The Elementary Particles

From: Chris Fedeli (
Date: Sun Jan 07 2001 - 20:18:17 MST

Anyone read this? I'd like to hear an extropian review before I plunk down
my nickel.

(from "GENETIC CROSSROADS" #14 [formerly the Techno-Eugenics Email


French Best-Selling Novel Celebrates a Post-Human Future

The new literary-artistic embrace of the techno-eugenic vision continues
with publication in English of the 1998 French bestseller The Elementary
Particles by Michel Houellebecq (Knopf, 2000). Houellebecq offers an
unrelentingly dreary, dispiriting assessment of the possibility of
meaningful human relationships at the turn of the millenium, but holds
out the promise that genetic engineering and cloning will allow creation
of a new post-human species that transcends humanity's tragic flaws.

>From the book (pp 262-264): "There remain some humans of the old species.
At present their extinction seems inevitable. Contrary to the doomsayers,
this extinction is taking place peaceably, despite occasional acts of
violence, which also continue to decline. It has been surprising to note
the meekness, resignation, perhaps even secret relief with which humans
have consented to their own passing."

>From the reviews:
- "This remarkable best-seller is France's biggest literary sensation
  since Francois Sagan...or since Albert Camus" -- The Economist
- "The great novel of the end of the millenium" -- Elle (France)
- "Here are ideas, here are dreams, here is a great novel" -- Le Monde
- "A tragically beautiful book that constitutes a kind of epitaph for
  the hopes of the twentieth century" -- The Sunday Times

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