I am only about 1/3rd of the way through with Pygmy, but I definitely don’t hate it. More & more I’m actually loving it. Granted it’s a tough read, but that’s exactly what makes it so refreshingly Palahniuk; it is so stomach-churning, so witty and disgusting and “omgnohedidNOT!” The fact that the reader must take the time and decode the language in order to reach the Palahniuk-esquities is actually my favorite part, it’s as if he finally woke up to the fact that he’s become “mainstream” and instead of cranking out those half-hearted, quick-fix, transparent reads to appease the masses (ahem, Snuff) he’s decided to go the opposite route. For the first time in 3 years, I feel like he isn’t writing to be a crowd pleaser, to inspire the next blockbuster or to even be a bestseller (even though Pygmy is still #3, despite the endless complaints).
In short, I consider Pygmy to be both his gift to loyal fans and a slap in the face to the bandwagoners (in fact, it’s probably safe to say that one begets the other). Sure, it’s different, but underneath it all is totally a Palahniuk book in it’s rawest form..And so the real question is: how hard are you willing to work to get to the chewy center?
Chuck revealed that, while caring for his mother last year, he actually wrote three novels! The one which is going to drop in 2010 is called "Tell All" and if you thought Chuck couldn't get anymore original and daring... think again.
The plot: The novel will feature Lillian Hellman, a real life playwright. She is best known as Dashielle Hammet's lover and the writer of the controversial film "The Children's Hour" which featured Audrey Hepburn and Shirley McClain as lesbians. According to the interview, Chuck wants to reinvent her as a "larger than life Super Hero" and talk about her incredible life and exploits, as she wrote about them in her memoir "An Unfinished Woman".
I've recently decided that I'm in an abusive relationship with Chuck Palahniuk, because I'll keep coming back for more no matter how many times I get burned. But come on, the bruises from Pygmy haven't even healed yet. I'm not sure I can get excited at this moment in time.
Was it as disappointing for you as it was for me?
I recently went to the bookstore and picked up a few of Chuck's novels.
Lullaby, Diary, and Rant.
any suggestions on what to read first?
(and what NOT to read?)