Last night I finished reading Atomised by Michel Houellebecq. BREAK This is a book about two brothers who represent, as far as I can tell, different aspects of the wreck that is, in the author’s eyes, modern society. The stories of the two brothers at the beginning and middle of the book are well told, and one can appreciate how they are a product of their society.

At the end of the book the two stories are concluded one after the other; the brother who has dominated most of the book is out of it, and then there is about 30 pages for the other brother who we know less about. And this part is very strange, very different from the rest of the book, and I have no idea what to make of it.

Throughout there are allusions to theoretical biology and physics and continental philosophy. When Houellebecq talks about Kant and about the Vienna Circle, I know enough to judge that he’s not talking nonsense, but for the rest of it I can’t say whether it’s actually any good, so on this point I would be interested in opinions from anyone who has read it and does understand Hilbert Spaces and/or Derrida.