[Reading] ➶ Stranger than Fiction ➽ Chuck Palahniuk – Writerscompany.co.uk

Stranger than Fiction I don t yet have the stomach for Chuck Palahniuk s fiction I ve tried reading pretty much all of his novels and Fight Club is the only one I ve been able to finish, and that s because I d seen the movie and pretty much knew what was going to happen His writing is just so over the top graphic, filled with human suffering and self loathing that for me they re too much of a mental, emotional, and physical workout to get through But at the same time I would like to one day be able to read his I don t yet have the stomach for Chuck Palahniuk s fiction I ve tried reading pretty much all of his novels and Fight Club is the only one I ve been able to finish, and that s because I d seen the movie and pretty much knew what was going to happen His writing is just so over the top graphic, filled with human suffering and self loathing that for me they re too much of a mental, emotional, and physical workout to get through But at the same time I would like to one day be able to read his stuff, let myself experience all the emotions, memories, and associations his writing churns up for me AND be detached enough to just finish the book So I was pretty stoked to see this collection of his non fiction writing on the library shelf I think aaccurate title would have been, Perhaps Stranger, but Definitely More Boring Than, My Fiction Compared to his fiction writing and his fictional characters, like Tyler Durden from Fight Club, the real life people and their situations he writes about in this collection come across as a little ho hum Even folks like Marilyn Manson I found myself wishing that he would take the best, most interesting parts of this non fiction work and combine them into something fictional Which I guess is what fiction writing is all about Nonfiction Palahniuk A mediocre collection of essays compared to his fiction A few pieces are worth reading but most of them are only worth a skim. Chuck Palahniuk S World Has Always Been, Well, Different From Yours And Mine In His First Collection Of Nonfiction, Chuck Palahniuk Brings Us Into This World, And Gives Us A Glimpse Of What Inspires His FictionAt The Rock Creek Lodge Testicle Festival In Missoula, Montana, Average People Perform Public Sex Acts On An Outdoor Stage In A Mansion Once Occupied By The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson Reads His Own Tarot Cards And Talks Sweetly To His Beautiful Actress Girlfriend Across The Country, Men Build Their Own Full Size Castles And Rocketships That Will Send Them Into Space Palahniuk Himself Experiments With Steroids, Works On An Assembly Line By Day And As A Hospice Volunteer By Night, And Experiences The Brutal Murder Of His Father By A White Supremacist With This New Direction, Chuck Palahniuk Has Proven He Can Do Anything You will like this book if you are easily amazed by the things your fellow humans do for fun or to make a living, or to survive or to fend off loneliness and despair if you are not surprised but what we do to light the flickering light of I am special You will like this book if you prefer understatement and no sentimentality in presentation of the harsh and the painful and the noble, and if you prefer examples of the profane in the presentation of the mysterious and even the mystical If you You will like this book if you are easily amazed by the things your fellow humans do for fun or to make a living, or to survive or to fend off loneliness and despair if you are not surprised but what we do to light the flickering light of I am special You will like this book if you prefer understatement and no sentimentality in presentation of the harsh and the painful and the noble, and if you prefer examples of the profane in the presentation of the mysterious and even the mystical If you like to sense the writer s hard lived experience in what you read, you will like this book I liked this book.This is a collection of true stories of very bizarre things that have occurred or occur regularly They are all as the old adage goes So strange they could only be true.In the intro to this book Chuck Palahniuk even admits that he is something of a one trick pony He views everything in America as the following struggle We strive to be alone We fight our way to independence from our fellow human beings by pursuing whatever interest we have, and then we get there and find our I liked this book.This is a collection of true stories of very bizarre things that have occurred or occur regularly They are all as the old adage goes So strange they could only be true.In the intro to this book Chuck Palahniuk even admits that he is something of a one trick pony He views everything in America as the following struggle We strive to be alone We fight our way to independence from our fellow human beings by pursuing whatever interest we have, and then we get there and find ourselves lonely, and must reacquaint with our fellow humans I agree with him, this is the lense that he views everything through, and it is getting annoying in his fiction literature But these stories, these are true stories And I think that his writing style is very aptly applied to these stories and telling them Long story short Chuck Palahniuk s writing style is best applied to nonfiction.I read this book because I was staying for a week on the Oregon coast with my family It seemed appropriate because Chuck Palahniuk is from portland Also, this book seemed interesting I wanted to like this waythan I did, as I love stories about the things and the people who occupy the margins of society Unfortunately many of the essays read like collections of notes, rewritten as to form a cogent narrative, but really lacked that certain something that makes them readable There were a few times I nearly dozed off during an essay never a good sign.HOWEVER There were two really wonderful pieces that I think made the whole experience worthwhile The first was about th I wanted to like this waythan I did, as I love stories about the things and the people who occupy the margins of society Unfortunately many of the essays read like collections of notes, rewritten as to form a cogent narrative, but really lacked that certain something that