Book review: Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq

Houellebecq’s squalid satire sinks into shallow self-parody

3rd November, 2019

Fiction: Serotonin, By Michel Houellebecq Translated by Shaun Whiteside, William Heinemann, €16.10

By page 70 of Michel Houellebecq’s new novel, the narrator, Florent-Claude, has stepped out of his life and become “voluntarily missing”. He abandons his expensive Paris apartment, his Japanese girlfriend Yuzu, and his job as a contractual worker in the Ministry of Agriculture.

He doesn’t go far: he moves into a hotel in the 13th Arondissement. Here he...

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