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Plateforme ➜ [KINDLE] ❆ Plateforme By Michel Houellebecq ➦ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Michel Renault jest człowiekiem pustym przeciętnym niepociągającym Pracuje w ministerstwie kultury wiedzie monotonne życie a jego zainteresowania nie wykraczają poza seks i telewizję Odziedzicz Michel Renault jest człowiekiem pustym przeciętnym niepociągającym Pracuje w ministerstwie kultury wiedzie monotonne życie a jego zainteresowania nie wykraczają poza seks i telewizję Odziedziczony po ojcu spadek przeznacza na podróż do Tajlandii raju seksturystów Tam poznaje młodą i piękną Valerie pracującą w biurze podróży Po powrocie do Francji zostają kochankami i wspólnie wprowadzają w życie pomysł Michela zorganizowaną seksturystykę do krajów Trzeciego Świata Tylko tak bowiem twierdzi bohater Zachód i Wschód mogą pomóc sobie nawzajem.

10 thoughts on “Plateforme

  1. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    An 18 rated review of an 18 rated book If you don’t want to read about the gory details of fleshy entangulations and of bodily fluid by the bucketful then you need to steer well clear of M Houellebec He’s all about that The sex is like the worst kind of bad cartoon porn and we can’t possibly be meant to take it seriously I don’t really know what it’s doing in here He’s trying to make a serious or black comedy ironic point about the state of first worldthird world relationships and how everyone could be made happier if we only just lightened up about sex tourism And he scuppers his own novel because he includes this stuff Michel – that’s the protagonist yes same name as the novelist and his brilliant girlfriend Valerie are out on the town in Paris Now read on It was a Saturday night the place was uite full We met a really nice black couple; she was a nurse and he was a jazz drummer three sentences later We finished our drinks and headed up to the rooms He suggested a double penetration to Valerie She agreed as long as I was the one to sodomise herSo the two guys do the two girls and I must admit I lolled at this Everything went smoothly I was agreeably surprised by my own staminaWell bien sur mon ami that’s what happens in porn The sex is always stratospheric the orgasms always geyser forth like an Icelandic hot spring and everyone is able to have about five or six per hour the gentlemen’s members are always like several iron bars welded together they never ever suffer from erectile dysfunction and the girls always regard what comes out of the end of them like normal people regard a glass of Vosne Romanee burgundy the girls are always gagging to have everything shoved everywhere and they always want to do it again ten minutes later and no one has any diseasesSo Michel and Valerie’s evening struck me as a little unlikely but maybe I should get out Or not of courseA few pages before that they were in Cuba on holiday having sex in their hotel room and they’ve left the curtains open A maid sees them Valerie got up walked towards her and held out her hands And that’s all it takes – the maid is young gorgeous and completely into the idea of a threesome at the drop of a broom Mais bien sur again She’s not 52 varicose veined and asthmatic Well this is all ridiculous French Swingers A Go Go and it makes it Platform a very silly novel indeedThis novel is about sex tourism and never mentions drugs or the miserable lives of the sex workers In fact all the sex workers are happy hookers who are glad to be able to work that thing to bring joy to the face of whatever potbellied manbreasted Western male they are lucky enough to have copped off with I should say that this did not make Platform resound with believability for meAnyway in Platform we get the narrative of a disenchanted loner who goes on a sex holiday to Thailand and hooks up with one of his fellow tourists Valerie and falls in love And they have great and plentiful sex see above He’s in his 40s she’s 28 with a cleavage to drown in and she likes girls too Naturellement So this is standard male fantasy territory in porn and in Hollywood all males over the age of 40 are able to captivate a knockout girl in her 20s Also in arty movies same thing Look at all Woody Allen movies I saw Manhattan recently in that a late 30s Woody is sleeping with Marielle Hemingway who is 17 Sorry I digress Added to that and given eual prominence is a steady stream of piuant miserablist ruminations on the state of life in the West I cannot deny these are hysterical Men live alongside one another like cattle; it is a miracle if once in a while they manage to share a bottle of boozeIt 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 unbearableIn most circumstances of my life I have had about as much freedom as a vacuum cleanerGradually everything becomes too difficult that’s what life comes down toWhen all’s said and done the idea of the uniueness of the individual is nothing than pompous absurdityAnything can happen in life especially nothing And the aphorism which seems to sum up MH’s jeremiad pretty well We have created a system in which it has simply become impossible to live; and what’s we continue to export it Anyway MH the protagonist goes on at length about how in the West we all run around working like mad and making money and in the process becoming so exhausted that sex – never mind love – becomes far too much trouble We’ve become so picky and self centred we wouldn’t dream of devoting ourselves to the pleasure of others even for 15 minutes So we have money but we’re miserable because we still want the sex and the affection Therefore we should all – men and women – go to Thailand for 2 weeks every year There the natives have nothing except their extremely attractive bodies They love nothing than to devote their entire working lives to making you – yes you come on no false modesty please – achieve the kind of orgasms you never knew were possible You know you want toTo sum up the rest of the novel – “and we’d have gotten away with it too ifn it weren’t for them pesky Muslim terrorists”This was a fun novel to read – it was so odd so ridiculous so pompous so off the scale unrealistic so almost racist so insulting to all and sundry including specific Frederick Forsyth and John Grisham novels he takes a page or so to slag off these books uoting from them without any acknowledgement anywhere so downbeat and so raving mad that I should give it 3 stars except that it really is almost complete rubbish

