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The Map and The Territory


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Having read my first Houellebecq (Atomised), I resolved to read more. This is my second forray into his work, and while it wasn't as good as Atomised, it was, nonetheless, a wonderful reading experience and frankly, a damn sight more creative and interesting than most of the turgid contemporary novels I mistakenly read because they're nominated for Booker prizes.

 

The book is about an artist called Jed who seeks to paint the famous writer, you guessed it, Michel Houellebecq. I enjoyed Houellebecq making himself a character, and especially enjoyed the moments when he mocked his own character (at one point he muses on whether Houellebecq might be a paedophile).

 

I'll put the final third of the book in spoilers because I honestly didn't see the it coming.


 

Spoiler

 

In the final part of the book, the famous writer Michel Houellebecq is brutally murdered. Decapitated no less. His murder is not especially important in terms of the plot, or who did it (no-one especially significant), it's more the fact that it's a curious exploration of celebrity and death, Houellebecq's using his own fame as a device for looking at those themes. 

 

Frankly, this book, though not being anything profound, was significantly more fun and enjoyable to read than most of the crap I read these days. Original and thought-provoking. I will definitely seek out more of his work.

 

Edited by hux
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