Commentary A controversial writer

Houellebecq becomes the yellow vests prophet

The book called Serotonin embodies all the hatred that the French controversial writer has for the EU.

The latest novel from Michele Houellebecq offers a dark and saddening vision of Europe. The first reviews are extremely positive, and readers talk about a great novel from an author who can predict the future, as Houellebecq foresaw the yellow vests movement.

Houellebecq’s main character, an agronomist, returns to the French countryside after experiencing several life debacles. And the reality hits him hard there – agricultural policy imposed by the EU has been devastating the countryside. Even though farmers seemed to be passive and resigned at first, later they start mass protests against Brussels, block roads and use all sorts of radical measures.

It all leads to a bloody confrontation with authorities and unrest. Basically, the novel describes recent events in France. However, Houellebecq finished his latest piece a long time before the so-called yellow vests demonstrations against Macron and his government started.

The protagonist is deprived, he believes that common sense is giving way to EU regulations. That’s how the civilization dies, without drama or bloodshed, wrote Houellebecq. He also sees feminism as one of the causes of European decay.

The author brilliantly observes the public sentiment and imagines its consequences. He has a great sense for current affairs and can benefit from it. Also, he enjoys being provocative, just as he was in a recent interview with Harper’s Magazine. Houellebecq called Europe a stupid idea that became a nightmare and praised US President Trump as one of the best leaders in the history of the United States, adding that he finds him horrible on a personal level. 

According to Le Monde, Serotonin is a technically flawless novel in which Houellebecq juggles with many writing styles. Others call it a romantic book with some disturbing aspects like the overarching cynicism and explicitly described violence. The Czech translation is expected to arrive this summer, a dark and saddening vision of Europe