Sunday, January 10, 2010

Begins here book review by operative me

I feel like no one likez to read posts about books other people have read, so I contemplated even writing this entry or just saying eff it and posting nakerz picturez of mahself instead. Lucky for you folkz, I chose literature!

I recently finished a book by one of my up-and-coming favo authorz, Chuck Palahniuk. The book was called "Pygmy" and it was one of the most fucked up thingz I have read in a loooooong time. But then again, it is Palahniuk and any ho who has read any of his novels is well aware that he strays off the beaten path most all of the time.

I was going to offer up a synopsis of the story, but then realized how impossible it would be to summarize wiffout sacrificing the enjoyment of the story. Not only is the plot incredible, but the way it is portrayed through P.O.V. ("point of view" for you non-English majorzzz), lexicons & clever narration makes this book something that can't truly be appreciated without experiencing first hand its insanity.

Let's just say that it involves fatal fighting moves, dildos, terrorists, science fairs, murder, Thanksgiving, high school dances, anal sex and dodgeball. Need I say more?!?!? Are you all slithering your azzes on over to Amazon to get ur copy [feat. next day shipping]?! You should be and I'll think less of you if you don't.

Palahniuk is truly one of the modern generation's most prolific writers. I've read four of his novels and each exudes a raw, intense originality that, to me, is unparalleled by any other writer nowadays. And his creativity isn't based solely in his ability to create fresh and twisted ideas...he is able to portray said vundervil ideas with such a colorful [read as: deranged, bloody & violent] flair that I am oftentimes in awe of the macabre beauty of his werdz.

One of mah creative writing professorz in college would constantly tell me that the key to successful writing in today's world is to "be weird." Go about exploring concepts that haven't really been touched before. Or if you are goin' to write about sumfing that's funky & played-out [i.e. love, heartbreak, nature], make sure you flip the topic on its head and expose a new facet of it. I tink if Palahniuk had my professora when he was in college, he would have for def def defferz gotten a million As and thus make the rest of the students look like morons. Every book of his that I have read ("Snuff," "Rant," "Lullaby" & "Pygmy") have all made me gasp out loud (awkwardly on the bus, disturbing everyone around me) and have a facial expression similar to this:

I would say that I am now a definite fan of his and I can't wait to get mah mits on more of his books. I suggest you folkz follow suit and love him like I do!


Jere Keys said...

I haven't read this one yet, but I went on a Palahniuk bender a few years ago and read almost everything he'd written at that time. Haunted almost made me vomit during the first 50 pages. Survivor is also pretty good. IMO he does two things really well: he'll "go there" on any topic at any time, and he is a master at raising the stakes in the climax.

Mel said...

Nakerz picturez!

Is it just me, or does Palahniuk look like a slightly scrawnier version of Daniel Craig? I've never read anything of his, so I can't weigh in on his writing style.If it's gonna make my eyes pop out of my head like that, I'm not sure I should. That looks painful.

hoteltuesday said...

He's up-and-coming?! Isn't he already famous (unlike us)??

Soul Seared Dreamer said...

I've already been sold the Palahniuk books but unfortunately I've been rather busy so finding time to pick up one of his books has been on my to-do list since around 2006 when a friend first gave me the low down.

But first things first.. I have 8 assignments to do, and the reading that goes before the, then the 2 exams that go after, then I plan to read 'The Kite Runner', and then, and only then will I dare to pick up one of Palahniuk's book - likely I'll start with Choke as I've seen the film and like reading the books for the films I've seen.

And sheesh how the hell do you find time to blog so much? Even when I use to blog properly I never found time to blog quite like you do.

Oh oh and as a side note.. Happy New Year.

Tam said...

key to successful writing in today's world is to "be weird."

Never read the guy but my question re: the above quote is "How do you define success?" Does that mean some highbrow literary award and 100,000 people reading your book and oohing and awing, or 100 million people reading your book and you having a private maid to wipe your butt when you're done? I don't think anyone would call JK Rowling's work weird but she is certainly successful in terms of popularity and money.

So I think "weird" will get you attention but it won't get you Joe Q. Public buying your books more than onc at Borders.

Justin said...

Hm Jere after reading your comment I think I *now* understand why in his wiki article he is listed as a "transgressional" author. I was scratching my head as to what that could mean. I think I get it now :)

Let me also just say -- Palahniuk looks pretty damn good for a peepaw.