  2. Manny Manny says:

    Plateforme contains a remarkable amount of sex and is inordinately depressing but it's well written engaging and uite often funny Houellebec evidently believes that he's watching the last days of Western civilization if not of humanity as a whole and he's interested in exploring what went wrong He thinks that it's something very much to do with how we experience sex and how the desire for sex acts on us So here we have dull inert 40 ish Michel who hates his job has no partner or other meaningful relationship and in fact no interests at all in life The only thing that he actually enjoys is patronizing the occasional prostitute When he's able to afford it he goes off to Thailand for a spot of sex tourism As he wistfully tells us Thai prostitutes are the best in the world I recently read the same thing in another French novel and for all I know it's true We get to see a couple of Michel's encounters with Thai massage girls; these scenes were nicely done and came across as credible The girls are sympathetically portrayedOn his trip Michel meets Valérie an attractive 28 year old He doesn't uite manage to respond to her obvious advances but she gives him her telephone number Shortly after they get back to Paris they get together Things completely click between them Michel is at first unsure why Valérie is interested in him She's young and hot he's middle aged and dull However she has a secret She's very successful in her career as a low ranking executive in a travel agency After they've been to bed for the first time she confesses how much she makes; it's a lot than he does And she's a workaholic who puts in eighty hours or so most weeks This I imagine is enough to scare most guys off But Michel doesn't feel threatened at all Valérie is enchanted Though Michel never uite admits it they are blissfully in loveSo far I thought the book was surprisingly positive for a Houellebec but I should of course have known better As people do when they're in love they each try to give each other the thing they want most Michel's a sex addict and Valérie who has a sweet and generous nature tries to help him live out all the sexual fantasies he's never had a chance to experience Some of these aren't very tasteful But oddly enough it's what he does for her that's genuinely repulsive Michel's an insightful thinker and as Valérie describes her life working as a strategist at a top ranking travel agency he helps her refine a new and logical idea Many people like him really go on the trips to do sex tourism; so why not take the next step and reorganize the enterprise with that thought explicitly in mind? From now on you know something bad will eventually happen and indeed it doesHouellebec appears to believe that there is no hope for us at all but he offers interesting new angles on why that might be I wish I could immediately say why his arguments were exaggerated and wrongSo I feel that no one is buying my arguments about why this book has a worthwhile side to it Let me give it one last shot First everyone else seems to have read it in English and I do get the impression from Choupette's comments that the English translation is poor The French original is elegantly and wittily written For example here's a nice passage from an early chapter which I'm sure will appeal to many GR readers Je passai ma dernière journée de congé dans differents agences de voyage J'aimais les catalogues de vacances leur abstraction leur manière de réduire les lieux du monde à une seuence limitée de bonheurs possibles et de tarifs; j'appreciais particulierement le système d'étoiles pour indiuer l'intensité de bonheur u'on était en droit d'éspérerI passed my last free day in a few travel agencies I love the abstract nature of travel brochures the way in which they reduce the whole world to a finite seuence of possible types of pleasure and their associated prices; I particularly appreciate the system by which a number of stars is used to indicate the intensity of pleasure one has the right to expectYou see later that this is not just an empty epigram but sums up an important part of the book's argument Similarly Michel's father's death though it appears random at the time is in retrospect important foreshadowing The novel is in fact uite tightly constructedMichel and Valérie are of course monsters but the poor translation means that you aren't even tempted to sympathize with them In French I did want to support them at times The scene where Michel admits to the other members of his group that he patronizes Thai prostitutes I found for example very funny and his interlocutor came across as a PC idiot I'd be interested to know how English readers reacted to this passageWhat I found scary and convincing about Plateforme was the coherent case it made that sex tourism isn't the regrettable exception; rather it sums up the First World's way of dealing with the Third World The author also did a lot to show you how the mechanisms worked Throughout most of the book I had a hard time accepting Valérie as an evil person She loves her job and takes great pleasure in doing it to the best of her ability Michel loves her and he wants to help her succeed But the conseuence of that is that they cooperate in building up a gigantic network of prostitution They know they're doing it but the logic of the market means that they don't feel they have any choice They don't see themselves as bad people and some of the time I found myself accepting their version of reality I thought that was uite interestingI just noticed the ads that Google put next to this review Asian women look for men Women from Philippines Thailand and other asian countrieswwwAsianKissesde Meet Thai Ladies Beautiful Thai Women Seeking Men For Love Marriage Join Free Now wwwThaiLoveLinkscomI'm sorry I must admit that I find that funnySome thoughts If a book makes you think this much can it be all bad? It seems to me that there is a tight connection between Plateforme and Les Particules Élémentaires which Houellebec wrote just before it In both books the central theme is an analysis of contemporary sexual behavior from the point of view of Chicago school economic theory As another reviewer said there are many resonances with Naomi Klein's exposition in The Shock DoctrineI know as one might put it fuck all about economics but it seems to me that Les Particules primarily takes a macroeconomic view and argues that Western societies sexually as well as economically are becoming stratified with a substantial proportion of the population relegated to the position of essentially having nothing Plateforme on the other hand appears to be a micro economic analysis; it focuses on the individual decisions made by the sexual consumer and how the aggregate of these many micro decisions together build up the overall sexual economic structureI find Houellebec's analysis very interesting but the assumption I'm least ready to accept is that most men irrespective of their own age would now automatically prefer to have sex with young women in the 18 25 age group Personally I don't feel that way I'm afraid however that I can't offer any hard evidence against Houellebec's assertion and the huge mainstream success of the porn industry does tend to support it This does rather take us back to the initial point Choupette made in her review As she put itIt reads like the fantasy of some horny middle aged shit with nothing better to do with his time like one of those disgusting old men who stares at my legs on the train It's enough to make a girl wear pants for goodness' sakeWell exactly Houellebec's arguing that most men are now like that except that some of them aren't staring in such an obvious way But is his claim in fact true? I'd love to see a serious empirical study Meanwhile you might want to answer this pollWell I won't pretend that it proves anything but of the twelve people who have so far answered my poll not one said that they would prefer their sexual partner to be between 18 and 25 The most popular answers were 25 35 and Age genuinely doesn't matter to meOf course they could be a very skewed sample Or they could be lying Or both If anyone is able to repeat this experiment using a better methodology please let me know what you discover

