France in 2027. At the end of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term, the country is not doing well. It is in decline. This is how Michel Houellebecq sees France in five years. A France plagued by inequality and high unemployment.
In Anéantir, the novelist exposes his vision of the world as he had done in the firebrand Soumission. Here, the left is almost non-existent and the extreme right always infuses its nauseating ideas in all strata of society.
This novel follows the steps of Bruno Juge, an avatar of Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy. Without ever naming Emmanuel Macron, Houellebecq speaks of France through the intermediary of this 49-year-old statesman, who is a bit fatalistic and whose marriage is wavering.
If the situation seems catastrophic, there are no villains in Anéantir as the writer points out: “You don’t have to celebrate evil to be a good writer! In my books, as in Andersen’s fairy tales, we understand right away who the bad guys are and who the good guys are. And if there are very few bad guys in ‘Anéantir’.I’m very happy with it. The ultimate achievement would be for there to be no bad guys at all!”
At the Voltaire station, the main character, Paul, a collaborator of Bruno Juge, reads an intriguing and mysterious message. Surprising because the tracks of this station of line 9 of the Parisian subway are immaculate white. Of course, this inscription is located in its corridors.
300,000 copies of the first edition of Anéantir were printed
Station Voltaire Léon Blum
Voltaire station is a station of the line 9 of the Parisian subway.
Located under the place Léon-Blum, this station was inaugurated in 1933. If it takes the name of Voltaire, the French philosopher author of Zadig and Candide, it is renamed after Leon Blum, President of the French Council, in 1957. This is why the station is called Volta... Learn more about Station Voltaire Léon Blum
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Anéantir (French edition)
The story has many surprises, such as the appearance of a realistic avatar of Bruno Le Maire, whose main character in the novel is one of his advisors, Paul Raison, a 47-year-old senior civil servant.
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By Damien Canteau