Submission (William Heinemann)

Published April 7, 2015 by William Heinemann Ltd.

ISBN:
978-1-78515-025-8
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4 stars (15 reviews)

It’s 2022. François is bored. He’s a middle-aged lecturer at the New Sorbonne University and an expert on J. K. Huysmans, the famed nineteenth-century novelist associated with the Decadent movement. But François’s own decadence is of considerably smaller scale. He sleeps with his students, eats microwave dinners, and watches YouPorn.

Meanwhile, it’s election season, and in an alliance with the Socialists, France’s new Islamic party sweeps to power―and Islamic law is instituted. Women are veiled, polygamy is encouraged, and François is offered an irresistible academic advancement―on the condition that he converts to Islam.

A darkly comic masterpiece from one of France’s great writers, Submission by Michel Houellebecq has become an international sensation and one of the most discussed novels of our time.

17 editions

Review of 'Submission' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

In Submission, Houellebecq satirises academics, politicians and political journalists, but Submission is not a satire. Although the scenario that a Muslim Party might find itself poised to win a presidential election is unrealistic, Houellebecq reinforce an image of France in which Islam hangs overhead like the sword of Damocles. It’s a dark and depressing image, especially if you are a woman. It’s a book about submission, women submission to men and men’s submission to god, as Islam envisages it. While I was reading it, I could stop thinking that women are almost absent from the story. They have resigned to the insubordinate role that Islam and men have set for them. There was no reaction or resistance, they just accept that happiness resides in the most absolute submission. It is “Happiness in Slavery”, as it has captured in Jean Paulhan’s Story of O.

I liked the book but I didn’t …

Review of 'Submission (William Heinemann)' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Have you ever picked up a book and then wanted to cancel all your plans just so you can spend time reading? It is a nice feeling and one that I experienced with Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission. I know this not an experience you would want to have all the time, but I am sure my wife was happy to spend more time playing Dragon Age. However, I think it is a rare treat to be so captivated by a book that everything else needs to be placed on hold. I have been wanting to read Houellebecq for a very long time and now that I have experienced his writing, I am upset that I waited so long.

Submission takes place in the near future, 2022 to be exact. France is about to hold their presidential election and two candidates are looking to be the favourites. The next leader could …

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