The controversial, gripping novel from the bestselling, highly acclaimed author of ATOMISED and SEROTONIN.
'Essential reading for anyone concerned with the state of the contemporary world' DAILY MAIL
Who, among you, deserves eternal life?
Daniel is a highly successful stand-up comedian who has made a career out of playing outrageously on the prejudices of his public. But at the beginning of the twenty-first century, he has begun to detest laughter in particular and mankind in general. Despite this, Daniel is unable to stop himself believing in the possibility of love.
A thousand years on, war, drought and earthquakes have decimated the earth and Daniel24 lives alone in a secure compound - his only companion, a cloned dog named Fox. Outside, the remnants of the human race roam in packs, while Daniel24 attempts to decipher his predecessor's history. In a nightmarish vision of the implosion of the modern world, he, like his predecessor attempts to fathom the meaning of love, sex, suffering and regret.
Like the New Age camp of The Elementary Particles and the Thai sex tourist hotels of Platform, Houellebecq's latest novel has a self-enclosed setting: the shifting sites at which the Elohimites, a UFO/cloning cult, hold their seminars. Daniel, a shock jock famous for such slogans as "We prefer the Palestinian orgy sluts," narrates what turns out to be his life story. Early on, Daniel's partner, Isabel, leaves him after her breasts begin to droop and she gains some pounds. Then Daniel, following a catastrophic love affair with nubile Spaniard Esther, gets interested in the Elohim, gets close to the "prophet" and witnesses an event that catapults the group into the center of world history. Daniel's part in this converges with his jealousy of Esther. Meanwhile, the West is going to hell in a handbasket, and the Elohim idea of substituting cloning and suicide for reproduction and old age is catching on. Everything ends frighteningly (unless you like clones) and satisfactorily (if you take a cynical enough view). Houellebecq has never written better, yet this novel seems stuck in the groove clunky mini-essays, gonzo porn digressions first etched by his earlier novels. 50,000 announced first printing.