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Just thirty, with a well-paid job, depression and no love life, the narrator and anti-hero par excellence of this grim, funny and clever novel smokes four packs of cigarettes a day and writes weird animal stories in his spare time. A computer programmer by day, he is tolerably content, until, that is, he's packed off with a colleague - the unimaginably ugly, sexually-frustrated virgin Raphael Tisserand - to train provincial civil servants in the use of a new computer system... A painfully realistic portrayal of the vanishing freedom of a world governed by science and by the empty rituals of daily life.
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. Houellebecq’s second collection of poems, Le sens du combat (The Meaning of the Fight), obtained the Prix Flore in 1996. In 1998, he received the prestigious Grand Prix National des Lettres Jeunes Talents for his literary work. He has also won the Prix Novembre (for The Elementary Particles ). His first album, Presence humaine, was released in 2000. He currently lives in Ireland.