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The Black Pill of Michel Houellebeq: Serotonin By Peter West
Michel Houellebecq is back with new book entitled Serotonin, named after the sleep hormone, of course. I have not read any of his work, but people on other websites much smarter than me, think he is grand, and who am I to disagree? Indeed, that last sentence, when first typed had not one correct word in it. Anyway, enough self-praise, this French writer, has been accused of racism, misogyny and Islamophobia, and was once hit by Frances’ race hate laws, getting off, so he must be doing something right.
As I do not have the money to buy books, even struggling to pay bills, I seek out reviews and hope for the best. Apparently, this French guy writes about the impending collapse of Western civilisation, something of mild interest to me:
“In his fiction, Michel Houellebcq has chronicled the deracinated state of modern France, as he sees it. Made selfish by the generation of ’68, detached from morality by easy access to pornography, alienated from its history, numbed by mood medication, destabilised by mass migration and rendered powerless by the rise of transnational authorities, France (and Europe generally) is slipping into social, cultural and moral disintegration. It is, as he sees it, inevitable, imminent and irreversible. Houellebecq is the ultimate ‘blackpilled’ author. He offers readers no intimation of the rescue or survival of Western civilisation. In his new novel, Serotonin, we encounter another snapshot of France’s plummet into oblivion. Not that there aren’t pleasures and diversions to be had as the tragedy of Europe is cast as a grotesque comedy. As usual, Houellebecq’s protagonist is his alter ego, in this instance a character called Florent-Claude Labrouste. Labrouste is aged 46, a heavy drinker and smoker, cynical, sour, tired and anti-social. His ‘flabby and painful decline’ is analogous to the collapse of his society. He is employed by the Ministry of Agriculture to write reports, where he observes the empirical data showing the French agricultural industry being outperformed by Argentina’s. He is disgusted by fashionable ecological living, drives a diesel 4×4 in Paris and refuses to recycle. His vitality drained, he is blunted by alcohol and reliant on mood medication, and is doing a job he treats with contempt. Labrouste is shown to be as pitiable as he is pampered. Without living relatives, Labrouste is Houellebecq’s heir to Existential Man – adrift in a meaningless, indifferent universe which he tries (and fails) to make meaningful.”
Ugggh! Why would I want to red about this, since so much of it describes people I know such as myself, especially the loneliness and alcohol to deaden the pain of existence. No, I want light and fluffy, happy reading, telling me that all is going to be well, words that tuck me in at night with a light kiss. Otherwise if I want to be brutalised, all I need to do is to leave the front door unlocked and the unfriendly neighbourhood home invaders will take care of the rest.