The Reading Room

Michel Houellebecq’s ‘Submission’

Houllebecq’s vision of France in the next decade..

subI have just bought a copy of that most talked about of novels; ‘Submission’ by Michel Houllebecq. Released in France on the day of the horrific Charlie Hebdo murders by Islamist terrorists, it looks at France in 2022 being run by a Muslim political party which upholds traditional Muslim beliefs and practices.

Whilst it has clearly attracted much publicity, both good and bad, one has to be careful not to fall into the trap of buying a book based on it being controversial. I have read many so-called controversial books and watched similarly labelled films to know that most simply do not warrant the time spent reading and watching them. But in Houllebecq’s case I had already read ‘Atomised’ and so today, felt confident in buying it.

The reviews of ‘Submission’ speak for themselves, he is a gifted writer and it is indeed a hugely important issue not just in France but the rest of Europe too. It has been written and released into a hotbed of political, religious and social unrest and regardless of one’s views it takes courage to do such a thing when others have paid a very high price. Houllebecq has form when it comes to speaking out, in 2002 he escaped an 18 month prison term for declaring Islam ‘stupid’ in an interview with the literary magazine, Lire which, I suppose, only helped to increase his notoriety and increase book sales.

I am looking forward to reading it.

Categories: The Reading Room

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