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The Map and the Territory

by Michel Houellebecq

The author is a character in this book, who gets murdered brutally about two thirds of the way through. Which is as good an indication as any that this really is an unusual work of fiction to say the least. So if you want to find out what Houellebecq thinks about the creative process, you really have to read this book. And if you don't care, you should still read this book for its sheer verve and elan.

Extract

He was in the middle of a white, apparently limitless space. No horizon could be made out, the matt-white floor merging, very far away, with an identical sky. On the surface of the floor could be seen, irregularly arranged, from place to place, blocks of text with black letters forming a slightly raised relief; each of the blocks could include about fifty words. Jed then realised he was standing in a book, and wondered if this book told the story of his life.

Parallels

Mo Said She Was Quirky by James Kelman
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
 

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