Christopher Hart

Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Cet Homme?

Platform

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Heinemann 362pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Houellebecq remains a very difficult writer to assess: a giant amongst pygmies, or a sensationalist fraud? He combines the misanthropy of Céline with the dystopian futurism of J G Ballard and the bad-tempered sex of Philip Roth. He is often lacking in subtlety, but can sometimes, as in the breathtaking epilogue to his last translated novel, Atomised, be one of the most extraordinary writers of our time.

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