Platform Sex, tourism, and sex tourism are on the bill in this dirty novel of ideas. Famous for 2000's blowhard novel/cultural critique The Elementary Particles, Houellebecq… Platform Sex, tourism, and sex tourism are on the bill in this dirty novel of ideas. Famous for 2000's blowhard novel/cultural critique The Elementary Particles, Houellebecq… 2003-07-15 Fiction
Review

Platform (2003)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Jul 15, 2003; Writer: Michel Houellebecq; Genre: Fiction

Sex, tourism, and sex tourism are on the bill in this dirty novel of ideas. Famous for 2000's blowhard novel/cultural critique The Elementary Particles, Houellebecq here lightens up -- as much as that's possible for an existential nihilist. Michel -- a soul-numbed civil servant -- meets comely travel exec Valerie on a tour of Thailand. Not content with a passionate affair, they plot to promote hedonistic trips for globe-trotters (prompting digressions on colonialism, consumerism, and the human beast). Houellebecq's sex scenes are hot and bountiful, his essayistic adventures no worse than tolerable, and the schematic misanthropy of his earlier work has mellowed into an easy, aphoristic sardonicism: ''It is in our relations with other people that we gain a sense of ourselves; it's that, pretty much, that makes relations with other people unbearable.''

Originally posted Jul 18, 2003 Published in issue #719 Jul 18, 2003 Order article reprints
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