Author(s): Michel Houellebecq
'Who is it among you who deserves eternal life?'
Houellebecq's dazzling new novel, which moves between Paris, Andalucia and Lanzarote, is a thought-provoking, shocking and ultimately moving examination of the modern world.
Daniel is a successful stand-up comedian who has built his reputation on outrageously playing to the prejudices of his public. Celebrated as an acerbic commentator on human life - although actually far more interested in his own sex life than in that of humanity - he has, at the beginning of the 21st century, begun to detest laughter in particular, and mankind in general. However Daniel is unable to stop himself believing in the possibility of love.
A thousand years on, war, drought and earthquakes have decimated the earth and Daniel24 lives alone in a secure compound: the 24th descendant to be cloned from Daniel's DNA. His only companion is Daniel's dog, Fox - also a cloned descendant of the original - and they pass their days in neutral tranquillity, whilst the remnants of the human race, roam outside in packs. As Daniel's story unfolds, a written account that is as much the tale of the implosion of the modern world as a personal history, Daniel24 and then Daniel25, like their predecessors before them, must add their commentaries to it, endeavouring along the way to fathom what Daniel can have meant by 'love', 'sex', 'regret' and 'laughter'.
The Daniel of today, and his descendant of tomorrow, each in their own way resist the limitations of their existence. In the course of their separate attempts to escape, they will both discover the price of immortality.