Realising that his New Year is probably going to be a disaster, as usual, our narrator, on impulse, walks into a travel agency to book a week in the sun. Sensitive to his limited means and dislike of Muslim countries, the travel agent suggests an island full of 21st century hedonism, set in a bizarre lunar landscape - Lanzarote. On Lanzarote, one can meet some fascinating human specimens, notably Pam and Barbara - 'non-exclusive' German lesbians - who can give rise to some interesting combinations. Will they succeed in seducing Rudi, the police inspector from Luxembourg, currently living in exile in Brussels? Or will he join the 'Azraelian' sect, as they prepare for humanity to be regenerated by extra-terrestrials? As for our narrator, will he consider his week's holiday on the island a success?
Michel Houellebecq is a poet, essayist and novelist. He is the author of five novels, Whatever, Atomised, Platform, The Possibility of an Island and The Map and the Territory, which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt.
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