Houellebecq

Au Travail

One of the first dramatic conflicts to propel The Map And The Territory, Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel, is a quintessentially French scene of heroism and vexation: the protagonist’s water-heater wheezes, hisses, sputters, peters out and dies.  It’s Christmas Eve (when else for a  water-heater to die but on extended week-end holi