“An original and profoundly disturbing novel.” - Frederique Leichter, World Literature Today
First thing first if you are looking for an easy to read, feel good novel then I suggest you move on. It is not a light read.
This book is filthy, haunting and provocative. However the strange thing is that most of the dirty context serves a purpose. It paints a pessimistic yet a very realistic portrait of our society.
The story is about two french half brothers Bruno Clement and Michel Djerzinski who barely know each other and are the complete opposites. They are born of a hippie mother who has very little to do with their upbringing. Michel is an introverted molecular biologist who is highly respected and an all around intellectual. He is very much an asexual who sees himself as incapable of love and has no interest sexual relations. In contrast Bruno is an ageing libertine who tries to make sense of his life through his history of sexual encounters, he navigates through life with his penis as his compass.
The author uses bits of information about each man at a time and walks us through different parts of the brothers lifes. This help us break the characters down and understand why they are how they are whilst looking at the faults of our society which has given love to meaningless sexual connections and religion to numerous new age philosophies.
I have read many books but it has been truly difficult to make up my mind about this one. It has been a while since I read the book that manages to highlight everything that is wrong with our society and us as human beings. It is dark, cold and destructive but also funny and very well written. I found this tale of two brothers quite fascinating.
I would recommend this novel for anyone who has enjoyed novels such as ‘Fight club’ and ‘American Psycho’.