February 29, 2012
Houellebecq can be a very lazy writer. He turns characters into mouthpieces for semi-digestible sociological theories.
For all his manifest limitations Houellebecq is a writer who bears thinking about—one of few to have emerged from Europe in the last twenty years with any real claim to importance. It is dispiriting that such a preeminent novelist should also be such a tawdry one, and pointless to deny that much of Houellebecq’s force as a writer derives from his ability to tap into base instincts. Still, he isn’t a fraud.