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Whatever
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About the Author

Novelist and poet Michel Houellebecq was born in 1958, on the French island of Reunion. At the age of six, Michel was given over to the care of his paternal grandmother, a communist, whose family name he later adopted. His literary career began when, at twenty, he started to move in poetic circles in France. Whatever, Houellebecq s first novel, has been translated into several languages. A novel of darkness and despair, it is, at the same time, full of humour. In 1998, he received the prestigious Grand Prix National des Lettres Jeunes Talents for the entirety of his literary output. He has also won the Prix Novembre (for Atomised). In the spring of 2000 saw the debut of his first album, Presence humaine, where he sings a number of his poems to the music of Bertrand Burgalat. He currently lives in Ireland.

Reviews

The balance between philosophy and narrative detail is perfectly judged; the book slips down easily like a bad oyster. As is the nature of such things, it is grimly comic -- Nicholas Lezard * Guardian *
The mischief-making enfant terrible of new-wave French fiction * Independent *
Le grand fromage du jour * The Face *
It could well turn out to be a cult here too... Astonishing * Time Out *
Snappy, bite-sized, and often very funny. Is it European exhaustion? Is it the soul of man under late capitalism? Millenial gloom? Post-Christian despair? Is it the Death of Love? Whatever. But Houellebecq describes it perfectly * Literary Review *
Funny, terrifying and nauseating * Independent *
This boy needs serious therapy. He may be beyond help * Washington Post *

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