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Thread: Chuck Palahniuk

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    Chuck Palahniuk

    You know the deal, news and discussion about the author of Fight Club, Survivor, Choke, Snuff, etc. etc.

    I'll start it off with some crazy news. He survived an insane freak car accident this weekend.

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    I've tried, but I find him pretty unreadable. I read Fight Club, and thought the movie much better. I began Invisible Monsters and Snuff and gave up. What's his absolute best book?

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    Fight Club and Survivor for me. I think his work has progressively got less interesting sure. I found Snuff to be awful, Damned is pretty good but the last one that jumped out a lot for me was Rant.

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    I used to love Palahniuk. I've read all of his books up through Haunted (save Fight Club). I gave up after Haunted. I was glancing through his latest and, from reading the sleeve and the first page or so, it looked awful. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just have no interest in reading any more of his stuff. Maybe his style has changed, but I got sick of every main character sounding the same and every book following the same formula.

    That being said, I still have a fondness for a few of his books, my favorite being Survivor.

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    OK, will give Survivor a spin at some point.

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    I find it incredibly difficult to take seriously any adult reader who professes a fondness for Palahniuk. I'll allow some nostalgic admiration for Fight Club (plus ties to the movie, which is much better) and "O.G. cred" (not much) for people who early-on discovered Invisible Monsters and feel pretty cool about themselves for it, but in most cases I've found the presence of Palahniuk on a person's author preferences is a definitive indicator that here is a person I can safely ignore. Anyone up to age seventeen or so gets a pass.

    (I've read: three chapters from Invisible Monsters; Fight Club; Survivor; Lullaby; a couple non-fiction pieces.)

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    So, you've never even read one of his books all the way through, and yet you feel confident in judging someone based on their enjoyment of said books?

    And you think they're the ones that should be ignored?
    Last edited by theruiner; 03-27-2012 at 06:40 AM.

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    Yeah that's disappointing to hear. On the old ETS he consistently came off as a pretentious holier-than-thou asshole of the worst order, but up until now on here I was like 'Whoa, this guy's way cooler and more open minded it seems now.' Nope, pretentious again lol. 'I find it difficult to take seriously...'? So one asshole who hasn't even read more than a bit of an author has already deemed those who have and enjoy it lesser than him? For such a seemingly well spoken person, it's a pretty ridiculous stance to admit to taking. Personally, I've never heard ________ but their music sucks. O THE LULZ.

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    I've read survivor which i really liked and my buddy gave me another one of his book that i couldn't really get into, thought the idea of making people orgasm/kill them from a foot rub was mildly entertaining.

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    I think Corvus said he'd read three whole Palahniuk books...

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    ^^Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I read it wrong. Still an absurd thing to judge people because they like books that you don't. Especially in a thread dedicated to people who like those books.
    Last edited by theruiner; 03-27-2012 at 06:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theruiner View Post
    So, you've never even read one of his books all the way through, and yet you feel confident in judging someone based on their enjoyment of said books?
    I'm sorry, maybe I should have written that, "I read Fight Club, Survivor, Lullaby, a couple non-fiction pieces, and three chapters from Invisible Monsters," rather than using the semicolons.
    Quote Originally Posted by theruiner View Post
    ^^Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I read it wrong. Still an absurd thing to judge people because they like books that you don't. Especially in a thread dedicated to people who like those books.
    While I like and acknowledge the language that these threads tend to become "dedicated to people who like those books", I still naively or arrogantly hold to the opinion that threads focusing on a particular author or book or whatever are meant for discussion (pro and con) of that particular thing.
    Last edited by Corvus T. Cosmonaut; 03-27-2012 at 06:34 PM.

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    Dude, I don't care if you don't like Palahniuk. I'm fine with you coming in here and saying how much you don't like him. Hell, I don't even like him any more. You can bash him all you want. That's not my point. My point was that you said you don't take people seriously who like Palahniuk- so you're basically saying we're all a bunch of idiots and you're better than us. And it wasn't even that I was personally offended because, frankly, if you judge people based on their taste in books/movies/whatever, then I don't really care what your opinion is of me. I was just pointing out how absurd that is. And how silly it is to come into a thread and basically insult the people in there- not the author or the books, but the people themselves.

