Book Summary: Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq

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The book in three sentences

Life is short. Western society has become less happy, less erotic and more alienating. Without sex or love, (although there’s a heavy emphasis on sex), there is not much left of a man.

Selected Quotes

Redundant Men

  • Men in general don’t know how to live : they have no true familiarity with life , and never feel entirely at ease in it.”
  • It’s amazing how quickly men let themselves go.”
  • since his divorce two years previously he had lost a lot of his motivation with regard to property , and lots of other things too.”


  • My reality had become untenable , no human being could survive in such strict solitude.”
  • It was just a bit of a shame to be alone.”
  • If you’re going to a country - house hotel on your own you might as well blow your brains out.”

The fall of the West

  • No one in the West will ever be happy again.”
  • Paris was made to generate loneliness”
  • society was a machine for destroying love”
  • the disappearance of the Western libido.”


  • I needed love, and love in a very precise form”
  • with sex everything can be resolved , and without sex nothing can.” 
  • a career is a more considerable whore and one that doesn’t give you any pleasure.”
  • the more I try to do things correctly, the harder it gets to make ends meet.”

Food & Drink (extremely French voice)

  • a double espresso with some bread and jam , and perhaps even a ham omelette.”
  • potato omelette and three glasses of Leffe”
  • large draught beers and rillette sandwiches.”

January 25, 2022

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