Read: September 2006
Atomised is quite simply brilliant. Houellebecq combines scientific theory with philosophy to build an explanation of our age. The depiction is bleak; an isolated, sexually desperate, emotionally unstable time in which happiness is subsumed to some fake, hippy inspired, ephemeral vision of satisfaction. This book is told as the history of two brothers, utterly characteristic of their atomised age, as they go through life chasing shadows, never involved in the life around them. Atomised begins slowly and it takes a while to realise just how intricately constructed the plot and characterisation is, but come the end you will be panting for more, scratching your head and lost for words. Despite its subject matter, this is one of the most readable novels I have encountered; Houellebecq has a talent for making complex issues appear surprisingly simple. Read this, it is a modern masterpiece.
8 out of 10