The story begins with an artist, an unknown photographer who lived a solitude life and is young, and doesn't know much about stuff other than reading and his work.
A chance on the way to his grandmother funeral let him see the maps of France, Michelin maps, that led him let the maps, and make it an art of matching the map with actual photo of the place.
A small chance of exhibition of his photos, alongside with his old classmates works, to meet his girlfriend, someone who not only admired his work, but think they should work together in project, as she works for Michelin maps.
That's the beginning of his success.
I'm only a quarter in, and I like it already. For a fan, it is not that difficult to like his work. His main character is always a nerd, even if he is an artist, and he is always not good with women, and yet able to attract the most beautiful and smart woman in town.
Like a young man fantasy, grown up version.
That aside, it is creative to see the creation within the creation. The pretentiousness of the art world, the non-verbal as deep misconception, the struggling artists depending on publicists and good reviews.
The need for the fictional artist to find a writer to write his catalog lead him to find Michel Houellebecq. A few writers have done this before one of them Kundera. But this is far better as the writer is at first seems to be closer to the real one, then you found out that the writer had a side story, that lead to the more fictional and detached from reality.
The relationship could develop more in the story, with more emotional development. But that is good too. Not too hot and not too cold.
The detective part of the story is a bit flat. But it is more of a mean to the end, so that the story could end with the main character take up similar life style as Houellebecq.
A good read. 5 stars.