  3. Jibran Jibran says:

    He's not stupid but I don't like him He goes out of his way to shock people to make himself unpleasantI enjoy a juicy controversy I support writers who show courage to take on controversial ideas and contentious issues and put them to a test of literature to examine its ins and outs with an honesty and skill reuired of an artist without a care for what the easily offended might say eg; I’m incensed when some self righteous people denounce Lolita solely for the nature of its topicNow that out of the way it seems that Michel Houellebec modus operandi is to think up cardboard characters largely indistinguishable from one another and have them utter the most outrageous things to trigger as many people as possible and see how much of a stir he can make; and while he’s at it spice it up with a repetition of crass tasteless pornographic sex scenes to lure those readers who’d otherwise might not have an interest in reading his books Say outrageous things amid the orgasmic din of double penetration and flood of semenic spurts And let’s repeat that again for the next 50 pagesIn a nutshell it is a brutal satire of the West a bitter social critiue which often than not turns into crude and toneless social commentary of the continent's self image and its institutions The underlying premise is interesting the West is on the path to irreversible decline society and culture are on the edge if haven’t already become a caricature of themselves social breakdown has led to the loss of love and intimacy and the people have lost the most precious thing in life true sexual fulfillment and the honesty to seek it These are fascinating parameters and no doubt would ruffle many feathers The game’s onI was sufficiently engaged for one third of the novel when the protagonist and his group had been travelling in Thailand I found their reactions to the new experience of Asia their preconceived notions about culture and people being subjected to satire So far so funny but he lost me soon and it became an ordeal to read through the rest of the storyI might be guilty of over interpreting if I entertain the view that the writer might have created his namesake protagonist as an inelegant unpleasant alienated dead faced mirthless interesting in nothing whatever but passably handsome and sex obsessed middle aged French male of middling career as a symbol of the decaying West itself out there to find sexual spiritual nirvana by exoticising the nimble undemanding submissive uncomplaining bodies of Asian prostitutes It is again the exotic East where the West finds its own self If that is so it makes a lot of sense why he – and his lover Valerie – are the way they are But this still doesn’t solve the problem of him failing to get things off the ground The dry plotless flat stretches of text bereft of colour sudden and unjustifiable shifts of perspective and locations and an oversupply of porn makes it a cumbersome read So much so that when I turned over the last page the whole experience of reading it compared with having been come at in the faceI don’t even need to touch on the so called controversies he so loves to start up There is little of the intelligent treatment of any ideas and views his characters have Whether it’s naked misogyny borderline racism and bigotry nouveau Orientalism thinly disguised Islamophobia – everything is thrown in into the mix uncooked Some who have read it in French have commented on the poor uality of the English translation That might be the case but I still can’t see how a better translation will salvage the novel from the aforementioned criticismsOctober '18