makes them readable There were a few times I nearly dozed off during an essay never a good sign.HOWEVER There were two really wonderful pieces that I think made the whole experience worthwhile The first was about the writers at a writer s conference, you know, one of those deals where a writer pays 75 in exchange for the opportunity to pitch her story to agents and publishers It was so sad and yet so poignant, to think of all of the people out there hoping they can peddle their story into something bigger, some recognition or some money, perhaps He took it beyond that, and talked about the way writers mine the world around them for material, to the point where sometimes they get so wrapped up in thinking about how they will turn this thing or that person into fodder for their latest story that they lose the ability to take life on its own terms I really loved this essay I also loved the final one, which mostly pivoted around the murder of his father by some jealous lunatic ex husband of a woman he had just started seeing Very powerful.But aside from those two essays I didn t really like much about this book Though this is Non fiction, it still delivers the best of Chuck Palahniuk We all know Chuck Palahniuk right Even if you haven t read him, you probably know what he represents.That s not him, that s Henry Rollins, but you get the point.Palahniuk is the white male that has found a way out of a life of corporate unfulfillment He is the fellow captured soldier who escaped past the POW fence one night.Even though you are still in the cage, you cheer him on with your fellow captured soldiers You wi Though this is Non fiction, it still delivers the best of Chuck Palahniuk We all know Chuck Palahniuk right Even if you haven t read him, you probably know what he represents.That s not him, that s Henry Rollins, but you get the point.Palahniuk is the white male that has found a way out of a life of corporate unfulfillment He is the fellow captured soldier who escaped past the POW fence one night.Even though you are still in the cage, you cheer him on with your fellow captured soldiers You wish him well, and tell him not to come back.Why He offers you the hope for escape yourself just by letting you know it is possible.He left behind an extensive escape plan for you to read, and to one day make your own plan.And of course, there is the chance that he is coming back with an army, so that everyone is freed.Though this book is Non fiction, it distills the best of Palahniuk and gives it to you straight Palahniuk gets into rarely visited situations as a journalist he visits wrestlers in their element, or explores the world of combine demolition derbies.He is not Gabriela Wiener she finds insane situations and then enters them.Palahniuk will just witness a combine demolition derby He will not drive one of them in a competition.But still every page holds insight If anything, this reminds me of Jonathan Franzen s The End of the End of the Earth just a collection of a contemporary fiction author s best non fiction Each one is short, and each one can change you In the spirit of this years motto, to boldly go where my inclinations have never led me to browse,I applied myself to finishing this collection of essays.I had liked the introduction very much but got bogged down immediately in alien territory and put it aside.Although he is better known as a novelist, I reasoned that if I was going to read only one thing by him, this might be the book to give me some kind of perspective on Palahniuks work.I determinined to finish with it already.I started agin In the spirit of this years motto, to boldly go where my inclinations have never led me to browse,I applied myself to finishing this collection of essays.I had liked the introduction very much but got bogged down immediately in alien territory and put it aside.Although he is better known as a novelist, I reasoned that if I was going to read only one thing by him, this might be the book to give me some kind of perspective on Palahniuks work.I determinined to finish with it already.I started agin with the introduction.If I had been anticipating a barrage of chauvanistic observations this prejudice was quickly laid to rest in the opening essay Palahniuk is a keen and sensitive observer and he can write His comments about the process and the reasons why he finds writing so gratifying were all pertinent to me, but even when he is writing about things that rather appall me,like extreme sports with farm machinary, he writes with such appreciation that finally even I can.Actually, many of the stories captured my interest I especially was fascinated by the one on American castle builders,and the essay on Amy Hempel gives some great leads He also drops well thought out little nuggets referencing some of the great thinkers Jefferson I might expect but I was pleasantly surprised to find a good precis of the essence of the philosophy of Kierkgaard Taken together, the stories offer a cultural spectrum of America, and in fact, most of stories offer some great leads for our own inspiration What I like most about Palahniuk is his embracing of life in all its its astounding variety and aspects Even writing about the sordid underside of the glimmering canopy, he retains his fresh perspective.We are not contaminated by his observations or despair Curiously, the after effect of this book was hopeful Official rating is 3.5, but always round up Collections of short works are tricky things to review I say this almost every bloody time I review one The reason being that each story or article or piece is inevitably pitted against one another in terms of likeability, and by a law of averages certain ones swim while other sink A talent fueled tale, followed by an even better one, tends to devalue the first.This is often the case with Palahniuk s Stranger Than Fiction This book was on my rad Official rating is 3.5, but always round up Collections of short works are tricky things to review I say this almost every bloody time I review one The reason being that each story or article or piece is inevitably pitted against one another in terms of likeability, and by a law of averages certain ones swim while other sink A talent fueled tale, followed by an even better