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Just thirty, with a well-paid job, no love life and a terrible attitude, the anti-hero of this grim, funny novel smokes four packs of cigarettes a day and writes weird animal stories in his spare time. A computer programmer by day, he is tolerably content, until he's packed off with a colleague - the sexually-frustrated Raphael Tisserand - to train provincial civil servants in the use of a new computer system

Houellebecq's first novel was a smash hit in France, expressing the misanthropic voice of a generation. Like A Confederacy of Dunces, Houellebecq's bitter, sarcastic and exasperated narrator vociferously expresses his frustration and disgust with the world.

Important places

St.-Cirgues-en-Montagne (1)
Rouen (69)
Lanzarote Island (9)
Saint-Cirgues-en-Montagne (1)


Las Palmas (17)
Paris (3,057)
Seine-Maritime (136)
Ard├Ęche (2)


France (7,260)
Spain (1,881)

Other geographical areas

Europe (50,256)
Southern Europe (7,123)
Western Europe (11,063)
Normandy (350)
Northern European Plain (4,576)
Massif Central (51)