Michel Houellebecq’s devastating story of solitude, longing and individual suffering, which is also a powerful indictment of modern life. Translated by Shaun Whiteside.

Dissatisfied and discontent, Florent-Claude Labrouste feels he is dying of sadness. His young girlfriend hates him and his career as an engineer at the Ministry of Agriculture is pretty much over. His only relief comes in the form of a pill - white, oval, small. Recently released for public consumption, Captorix is a new brand of anti-depressant which works by altering the brain’s release of serotonin.

The 2020 International Booker Prize
Published by
William Heinemann
Publication date
Michel Houellebecq

Michel Houellebecq

About the Author

Michel Houellebecq is a poet, essayist and novelist. He was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 2019.
More about Michel Houellebecq

Shaun Whiteside

About the Translator

Shaun Whiteside's translations from French, German, Italian and Dutch include works by both contemporary and classic authors.
More about Shaun Whiteside