Amelie Nothomb's "Sulphuric Acid"
September 14, 2005 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Novelist posits Shoah as reality TV show. In her new book titled ’Sulphuric Acid’ published in France, the successful Belgian author Amelie Nothomb describes a “concentration camp reality show”. It's the story of a reality show called “Concentration”. There are ’candidates’ which are arrested in roundups, tattooed and guarded before they are executed one by one following a vote by the spectators.
posted by matteo (19 comments total)
Running Man
posted by Rothko at 10:29 AM on September 14, 2005

So? Is it bad to write about this?
posted by markesh at 10:30 AM on September 14, 2005

Rothko: I'm still waiting on The Long Walk.
posted by mrbill at 10:35 AM on September 14, 2005

markesh: Who said it was bad? It's a post, not a callout.

Me, I doubt it's a very good book, but I'm still amused to know that someone wrote it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:38 AM on September 14, 2005

FOX has picked that up for the Fall season.
posted by caddis at 10:56 AM on September 14, 2005

matteo, thanks I had missed this. It seems a strange book for Nothomb. I've read a couple of her novels, I guess, and I was impressed by how slight they were, in every sense. I can easily imagine a novel about this subject that would ask some interesting, if controversial, questions, but I can't imagine Nothomb having the chops to write it. I tend to think of her novels as cute and pixieish, which is also how I think of her.
posted by OmieWise at 10:59 AM on September 14, 2005

Un bug dans votre navigateur!
posted by Nahum Tate at 11:00 AM on September 14, 2005

Also, I think you owe somebody some quotes.
posted by Nahum Tate at 11:01 AM on September 14, 2005

Hmm. I have to admit, I've sometimes actually thought that a LOT of people would enjoy this show. Look at the apprentice, for example. People do not watch it to see some people make a Box(tm), they watch it to see people getting fired.

It's the pain and suffering that people want to see.

ASSUMING that there was no critical media. Assuming there were newspaper reporters that CREATE outrage, if such a show suddenly appeared on TV, even though people would be a bit shocked at the start, I'm sure that almost the entire country would watch it.

Look at the popularity of car chases. People die in those shows, but lots and lots of people watch them all the same.

Is boxing not about one guy pounding another guy unconsious? We are not very far away from the gladiator days, and so long we do not evolve, we will never be far away from those days.

And frankly, I've not noticed anyone around me doing any evolving lately.
posted by markesh at 11:04 AM on September 14, 2005

Series 7:The Contenders
posted by mkultra at 12:09 PM on September 14, 2005

Hugh Downs as a kapo?
posted by alumshubby at 12:16 PM on September 14, 2005

"Vernon God Little" has a reality show based on death row. The audience gets to pick who dies next.
posted by Eekacat at 12:58 PM on September 14, 2005

It would be even better if they made it with Japanese school children.
posted by haqspan at 1:40 PM on September 14, 2005

It'd be best if they were quite selective with their contendents: television executives, television evangelists, and politicians. Whoo-hoo, let the good times roll!
posted by five fresh fish at 3:27 PM on September 14, 2005

Omiewise: Slight? I've read "Cosmétique de l'ennemi" and "Stupeur et tremblements" (Fear and trembling), and both are pretty dark. Short, surely, and "Fear and trembling" had some silly passages, but there's quite some depth in her work. I certainly don't have any trouble imagining the author of "Cosmétique de l'ennemi" going for this kind of stuff...
posted by Skeptic at 3:31 PM on September 14, 2005

your sparkle cavalcade of death by robert schiarella was published in 1974 ... from what i recall, it was about a man who accidently killed nontuplets and ended up on a reality tv show where he was to be executed coast to coast ... it was amusing
posted by pyramid termite at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2005

Skeptic writes "Short, surely, and 'Fear and trembling' had some silly passages, but there's quite some depth in her work."

I'll have to revisit her. I guess I read F&T and The Book of Proper Names. I didn't dislike them, and I would never confuse short with slight (Appelfeld is one of my favorite authors). I saw the darkness, of course, but I guess I wasn't quite convinced by it, or rather, I felt as if the general tone was cuter than the dark parts would like to suggest. It's that tone that I wonder about, and especially in a context like this where there seems to be secondary gain from writing a shocking book. But I don't think she's a bad person or anything.
posted by OmieWise at 6:55 AM on September 15, 2005

Het and Houellbecq should burn in hell. In france the promotional process for those two is sickenning.
posted by Sijeka at 12:37 PM on September 15, 2005

Her, even.
posted by Sijeka at 12:37 PM on September 15, 2005

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