Platform: A Novel

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Knopf, 2003 - Fiction - 259 pages
12 Reviews
Michel Renault is a human void. Following the death of the father he barely knew, he endures his civil ser-
vice job while eking out an existence of prepackaged pleasure, hollow friendships, TV dinners, and pornography. On a group holiday in Thailand, however, he meets the shyly compelling Vale rie, who soon pursues an agenda that Michel himself could never have thought possible: his own humanization.
Back in Paris, they plunge into an affair that strays into S& M, public sex, and partner swapping, even as they devise a scheme to save Vale rie' s ailing travel company by capitalizing on the only trade Michel has seen flourish in the Third World. Before long, he quits his job, and their business model for " sex tourism" is gradually implemented. But when they return to Thailand, where Michel' s philosophy will be put into practice, he discovers that sex is neither the most consuming nor dangerous of passions . . .
From a suburbanized West crippled by hate crime to an East subsumed by materialism, Michel Houellebecq explores-- with characteristic provocativeness, but also with surprising tenderness-- the emotions that seem most resilient to any influence: love and hate. Platform is, as Anita Brookner has written, " a brilliant novel, casting a prescient eye on the abuses and inequalities that lead to wider trouble."

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mijk - LibraryThing

This book is simply dreadful. Yes it introduces the reader to a certain kind of (sexist, racist, homophobic, smug, conceited, narcissistic) male subject, supposedly common today, and i guess it can be ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

Wednesday: I am hoping the novel picks up in intensity soon. We are getting ready for our trip to Thailand and I am just not so into this book yet. Perhaps I have read too much Bernhard, Erpenbeck ... Read full review


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About the author (2003)

Michel Houellebecq's The Elementary Particles, an international best-seller, won the prestigious Prix Novembre in France as well as the lucrative International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He lives in Ireland.

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