  4. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    Senryu ReviewWhen sex tourism meets Islamic terrorisma white man is sad

  5. Chris_P Chris_P says:

    Julian Barnes informs us that Mario Vargas Llosa once described Houellebec's Platform as insolent He meant it as a praise and I totally agree There's nothing optimistic here No silver lining in reality's dense smog but no degradation either Only raw misery and a steady pace through modern age's thick shit Platform is a good example of form following function We watch everything through the eyes of a 40 year old man who seems to be alienated from everything and everyone in a Meursault kind of way He lives in a world where the western people seem to live robotically work spend fuck die in their nests while the East is merely a punch bag for their neuroses A fuckland which serves as a medium to blow some steam off through sex with ever willing girls andor all kinds of fetishes and perversions West is the pillar of the world whereas in the East women have to sell their bodies in order to make a living Now rationalization commands us to adopt some ridiculous beliefs sometimes like we may very well be doing them a favor They need money we need sex They sell we buy One could say that we are their benefactors even We are the ones that put food to their tables and so on That's or less the reality Houellebec depicts in his novel Yes the sex scenes are purely pornographic but is it really any wonder?The protagonist experiences a certain enlightenment which is somewhat different than Meursault's A change that could be radical but is merely subtle enough however to offer him a fleeting glimpse of something that resembles happiness But can there really be such a thing when conseuences need to be paid? It could be that Meursault has evolved and now turns his gun towards a different direction Afterall there are many ways of killing an ArabWhile the prose is mostly dry as a wasteland there is a number of really strong moments where our hero breaks if only momentarily his mental boundaries and makes important uestions which are directly transferred to the reader At the same time the immediacy of the writing style gives the novel an unpleasantly realistic aura that serves as a starting point for several uestionings The fact that what we read is in the mind of an unsympathetic individual but yet seems so true and real causes a certain discomfort that only honesty can exorcise Honesty and gutsHouellebec's Platform has been accused of being misogynic racist and pornographic But what if it's not Platform that's all that but our own society? And what if it's simply time for us to reap what we've sown? That would be something of a start I guess4 stars