Tam -- I think "successful" means "getting the fuck published at all". Which is harder to do now than it's ever been (which is weird, since so much stuff that DOES get published is just plain awful).

**JOSH** this reminds me: have you ever heard of / read The Raw Shark Texts? It's one of the best books I've read in **YEARS**. It stayed with me, haunted me, for weeks and weeks after I finished it. And they don't get much weirder (ok, I haven't read anything "transgressional" so maybe they do). I highly recommend it. If you *have* read it, I'd be curious what you thought.

Milo said...

Never read his work but checked him out on and his stuff gets great reviews. Will try him next time I do an order. Thanks for the tip!

Polt said...

Yes, lucky LUCKY for us your chose literature :(

I read Snuff last year at the urging of a friend and found it...I don't know, well, weird, yeah that works. It kept me interested, but I don't share your enthusiasm for it. It certainly didn't make me want to rush out and get any other of his books. But viva la differance, eh?

I prefer historical books (which I know make you gag) and scifi books, but again, viva la differance!


that's J-O-S-H said...

Jere: "Pygmy" just came out last summer, so I forgive you for not having read it yet! Nexxxt I want to read "Haunted." I've heard lotza great/disturbing thingz about it!

Mel: Now that you say it...he DOES look quite similar! Only maybe a little crazier and drunk.

Enrico: He's one of my up-and-coming favorites, meaning for ME he's becoming one I enjoy very much.

Soul Seared: Werking six dayz a week does make it difficult, but I discipline myself to post four timez a week. Usually @ night when I get outta work, or I'll write a bunch on Monday and set them to sprinkle-post during the week, while I'm busy.

Tam: I don't think success has to be defined by monetary revenue...I mean more "artistic success." The reason his books stand out and receive critical acclaim and accolades is largely because he isn't scared to tapdance into strange topicz and weird writing styles. Sure, someone can write a successful, cheesy romance book, but from a literary perspective, is it really ground-breaking? And I DO think Rowling is extremely left of center, just for the fact that she was able to create an entire fantasy world with its own races and theories and politics. Definitely not run of the mill...

And my poetry classes, my teacher never once meant "success" to = getting rich...cuz how many rich poets are there? Not this one...yet...or ever.

Justerz: I haven't read it yet...but I think I will check it out! Weird shet always gets my creative jugo flowing!

Milo: U iz welcome! If you read anything of his, tell me what you tink!

Polt: History confuses me and Sci-Fi seems too goofy to me. However, I did read one Sci-Fi book that I enjoyed: "The Parable of the Sower" by Octavia Butler. It was great and I had to read it in college for my Multicultural Literature course. Soooo good and soooo sad that she died recently. :(

john said...

I've read "Lullaby", "Choke", "Survivor" and "Invisible Monsters". Al were excellent, but I think "Lullaby" is my favorite of the four. Survivor is good too.

I think Jere hit the nail on the head. Palahniuk really knows how to "go there" and really knows how to write the climax of a story.

David said...

I might read him if you loan me a copy. No promises. I have a low tolerance for gore and what you've told me about these books makes me nervous. But I am defferz glad that you get so much enjoyment out of them.

goblinbox said...

You'd probably like Pynchon. Do you like Pynchon?

Also I suggest Little Brother if you haven't already read it. Free!

Weird = original. Since everything's already been written, a writer needs to do the same thing a new way. Cult of personality, just like music.

Michelle M. said...

I like to read posts about books I've never read. And that's all that matters, right?
Anyway, haven't read any of these, but I'll start with Snuff. I always see it on the shelf on the library. I guess it's time to check it out.

that's J-O-S-H said...

John: I tink that the cover for "Invisible Monsters" is one of the coolest I've ever seen!

David: Gore is one of Palahniuk's BFFLz! But he does it in a way that is meant to do more than just gross you out. There's rhyme and reason to all the literary choices he makes a [aka he's a genius pot pie!].

GoblinBox: I actually haven't even heard of it. Will have to check it out! And you're dead on (imo) about how essential "weirdness" is!

Michelle: That book is an absolute rollercoaster deluxe. Holy fuck...the ending...THE ENDING! AAAAHHHHH!

Michelle M. said...

I just got it from the library. Will start reading it tonight : ).