one, tends to devalue the first.This is often the case with Palahniuk s Stranger Than Fiction This book was on my radar for years Someone bought it for me last Christmas and I finally got around to diving in I dig Chucky P quite a bit, enough to cite him as a writing influence of mine Generally, there is a mixed response to his books and subject matter, but I ve always admired his minimalist style and the way he strolls through territory where other writers fear to tread However, his shock and awe tactics can get a bit transparent at times Like a lot of his works, Stranger Than Fiction is no different in this department For example, the first story you encounter is called Testy Festy It s about the Red Creek Lodge Testicle Festival, and an all out in your face collage of blowjobs, handjobs, and crude lewd public sex acts in a nudist campground setting It s signature Palahniuk, acting as a gatekeeper of a story that will make a number of readers put the book down before they ve gotten through the first few pages If you can get past that one, you ll be fine The rest of this collection of non fiction shorts offers some incredible insight to Palahniuk s considerably different, sometimes slightly demented, world The book is divided into three sections People Together, Portraits, and Personal There is so much variety to take in, but it does have its problems And those problems will often boil down to what you personally find interesting or engaging I loved reading about the author s life in Personal , his trials and tribulations, successes and failures Mostly, it s his own eclectic experiences with family, friends, loss, steroids, shitty day jobs, sickness, and writing that I found most fulfilling A lot of the People Together stuff was pretty great too a combine harvester demolition derby, a collection of American DIY castle builders, the wrecked world or amateur wrestling, uncomfortable life aboard a US nuclear submarine These stories couldn t bedifferent from one another The spectrum covered is as wide as it is odd and interesting But the Portraits section was often a let down for me I can t fault Palahniuk too much for this, as most of them were gleaned from interviews with famous folk, and an article can only be as good as its subject Let s just say I didn t really care about Juliette Lewis before I read Chuck s article about her, and I certainly couldn t give a shit about her afterward Ditto for Marylin Manson and a couple others There were other slight annoyances, like the mentioning of Brad Pitt a little too often throughout the book or Palahniuk occasionally passing judgement on people or topics that felt a bit unfair, particularly in the face of evidence that suggested his conclusions were wrong or weak I think the people who will mine the most profit out of Stranger Than Fiction are writers themselves There is a lot we writers can relate to in this book, and it s always a treat to be invited inside a successful author s head to be granted insight alongside memories recovered analyzed If you re at all a fan of Chuck Palahniuk, Stranger Than Fiction makes a great companion to whatever collection of his books you already possess i stopped torturing myself at the half way point and burned the book over my stovetop and ate the ashes in hopes of regaining the 3 hours i put in didn t work this was one of the worst things i ve read since i tutored freshmen in their first writing course.to anyone who happens upon it and can t resist, here are the only nuggets worth digesting you are here and the lady and i d say the latter wasso, if only for the quick spill on palahniuk s personal history also it s worth taking i stopped torturing myself at the half way point and burned the book over my stovetop and ate the ashes in hopes of regaining the 3 hours i put in didn t work this was one of the worst things i ve read since i tutored freshmen in their first writing course.to anyone who happens upon it and can t resist, here are the only nuggets worth digesting you are here and the lady and i d say the latter wasso, if only for the quick spill on palahniuk s personal history also it s worth taking into account that i didn t read much past the second section of portraits where the mental yawns became unbearable


About the Author: Chuck Palahniuk

Written in stolen moments under truck chassis and on park benches to a soundtrack of The Downward Spiral and Pablo Honey, Fight Club came into existence The adaptation of Fight Club was a flop at the box office, but achieved cult status on DVD The film s popularity drove sales of the novel Chuck put out two novels in 1999, Survivor and Invisible Monsters Choke, published in 2001, became Chuck s first New York Times bestseller Chuck s work has always been infused with personal experience, and his next novel, Lullaby, was no exception Chuck credits writing Lullaby with helping him cope with the tragic death of his father Diary and the non fiction guide to Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, were released in 2003 While on the road in support of Diary, Chuck began reading a short story entitled Guts, which would eventually become part of the novel Haunted.In the years that followed, he continued to write, publishing the bestselling Rant, Snuff, Pygmy, Tell All, a remix of Invisible Monsters, Damned, and most recently, Doomed Chuck also enjoys giving back to his fans, and teaching the art of storytelling has been an important part of that In 2004, Chuck began submitting essays to ChuckPalahniuk.net on the craft of writing These were How To pieces, straight out of Chuck s personal bag of tricks, based on the tenants of minimalism he learned from Tom Spanbauer Every month, a Homework Assignment would accompany the lesson, so Workshop members could apply what they had learned all 36 of these essays can currently be found on The Cult s sister site, LitReactor.com.Then, in 2009, Chuck increased his involvement by committing to read and review a selection of fan written stories each month The best stories are currently set to be published in Burnt Tongues, a forthcoming anthology, with an introduction written by Chuck himself His next novel, Beautiful You, is due out in October 2014.


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