When I’m at Chapters I’ll use their terminals to check on the status of any upcoming books from some of my favourite authors. One of those authors is Michel Houellebecq. His novels have a way of staying with me well after I’ve finished reading them. In the fall I saw that he had a new novel coming up in January, so it was with much anticipation that I bought The Map and the Territory the other day. It actually came out a few days before the release date, and the cover suggested that it was promising–it’d won a prestigious award in France last year. In the first chapter he introduced a peripheral character named Michel Houellebecq, a decision of his that I can’t understand. I don’t know how it can add anything to the story. And it’s been done to death in the past by other authors like Martin Amis, and Philip Roth. Jury is still out.