Friday, September 10, 2010

Favourite Author Focus: Chuck Palahniuk

Oh, Chuck. Sometimes I love you, sometimes I don’t even like you. But when I love you, I REALLY love you.

It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.

The first book I ever read by Chuck Palahniuk was Choke, which is an... interesting introduction to a somewhat controversial author. Controversial not entirely because of the content of his stories (although there is that, too), but also because a lot of people have issues with his originality. For me, though, his books were different to anything else I had read before. I adore the way he writes in his early work, the way he uses language, and the crazy things that happen in his books. However, there is not many people I know that would like his writing. (But then, I know a lot of people that don’t like things that are a little ‘different’.)

Nothing shows you the straight line from here to death like a list.

Most people would know of him through the fact that he wrote Fight Club, which was later turned into an awesome movie with Brad Pitt and the amazing Edward Norton. I love this movie; I have seen it more than almost any other movie in my life. This is one of the only cases where I love the movie and the book and I saw the movie first. But both are fantastic and entertaining and, dare I say it, original.

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

Invisible Monsters is my favourite and most likely always will be. There are some things in that book that really get to me on a personal level; if it weren’t for that, I’d say Survivor would be my favourite of his books. Apparently Invisible Monsters was rejected from being published for being ‘too disturbing’ and was only accepted after the success of Fight Club. That is bizarre to me. I was the biggest wuss at 15 and I still loved that book. Notice how I’m not saying any storylines? I don’t want to without spoiling the endings because that’s half the point of Chuck’s stories. Think of Fight Club, if you’ve seen it. If you know the end before you’ve seen it once, the brilliance is kind of lost. If you don’t like reading about violence, sex, drugs, swearing, death, and (particularly) fragmented trains of thought, his books may not be for you.

Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.

Lullaby was the end of a flawless ride with Chuck. I hated that book and still do. I couldn’t even finish it and there has been maybe ten books in my entire life that I have completely given up on and never returned to. Since then, it’s been a bit up and a down. Diary was a big improvement on Lullaby for me, Haunted was a bit different, Rant was awesome, Snuff was blah, I don’t plan to read Pygmy but I do plan to read Tell-All as I have a reader’s copy. So we’ll see how that goes. But I still consider Chuck to be a favourite author of mine for his pre-Lullaby books and their brilliance.

Who you are, moment to moment, is just a story.

PS, Usually I like to post the book covers of the versions that I read/own but I cannot for the life of me find the covers of Choke or Survivor that I read. Grr.


  1. I have read any Chuck (mainly as my library doesnt have him on the catalogue)...

    but how I love Fight Club!!! Just an awesome movie - very original and clever and I dont even like violent stuff but somehow it was perfect in that movie.

    i agree it's lame when you cant find the right cover you want. happens to me too :)

  2. Ironically, I usually hate violence too. (Ask anyone close to me how much I hate blood, haha.) But for Fight Club is definitely works well. The book is very similar.

    Haha, I'm glad it's not just me being crazy about the cover frustration! :)

  3. Ha, I knew you hated Lullaby but I didn't know you couldn't even finish it! If you had, you would hate it even more. The last few chapters pissed me off so much with how bad they were.

  4. Rachy! Haha, yeah, I got 3/4 of the way through and I bought something else I really wanted to read, so I planned to come back to it just to get it over with. Never did. Now very relieved I didn't, because I already hated it so much! xoxo