1. Walid

    Walid Member

    Apr 12, 2012
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    Survivor - Chuck Palahniuk

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Walid, Apr 12, 2012.


    I've seen Fight Club, and have never read the book (which kind of makes me sad, but I have a real hard time reading a book after seeing the movie adaptation), which lead me to read some other Chuck Palahniuk books, starting with Pygmy, then Diary (without being able to complete it) and eventually stopping at Survivor.

    I tried my best to like this book, I really did.

    But the more Chuck Palahniuk I read, the less interested I become with his style. Without spoiling much of the story, Survivor talks about a man named Tender Branson, who comes from a very secretive cult that raises children and sells them off as 'slaves' into the real world, where they believe their cause in life is to work away at home chores, tiding beds and decorating flowers.

    The initial problem that struck me with this book is how the repetitions give you a hard time enjoying the actual story. This book could have been summarized in much less than what it is. I think the story itself is intriguing, and at some points Chuck really is funny. Many parts, however, felt as much of a chore for me as cleaning semen stains from clothes must have been for Tender.

    Over all, this is probably the last Chuck Palahniuk book I'll be reading in a while, not because I hate the stories - which are VERY creative - but because once you've read one book of his, you've basically read them all. The same nihilist/cynical tone goes throughout the entire book, and gives the reader no space to relax and digest whatever is going on.

    In Pygmy, Chuck relentlessly quotes tyrants, talks about Tank and gun models and recites the entire periodic table.

    In Diary, he continuously talks about mixing drinks, pills and such.

    In here, it's all about Tender knowing how to remove the toughest stains from fabric, and other uninteresting (if real at all) facts.

    I'd give it 3/5 stars for compelling story. I also liked the ending. Survivor had a lot of potential, but due to Chuck refusing to evolve his writing style in any of his books, it becomes tiresome to read after a few pages.
  2. Skodt

    Skodt Member

    Jul 29, 2010
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    I can't really comment on the type of story you like to read, but my opionon chuck is a great writer.

    His work with Lullby is amazing. A story of the african culling song. The culling song was used to put children to death while they slept. In this story it is lost in a childs nursury rhyme book and starts killing innocent children. The main character goes around trying to destroy all of these lost books. It is well written and has a different feel to it.

    His work on fight club is quite different from the movie. The writing brings the characters more to life and allows you to connect more to the story. Although the movie is still great on it's own.

    Choke is a good novel as well. A man struggles with sex addiction and a job he hates. It's a funny and yet extremly different story than anything I have ever read.

    Invisible monster might be my favorite by Chuck. It follows a beauty queen who lost her beauty in a accident. It shows how the world changes to her once she is no longer the center of attention. Her hidous looks and ideas get her shunned, and it drives her to the brink of insanity.

    I urge you to not judge him on Pygmy and Diary. Pygmy I myself could'nt finish I found it boring and wordy. Diary I have not got around to trying to read it, but it's not reviewed as one of his better books.
  3. thecoopertempleclause

    thecoopertempleclause Contributing Member

    Apr 13, 2012
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    Cornwall, UK
    I've read Fight Club, Choke, Haunted, Lullaby, Survivor and Diary by Palahniuk. I see where you're coming from. It's a common criticism that all of his narrative voices sound alike, yet I've never been bored by his writing style. I've always been impressed by how he basically explodes the narrative scope during most of his books. Even the most intimate story can become a globe-encompassing climax.

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