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Old 13.07.2015, 11:57
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Re: Soumission (Submission) - Controversial new French novel

Okay, I'm reving this thread top see if anybody has actually read the book by now and has any fresh inbsights based on that.

Here's my five rappen worth.

- The book is really a phenomenally good read. I read it pretty quickly. The narrative is fairly lightweight yet gripping.

- I didn't feel the book to be especially anti-Muslim. Most of the Muslim's who appeared in marginal roles appeared to be reasonable. The only clowns are the intellectual French guys and these continue to act like clowns after converting to Islam.

- By and large the plotline has credibility, although there are details that don't make sense, such as lack of protest and the speed of the transformation.

- Houellebecq's political analysis is pretty much spot on, with the political parties having to put their cards on the table and reveal their real allegiances and agendas. By and by the book also analyses the various reactionary, right wing and conservativeand other fringe political streams (ranging from Distributism to Third Way to full blown Neo-Fascism). To me these seem mostly accurate in their depictions and inter-connectedness, but not very profound. They nevertheless make an entertaining read. In the final pages a theory on how sexuality and religion are mutually inter-controlled is put forward. This seems to be something from a crackpot reactionary if the author didn't make it up on the spot, yet the narratve assumes it to be true and brushes aside any feminist objections with it. I had the feeling the author was cutting corners here.

- One interesting aspect in the book weas a pamphlet written by one of the French professor's who had converted to Islam. This pamphlet is the major source of information on Islam for the book's main character, Francois. The pamphlet is woefully superficial and is full of the type of statements I'm sure all of us have read on pamphlets you get handed out on the street. Francois admits doubting the accuracy behind the statements but does not question them or seek independent verification. He converts because it suits him.
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