‘Atomised’ by @Wandapops for @LeedsBookClub

I’m a proud member of Leeds Book Club. I joined in March 2011 and have been going almost every month since. I barely said a peep at first, but as I grew to know the group and gained more confidence, I started contributing more to the discussion and it’s true what they say – you only get what you give. It’s like a gentle way to ease yourself into public speaking – you give your views and hear others, you disagree and agree – often about things you had no idea you cared so much about. A lot of time you learn stuff, not only about the books and topics you’re discussing but about the other people in the group – it’s ACE. (You should come along!)

Atomised by Michel Houellebecq

Anyway, when Leeds Book Club wanted to go to London for a Sci Fi convention, she needed someone to step in to chair the meeting, collect the group’s thoughts on the book as well as their scores, then put them together as a review for the blog. I stepped up to the challenge, and it was a challenge!

‘Atomised by Michel Houellebecq’ is the first book review I’ve ever written  – you can read it over on the Leeds Book Club site.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book – my reasons are explained in the full review. I personally gave it a 3/10 and my three word review would be ‘Load of wank’. Despite this, I adore the way LBC makes a playlist for the books we read together, so it seemed only fair that I did the playlist for this book. Here’s my reasoning behind each of the choices…


The story begins with the main characters’ Mother Janine, and the abandonment of her sons as she went off in search of Free Love. As the boys become men, it is clear that Bruno has a one track mind that thinks I Want Your Sex 24/7. Sadly he is hardly getting any, and has the No Pussy Blues which turns him into Mr. Self Destruct. His brother Michel is quite the opposite – instead of craving physical contact, he is incredibly distant – Cold As Ice. Unable to connect to people emotionally, he throws himself into his work and masterminds an Idealistic future. He believes we are all living in an atomised society, with love giving way to sexual desires and  religion giving way to shallow new age philosophies – Philosophy by Numbers some may say. Michel is described as the The Saddest Man in the World by a colleague – a description which is proven to be fitting as he meets his tragic end. He leaves behind no loved ones, but a scientific breakthrough which leads to a ‘Brave New World’ where reproduction is replaced by the cloning of an asexual post human race…

There we go! If the book has depressed you, hopefully the playlist won’t!


  1. Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six – Mother
  2. Cage The Elephant – Free Love
  3. George Michael – I Want Your Sex – Parts 1 & 2
  4. Grinderman – No Pussy Blues
  5. Soft Cell – Mr. Self Destruct
  6. Foreigner – Cold As Ice
  7. Digitalism – Idealistic
  8. Orbital – Philosophy By Numbers
  9. Somebody Else – The Saddest Man in the World
  10. Björk – New World

Follow @Wandapops  – Leeds Playlist is my blog, thanks for reading 🙂

The #WSwanLBC is held at The White Swan pub in Leeds City Centre on the 2nd Sunday of the month from 6pm. JOIN US!


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