebecq has never written better, yet this novel seems stuck in the groove-clunky mini-essays, gonzo porn digressions-first etched by his earlier novels. 50,000 announced first printing. (May 26) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Bewitching . . . Ingenious . . . The Possibility of an Island is often brilliant and searing." --The New York Times Book Review"A skillful amalgam of prophesy, satire and science fiction, covering some of the same ground as Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake but with much more finesse and conviction." --Washington Post Book World"A sharp check on our hubris, our complacent assumption that things are getting better and better. It is always worth asking whether they are."--Wall Street Journal"Brutally honest, hilarious and often crudely explicit . . . The social criticism offered in this novel is often surprisingly relevant and revealing, [with] an underlying empathy for the plight of humanity."--Richmond Times-Dispatch"At times funny, brutal, and revolting, [The Possibility of an Island] pushes notions of hope and hopelessness to a dismal and logical conclusion."--The Economist

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