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Gaulish horrors

He may be the best French writer at work today, but Michel Houellebecq shouldn't be allowed out alone

By Tim King   December 2001

“When?I was in Sinai-the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments-I had a sort of negative revelation: to believe in one God you have to be a cretin. That is the only word for it. And the most crass religion is Islam. When you read the Koran you are appalled, simply appalled.”

Thus spake Michel Houellebecq, France’s most successful and controversial literary figure. In the three months following publication, his latest novel Plateforme has sold 300,000 copies, of which the fuss caused by the interview quoted above has probably contributed 60,000.

Plateforme came out in August. The literary magazine Lire…

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