This is really, really hard. I am stuck between Invisible Monsters, Choke, Lullabye and Survivor. I am going to go with the gut and pick Choke, but right now I am considering rereading those four just to decide once and for all.
All these people not giving Rant it's due respect - you need to go boil your heads.
I'd feel threatened but since you liked Rant I figure that if you tried to boil my head, I would just dangled an especially shiny watch around and you would get distracted. It's fun when a story catches your imagination, but that doesn't make the idea well executed.
Oh but it was so very well executed. The last great Palahniuk book.
Admittedly I do like shiny stuff though.
Add me to the list of people that were taken unaware by the Haunted cover. I dropped it next to me on the bed, turned out the light, then woke up several hours later in complete darkness staring at a greenish face I didn't know.
Why y'all hate on Pygmy?
Unfortunately, 'Fight Club' is the only one I've read (so far). 'Survivor' is sitting on my bookshelf and I can't wait to get to it. I also especially want to read 'Invisible Monsters' and 'Rant'.
Yeah! Rant! The reason I loved Rant so much is-- Look! A dangling shiny watch!
I realize this is an old thread but I can't resist: #1 Invisible Monsters, I am like a little girl Christmas eve waiting for the new book!!! # Rant #3 I wlll give to Pygmy for the pure genius of the characters voice, that and story. I have loved every book and it's so hard to pick favorites. Haunted amazing, Survivor, Snuff....ok I will just be listing all of his works. Huge fan. What I love most about his work is the incredible amount of information he assimilates and then weaves into a story. He is able to be hip shocking and crazy smart. His writing always has layers and I love seeing his commentary on social issues and the fucked up beautiful human race.
Rant. It's more interactive than his later novels. I think Palahniuk's writing machine has gone Terminator on his ass because his last few novels have been tedious. I have read all of his books except for Damned- I just couldn't get past chapter 3 no matter how hard I tried. It was soooo bad.
Invisible Monsters is my favorite. I liked pretty much all of his books, except I didn't care for Tell-All very much. I might try it again sometime, but I didn't have fun reading it like I usually do with his books. His early books are amazing. Snuff was okay. I liked Pygmy once I got used to reading it. I had to read some parts out loud to understand them, but once I got it, it had me laughing. I enjoyed Damned most out of his recent novels.
Torn between Survivor and Invisible Monsters But Invisible Monsters just gets it.
I went for Survivor, but I think it sticks with me as it was the first of Chuck's novels that I read.
While I've read most of the others, I haven't read Fight Club.
I like the one with that kinda twisty ending.
The one where he had that expression / saying he used over and over?
I understand Fight Club. Choke should have gotton more though and why are there no votes for Damed. I give it an 100%.
I'm going to have to say as of this writing I am a fan of Fight Club the most. It's the one that came across the magic and that expelled Palahniuk into relevancy. However all of his other books that I have read have been a ghost of Fight Club hoping to maintain that excellence. In essence he's begun to lampoon himself. Haunted was one of the worst books I've ever read, Damned was way to cliched and made my brain hurt with absurdness, Rant was actually pretty good, but most of its selling point was the gross-out factor as opposed to the literary excellence. I don't know why Chuck has planned on making himself the Marilyn Manson of the literary world but it's not going to last forever. He needs to learn how to write a story that isn't trying to show how disgusting the world is...because he's already done it upteen times.
My goodness, I loved Invisible Monsters. I also Enjoyed Haunted, Choke and Snuff an awful lot ... and I feel as though I'm going to enjoy Lullaby. Although, of course, there's always the danger of hearing too many good things - I hope it lives up to its reputation, though. There must be a reason why it has one to begin with, after all.
Quite honestly, the most disappointing thing for me right now is the fact that I'm finding it difficult to get the chance to read. I can sit down and read a couple of chapters, but getting the chance to get halfway through a book in an evening just isn't an option anymore. Sad.
I have to pay the bills somehow, though. Haha.
I, er........ I mean I had a friend who really liked Pigmy. I read it, I mean he read it twice. Brandon - is that bad? For him obviously.
I actually don't think Pygmy is terrible. I know most people hate it, but in my mind it was this completely new flavor of Palahniuk that I had been waiting to see. I think you can appreciate it more if you've read everything else by him...it was his only book where he was truly experimenting.
