Tag Archives: Chuck Palahniuk

Being ‘Damned’ with Chuck Palahniuk

On October 18th you’ll have your chance to journey down to hell with Madison Spencer, a thirteen-year-old girl whom regardless of the putrid scenery is determined to make the best of things. Unsure of how and why she is there, she befriends what has been labeled as ‘the Breakfast Club in hell’.

Palahniuk’s clever and often humorous portrayal of hell and all the ways one can find themselves there will keep your turning pages, wondering how a girl like Madison could possibly end up in a place inhabited by a myriad of demons from various cultural mythologies, a waterfall of shit, a vomit pond, a river of hot saliva, and other foul landscapes. Everyone worth knowing ends up in hell, but what Madison has that none of the other inhabitants have is hope. Despite being the chubby cast off to boarding school kid of celebrity parents, she is determined to make her death better than what her short life turned out to be. By making friends, discovering that she’s not in hell because of an overdose of marijuana, like she had previously guessed, she is able to muster up the strength and candy (the currency of hell) to storm the gates. ‘Damned’ is a fun ride, and once you’ve read it come back to me so we can discuss the end. Seriously.

You can pick up the book on Amazon.

There is a short/small tour planned, which kicks off for those of us in the Portland area on the 18th (the book’s release date). It’s a ticketed event, hosted by Powell’s Books at the Bagdad Theatre at 7pm.  The cost of admission gets you a pre-signed copy of the book, and Mr. Palahniuk will be giving a talk and answering some questions.

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My signed copy of ‘Snuff’ !

Catching Up On My Palahniuk: Rant, Snuff and Pygmy

Getting ready for the May 4th release date of Chuck Palahniuk’s new book, Tell All, I had realized I sort of dropped off after the Haunted book tour. My friend Richard and I saw him read from Haunted in Hollywood, where we not only left with our signed books, a picture of Richard and Chuck, but also Meat scented air fresheners and a fake bloody arm.

As soon as I got home that night I read that book all the way until morning, when I finished it. It had suddenly replaced Choke as my favorite of his books. So, what happened? Every book of his I had picked up before that one was pure gooey awesomeness. And I did buy Rant when it came out in 2007 (gulp, yes 2007), but it has for some reason sat shelved all this time.

So a few weeks back I read the first chapter on Tell All, after which I put in a pre-order at St Helen’s books for an inscribed copy. I’ll just say when I finished that first chapter; I wanted nothing more than to keep reading that damn book through to finish. But, I have to wait. Only a few weeks left of waiting. So, what better to fulfill my waiting time than to getting caught up on the last three books of his I had somehow missed out on. I stacked the three books up, and started with Rant:

Rant is filled with all the cleverness we have all come to expect of this writer. You get:

“You study any pretty democracy, from the ancient Greeks forward, and you’ll see that the only way that each system is with a working class of slaves.”

“In a world where billions believe their deity conceived a mortal child with a virgin human, it’s stunning how little imagination most people display.”

It’s the story of Rant Casey told as an oral history. He plays with the idea of social classes in an interesting way, turning things around on themselves. I finished this book in one night, and when I closed the book, I said, ‘Fuck’…because as soon as I was done I wanted to read it again. There was so much I didn’t see coming, having not read a lot about this before going into it. I don’t want to say too much, but it’s a nice ride through the city in a wedding dress, then someone ploughs into your fender. Seriously. I enjoyed this as much as Haunted.

Snuff: I fucking love Snuff. Just consider the premise of this book. Basically this porn actress wants to end her career by breaking the world record for fucking. Six hundred men on camera. The story is told from the perspectives of three of the men in the waiting room, and the assistant. Brilliant. It’s researched, clever, perverse and awesomeness. It’s like this book was written just for me. Also, did I mention, fucking hilarious.

Pygmy: It took me about fifty pages in to get used to the way this book is written, but after that I didn’t notice it as much and the story seemed to flow much better for me. It was clever and funny. I didn’t love it like I loved Rant. But, worth a go if the way it’s written doesn’t drive you nuts.

Now that I’ve read all his books I can’t tell you how anxious I am to get my hands on Tell All. I’m very fucking excited.