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Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Platform: Your views
Platform
Platform has upset some Islamic groups
Michel Houllebecq recently won the Impac prize for his book Atomised but his latest novel, Platform, is causing more of a stir.

The book, based on sex tourism, has upset some members of the Muslim community, who feel that the novel is anti-Islamic.

"The real failure of Platform is a literary one - a dearth of really deep, plausible characters and the lack of a moral centre," wrote BBC News Online's Alex Webb.

But what do you think?

Is the shock value wearing thin? Or is Houllebecq still exciting?

Have your say

Calling a black kettle black is no cause for offence to be taken on the kettle's part. It merely indicates the kettle needs self examination as to why it took offence. Possibly, the kettle needs some valium and to chill out.
Jacqueline M McElligott, USA

Of course the book has anti-islamic tendencies; Houellebecq went off on a tirade against Islam in a recent interview in the French Press, for which he's now being prosecuted by the Paris Mosque. As for the book having "a dearth of really deep, plausible characters and (a) lack of a moral centre", again, this is not surprising, as the author believes that (since the 1960s at least), we in the West have become a bunch of shallow and implausible people. Personally, I think all three of his novels so far have been fantastic. Pity about the translation of this one though.
Jason Carey, UK

1)If you think Houllebecq is contemptuous of Islam, you should read Oriana Fallaci. 2)With Platforme, MH is somewhat in the realm of JG Ballard in Cannes. People, unfortunately, are like this. 3)There are some pretty awful Christian, and indeed atheist, characters in novels too. The problem with those who complain about the content of novels is that they don't seem to understand what a novel is. Maybe novelists should sue them for insult to literature?
J Castles, UK

What disturbs me about the whole polemic about Houellebecq is the possibility that it's part of a process of erosion of rights (in this case freedom of speech) we used to take for granted. Having read some of his works and the interview which sparked the latest lawsuit, I think he's both a mediocre thinker and writer, but that doesn't alter his basic human rights.
Peter Van Belle, Belgium

See also:

12 Sep 02 | Entertainment
22 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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13 May 02 | Entertainment
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