The Map and the Territory (Paperback)

By Michel Houellebecq, Gavin Bowd (Translator)
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Staff Reviews

Houellebecq's fifth novel is an intellectually sophisticated, scathing survey of a fictional artist's milieu and contemporary France. Houellebecq is famous at home as a moral provocateur. His previous work explored concepts such as sexual nihilism and the apocalypse. This novel, however, deals in terrific social observation and criticism of first-world, privileged society. This is much in the prose style of Flaubert, with other obscure influences such as Lovecraftian horror and the French noir tradition. I highly recommend this book to those looking for a humorous, pessimistic, and compassionate critique of modern man. -- Cameron Carlson

— From March 2013


The most celebrated and controversial French novelist of our time delivers a riveting masterpiece about art and money, love and friendship, and fathers and sons.
Jed Martin is an artist. His first photographs feature Michelin road maps, and global success arrives with his series on professions: portraits of various personalities, including a writer named Houellebecq. Not long afterward, Jed helps a police inspector solve a heinous crime that leaves lasting marks on everyone involved. But after burying his father and growing old himself, Jed also discovers serenity, a deeply moving conclusion to a life of lovers, friends, and family, and filled with hopes, losses, and dreams.

About the Author

Ne en 1958, a La Reunion, Michel Houellebecq est ingenieur agronome de formation, ecrivain et cineaste. Michel Houellebecq publie, en 1991, une biographie de Howard Lovecraft, "Contre le monde, contre la vie""La Poursuite du bonheur", un recueil de poemes, aux editions de la Difference, en 1992, qui obtient le prix Tristan Tzara. En 1994, Michel Houellebecq signe son premier roman intitule "Extension du domaine de la lutte" (Maurice Nadeau), puis son deuxieme recueil de poemes, "Le Sens du combat" (Flammarion, 1996), prix de Flore 1996. Parallelement, il collabore a de nombreuses revues, en particulier, "L'Atelier du roman" et "Les Inrockuptibles". En 1998, Michel Houellebecq recoit le Grand Prix national des Lettres Jeunes Talents pour l'ensemble de son oeuvre.

Michel Houellebecqpublie ensuite, chez Flammarion, "Les Particules elementaires" ( 1998), "Lanzarote" (2000) et "Plateforme" ( 2001). En 2005, Michel Houellebecq a publie, aux editionsFayard, "La Possibilite d'une ile", prix Interallie 2005.

Photo: (c) Michel Houellebecq

Praise For…

Praise for The Map and the Territory:
Winner of the 2010 Prix Goncourt
“A serious reflection on art, death, and contemporary society, The Map and the Territory is a tour de force.”—The Los Angeles Review of Books 
"Powerful. . . . [A] singular novel. . . .  Archly sarcastic, cheerily pedantic, willfully brutal." —The New York Times Book Review
“An ingenious and engaging composite of künstlerroman and police procedural; a novel of ideas; and an authorial self-reflection." –The Boston Globe
"All novelists everywhere have benefited from [Houellebecq's] audacity. . . . his temerity has recharged the form and reminded people what the novel can do." --The Sunday Times
“Funny, astonishing and authoritative. . . . This is the brilliant and controversial French writer’s most intellectually ambitious book..” —The Guardian

“Beautifully, accurately translated . . . . If ever there was a novelist for our globally dysfunctional times it’s Michel Houellebecq. . . . Long cast aside as the bad boy of books, [his] latest novel has seen him brought in from the cold, and embraced by the literary establishment for what he’s always been – not much short of a genius.” —The Mirror 

“One of the most important facts about Michel Houellebecq . . . is that he is a first-rate prose stylist. . . . Teasing and entertaining. . . . A page turner.” —Literary Review

"Houellebecq's bewitching journey on the river of art to the cave of death and decay is a tale of eviscerating insight, caustic humor, troubling beauty, and haunting provocation." –Booklist
"[Houellebecq is] a trenchant, sharp-tongued social commentator.”—Bookforum

“Very likely his best [book] ever, a serious novel about aging and death that also employs its author’s trademark lugubrious wit towards some delicious exercises in satire and self-parody. . . . Challenging, mature and highly intelligent.” —The Daily Telegraph

“A dark master of invention. . . . In a world of copycatting and fakery, Michel Houellebecq is an exceptional writer and a stand-out original.” —Evening Standard

“An astonishing writer. . . . The Map and the Territory is funny, shocking, brutal and unbearably poignant. . . . Sublime.” —Scotland on Sunday

Product Details
ISBN: 9780307946539
ISBN-10: 0307946533
Publisher: Vintage International
Publication Date: November 13th, 2012
Pages: 269
Language: English