  6. Meike Meike says:

    This book is a fascinating mess Houellebec attacks modern day capitalism and the atomization of society dissects the tourism industry ponders Islamic terrorism – oh yes and there’s uite a lot of pornographic writing in this text Our protagonist is Michel yup like the author a guy in his early forties who works for the French Ministry of Culture where he mostly does calculations and sometimes gets confronted with ridiculous artistic projects that get monetized by the state as we all know Houellebec has always been a huge fan of the cultural establishment – not Michel lives a very isolated life and has a hard time maintaining human relationships thus being somewhat exemplary for the much discussed “loneliness epidemic” In his spare time he hangs out in peep shows where he is looking for human contact and sexual relief When his father dies Michel takes a round trip in Thailand with a French travel agency It is there where he meets and falls in love with 27 year old Valérie who herself works in the higher ranks of the French tourism industry Together with a colleague of hers they develop a concept for organized sex tourism which becomes a big hit – until Islamic terrorism ruins their plans The whole text has a confessional feel and a highly fragmentary character as Michel often uotes scientists and elaborates on his own ideas about the spiritual and sexual state of the Western world He also freuently recounts conversations he had with people and shares his impressions and judgements of people Then we have the narrative arc itself that drives the story and keeps his musings together plus a lot of very explicit sexual scenes This makes for a rather disparate result but I was glued to the text as it is apparent that this novel was written for effect as a statement to be discussedAnd this is probably the part of the review where I have to state and I can’t believe that it has to be stated over and over and over again when it comes to this author that the protagonist and Houellebec are not the same person Don’t fall for simple provocations like naming the protagonist Michel Rather one should look for the meaning of this character and face some uneasy facts The loneliness epidemic exists People stuck in the hamster wheel of capitalism battling burn out or bore out exist Countries like Japan struggle with the fact that rising numbers of young people don’t have a sex life The incel movement exists Sex tourism exists Islamic terrorism exists Does that mean that one has to draw the same conclusions as Michel the protagonist? Absolutely not But does anyone really doubt that commercially organized sex tourism would be a successful concept if it was allowed? That there is a connection between the commodification of sex and neo liberal global capitalism? And that all of this is alarming mortifying terrible?Houellebec is talking about these issues in a provocative no holds barred way There is no moral judgement little empathy there’s a lot of rhetoric aiming to cover the fact that this “industry” is about exploitation although it is obvious that it is The reader should look at the characters talking and what they stand for the meanings this story might convey Houellebec always holds my attention and makes me think and that’s why I appreciate this author

  7. Virginia Virginia says:

    Graphic sex Racism Misogyny Sex tourism Are you offended yet?I don't think I can say anything about the misogyny that hasn't already been said Yes it's misogynistic Boringly predictably so We get it; women are stupid worthless whores Is it wrong of me to wish for a little innovation in my morning dose of bigotry?But look at Valérie some say Valérie is perfect which is a problem in itself She has it all youth outstanding looks superior skills in bed a lot of money a very successful self made career which she's than happy to abandon in order to live in a third world sex tourism resort sucking some middle aged boring loser's cock and sexually exploiting the locals with him for all eternity But wait view spoilerShe dies in an Islamic terrorist attack hide spoiler

  8. Michael Finocchiaro Michael Finocchiaro says:

    Can't stand the masturbatory writing of Houellebec Can't stand it

  9. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    My third Houellebec novel and it sits right smack bang in between the other two with it's dick hanging out The Elementary Particles or Atomised as I knew it then I really liked It was rude and crude yes but the story had me hooked and it very well written whereas Lanzarote I really didn't like It was cheap and tacky and lazy and featured a narrator I wanted to kick in the balls and push into a live volcano Regardless what people mostly women make of him and his themes there is no doubt he can write a decent novel or at least when it suits him I get the impression had I gobbled up all his novels it would be a case of only liking some of them It's widely been said he is the first French novelist since Camus to find a bigger following outside of France Maybe But I can certainly think of a few countries that he wouldn't get such a warm welcome namely the Muslim ones You know from page one with the words 'fat cock' and 'cunt' just what sort of book it's going to be He likes profanity so for those easily offended he isn't the writer for youWhile in Thailand Michel the narrator falls in love with Valérie an employee of the tour company which is in business difficulties Back in Paris they embark on a steamy love affair With the narrative sometimes in the doldrums the sex becomes soggy various and frantic Michel persuades Valérie and her boss to convert the company's hotels in Thailand and the Caribbean to sex tourism The new package holidays are a success with the Germans a stupid race apparently notoriously without culture The story somehow works albeit in a preposterous way as we are not really in the face of reality Houellebec is at pains to exclude any sentiment unless it is banal ignorant and touristic and unfortunately he becomes hopelessly distracted by his incontinent love of sexual descriptionMichel is prone to flashes of pointless rage but his biggest characteristic is a fear of MuslimsPlatform for some will seem nothing than a degrading lewd anti liberal anti semitic novel but there were other aspects to story like loneliness and frustration that just about kept me interested

  10. Brendan Brendan says:

    i'm really into this guy right now he seems to hate everything which i can appreciate this had a surprising tenderness to it in comparison to The Elementary Particles even though there's plenty of bitter social critiue what i like most is Houellebec's realization that the we in the West are like the declining Roman Empire he's able to articulate this thesis through his characters but as well as through interjections on social theorythis book is not without flaws in particular its strange pehaps simply lazy changing of narrative perspective but the central themes are uniuely provocative and not in a leftist or right wing way Houellebec belongs to no party except the Misanthrope Party which is why he's been able to enrage all elements of the political spectrum my feeling is when you're able to do that you're doing something right

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