Jonny, if you look back at this thread you'll find that that's the book I listed as my fav! I am not ashamed at all to say I loved that book!!! Yes I did!!! So there. I recently presented a paper about it at a conference too (hee hee). I have no clue why "most people hate it" - it's wonderfully clever and since I come from an Eastern European country, I also found the topic interesting to me. It has some great twists and turns too. And very funny.
.... I picked Pygmy.
high five Nick!
I think the label "experimental" doesn't give it enough credit because it implies that the "experiment" didn't necessarily work out, when in my opinion it clearly did. I loved the satirical concept and thought the invented dialogue was a roaring success.
There's a lot of argument that could be made either way.
Did he sell a shit-ton of copies? Yes.
Is it currently one of his lowest-rated books? Also yes.
So it sold, but the general consensus is that it wasn't well received by the public, and a lot of that had to do the fact that this is a novel written in broken English. That's what most of the complaints address.
I guess it boils down to whether you judge an experiment working by the amount of money it makes or the reviews. Granted, he made a lot of money off of Pygmy, but I don't see the public clamoring for another novel like this.
Pygmy was fun. I doubt Chuck lost any sleep over the poor reviews. I'd guess he was expecting it, anyone who is going to release such a book has to know it is going to divide people's opinions.
Pygmy was pure genius and I'm clamoring.
Then if that's the main complaint, I guess "most people" don't have patience. It takes a little while to get used to reading a book in such a unique voice, but I think it only took me a couple of pages before I bought the voice and was fine with it. First it seemed like Borat was narrating, then I got over that too. If you do start getting into it, then for a while it's fun to think and speak like that.
I doubt Chuck cares about reviews anymore. He's made it. He's successful. People will buy his books and read him regardless of the reviews. So, why even care?
I remember the exact scene where I quit reading Pygmy and it had nothing to do with the narrative style. The little dude had just raped someone in the bathroom of a Wal Mart, he had, during this process, covered some amount of American currency with blood and excrement and semen. He then used this currency to purchase something.
Now, the fundamental idea that is illustrated by this imagery is one that I happen to agree with. I certainly understood why this had all happened and I saw the point. But I also thought it was too over the top. I thought it was absurdly heavy handed, and I didn't want to keep reading that sort of stuff.
Re: "People will buy his books no matter what."
Yeah, and defend them on internet forums too. There is more to writing than the pursuit of monetary gain. I don't see Pygmy or Rant as books that are going to age well or develop stronger followings later.
Nick, that scene stands out in my mind as one of the most foul scenes I've ever read. It pissed me off too, because it was so obviously included just for shock value, it made me feel like I was being played. But I continued to read the novel just to see where it was going. When I finished it, I thought, "Why'd I just read that?"
I've read "Fight Club", "Survivor", "Choke", "Diary", "Haunted" and "Damned". For a while I thought "Pygmy" was the one because I like my Palahniuk thick and chewy. But at this point I think my favorite is and will forever be "Rant" probably because its format really got to me. But who knows, maybe I'll change my mind because there's still Lullaby to read and I've always thought that when it comes to the horror fiction Palahniuk can really give the masters a run for their money.
First voter of Diary!
I prefer Fight Club, although I admit that I really liked Pygmy.
I voted for Haunted. Not just for the gore-factor, but mainly I liked the short stories w/in a frame story format.
I'm just glad to see that Damned has zero votes, because that book is horrible. I will stand up for EVERY other book of his as I've read every one, but Damned is one of the worst books I've ever attempted to read. That said, I'm sure one day I'll finish it, and I don't doubt that I'll buy his next book as well, cuz that's how I roll...
Survivor is the book that inspired me to take my writing more seriously.
Chuck isn't afraid to experiment and warp what is typical in style, and he does it with a heavy, yet subtle message that leaks into your brain slowly and ferments. He goes beyond mediocre entertainment.
honestly i tried reading pygmy and stopped maybe 15 pages into it. (still want to finish it but just havent)
its a toss up between Rant, Survivor and the Haunted. but im gonna have to go with Survivor. i think that just had something about it. idk. i think that they are all very well written. but survivor more then the others.
Lullaby and Pygmy are my favorites. Tried to read Rant a few times and couldn't stand it. All the others are top notch.