Lanzarote

LanzaroteLanzarote by Michel Houellebecq
Publisher: Flammarion
Released: October 24, 2000
Pages: 87
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Realising that his New Year is probably going to be a disaster, as usual, our narrator, on impulse, walks into a travel agency to book a week in the sun. Sensitive to his limited means and dislike of Muslim countries, the travel agent suggests an island full of 21st century hedonism, set in a bizarre lunar landscape - Lanzarote.

On Lanzarote, one can meet some fascinating human specimens, notably Pam and Barbara - 'non-exclusive' German lesbians - who can give rise to some interesting combinations. Will they succeed in seducing Rudi, the police inspector from Luxembourg, currently living in exile in Brussels? Or will he join the 'Azraelian' sect, as they prepare for humanity to be regenerated by extra-terrestrials? As for our narrator, will he consider his week's holiday on the island a success?

I went into Lanzarote completely blind, knowing only that it’s the subject of the latest Ingvar Ambjørnsen-book about Elling. I heard a strong recommendation about reading this book before reading the Elling-book, as the Elling-book is apparently all about Elling reading and commenting upon Lanzarote.

I didn’t really enjoy this book, but it was too short for me to dislike it. It’s essentially some philosophical musings combined with some immaturely conveyed sexual themes, and exaggerated satire.

I almost certainly didn’t give the book the attention it needed, and probably haven’t given it the thought it deserves. However, the context I read it in, knowing that I’d soon be reading about a character I like very much reading and deliberating over this book, added a dimension to it for me. I kept thinking “What would Elling think about this?” and “Ooo, I look forward until he gets to this part.” which made it a very worthwhile read for me regardless.

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