"He had been carrying condoms around for years and had never used one of them—after all, whores always had their own."
I'm pretty sure I once swore off reading any more Houellebecq after The Possibility of an Island, but my commitment to making a dent into the 1001 novel list meant that wasn't on the cards. How to summarise this book, hmm.... sex and death.
I finished it more depressed than when I opened it and I'd had a pretty ordinary day at work.
Here is a novel that explores the endless possibility ignited by sexual awakening, the guilt, the weirdness and it's inevitable climax in the loss of fecundity, and the rot of old age. Disease, flabby skin and inability to perform set the horrendous scene of the outlook of post middle age. Perhaps if I was younger I would look more favourably on this book given that it is written with dexterous skill; but man, it was just a major buzz kill.
Houellebecq does have an amazing and visceral way with words, I think I just needed something a little bit more upbeat this week, something happier than loose lady bits, ineffectual orgies and messed up relationships - I'm talking about the book people - minds out of the gutter. That being said, if any of these subjects appeal, then knock yourself out reading this one.
3 out of 5 things get worse with age apparently