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    Well no, not that I don't take them seriously generally, like as individuals (though throw in a few comments about nights glued to "Jersey Shore" and I might be compelled to pass such a judgment), but I'm likely to be uninterested in engaging them on the matter of books and authors. Obviously there are exceptions, but I notice these tend to regard Palahniuk with the same disparaging guilty-pleasure tone as a lit major friend of mine does when her adoration for Twilight comes up—sort of a "They're so *terrible*, but sometimes I'm just in the mood for wolfing the whole bag of Spicy Cheetos."

    But I've also come across people who feel Palahniuk is or was a great writer who is or was deep and imaginative and something of a modern William Burroughs (assuming familiarity w/ Burroughs, not always the case), and while I don't think they're idiots, I do suspect they're at least ignorant of better material, or perhaps marking pages with nostalgia for their own teenage memories, or they're probably not big readers in the first place. I don't think it's totally out of line at all for me to allow a person's interests in a medium to shape my opinion of their interests in that medium. A friend from work reads voraciously and professes to love fantasy and sci-fi, but everything she's ever suggested I try or borrow has been mass-market D&D Forgotten Realms stuff. Some of these are fun and quick reads, but most are only a couple rungs above bodice rippers. She and I don't really talk books anymore.

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    I read Haunted a couple years ago. Interesting premise, some interesting characters, some of the stories inside were VERY interesting (some could be extended into novels), but the execution of the whole concept left me with mixed feelings. Sometimes it was too immature, too unrealistic, too dependent on shock value for me to take it seriously. Of course, Palahniuk does have a very macabre sense of humor, but it was the serious parts that felt very unconvincing, and that, in my opinion, makes the sarcastic/cynical parts seem superfluous. If the story had kept its feet on the ground a bit more (and if it wasn't so unnecessarily violent), I'd recommend the book to fans of horror novels.

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    Read: Fight Club (passable); Diary (enjoyed, will re-read); Invisible Monsters (hated so much I went out and sold it when I was done); Non-Fiction/Stranger than Fiction (absolutely loved).

    Tried to read: Haunted (gave up 1/3 of the way, ended up selling the HB)

    On the "to read" shelf: Lullaby (source material might be a bit close to home for me though)

    General impression: interesting writing style which worked well with a well-constructive narrative (Diary) but trying too hard to shock and uniformly unpleasant. I liked his essays on minimalist writing and enjoyed discovering Amy Hempel through him. I'd be inclined to try more of his work if there was any indication he'd branch out a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by theruiner View Post
    Especially in a thread dedicated to people who like those books.
    Where does it say the thread is for people who like him? Is critical discussion banned now? Ponies or GTFO? I hope not.

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    ^^Oh, for Christ's sake. OBVIOUSLY there are people here who don't like him. Obviously (and it should seem pretty damn obvious if you read my other posts in here) I'm not saying, at all, that this thread is only for people who like him. I misspoke (or mis-wrote, I guess).

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    Just read Snuff (it was on my shelf). Not as bad as I was dreading, but pretty fucking bad nonetheless. Such sloppy writing: many sentences are hard to parse, it's like he doesn't care whether you get what he's saying or not. He's trying to be shocking and profound, but achieving neither. The book also told me nothing I didn't know or care to know about porn. Sometimes he gets close to hitting a nerve, and then wafts right back into hot air. This was a short story stretched to novel length: maybe there could have been a decent novel here, if it had been nurtured a little instead of just shat out.

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    So, apparently, this was announced at SDCC: "Chuck Palahniuk announces a graphic novel sequel to Fight Club." Link: http://chuckpalahniuk.tumblr.com/

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    Chuck Palahniuk

    I am jack's obligatory "I am jack" joke.

    Quite surprised to see the narrator referred to as Jack in that blurb, since that wasn't/isn't his name.

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    Just got tickets for his Doomed book tour which is one of his more recent books I didn't hate. Was only 5 so even if it's shit then I won't be too disappointed.

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