The Elementary Particles

Reviewed on , book by Michel Houellebecq

Meet two unhappy brothers with a chaotic childhood. One is sexually frustrated in pursuit of his own special version of happiness, the other a brilliant biology professor who successfully pioneers human cloning. Through this, he loses any desire to reproduce, working backwards from that, much of the purpose in his life, landing on him on this Catch-22: “It’s a curious idea to reproduce when you don’t even like life.” Houellebecq is brutally honest and manages to put his finger on many episodes of relatable, raw human emotion. The epilogue completely re-frames the entire plot, which is a fascinating twist.