Survivor
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Survivor

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  61,878 ratings  ·  2,256 reviews
Some say that the apocalypse swiftly approacheth, but that simply ain't so according to Chuck Palahniuk. Oh no. It's already here, living in the head of the guy who just crossed the street in front of you, or maybe even closer than that. We saw these possibilities get played out in the author's bloodsporting-anarchist-yuppie shocker of a first novel, Fight Club. Now, in Su...more
Paperback, 289 pages
Published August 3rd 2000 by Vintage (first published January 1st 1999)
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Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukInvisible Monsters by Chuck PalahniukSurvivor by Chuck PalahniukChoke by Chuck PalahniukLullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
Best Chuck Palahniuk Books
3rd out of 19 books — 275 voters
Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukTrainspotting by Irvine WelshAmerican Psycho by Bret Easton EllisFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonA Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Contemporary Cult Fiction
11th out of 95 books — 104 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jess
I'm going to be honest, I'm starting to become less and less impressed with Palahniuk's work in general-- and it saddens me to admit this. I've read five of his books now (one non-fiction; one too plodding to even finish), and it's becoming too obvious that every character voice is exactly the same. They are all written the same, they all have the same delivery of speech and thought patterns, they are all perfectly one-dimensional. Blank, emotionless, cruel, somewhat hateful. Disenchanted with t...more
Matt
Dec 04, 2013 Matt rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone with a therapist on standby
chuck palahniuk will mess you up. he messed me up. 'fight club' put chuck on the map, but in my opinion, 'survivor' is where he really earned his paycheck.

as others have mentioned, the book starts on page 247 or so and goes backwards to page 1. a simple, but clever gimmick that made me buy the book in the first place. and since the novel's protagonist, if we can call him that, is on a doomed airplane, the page numbering is highly appropriate.

palahniuk expertly traces one man's rise to fame. te...more
Heather
Palahnuik has a formula to his story-writing, and it's becoming more and more clear that every work becomes less and less impressive upon further examination. Every main character seems plagued by the same sense of nihilism and self-defeat like his Fight club protagonist, as well as the same delivery of speech, and thought patterns.

So. After reading about 3 books in a row with this consistent formula, I was about ready to abandon my faith in him.

But. Then I read this book, and what a fresh bre...more
Kristen
Jul 09, 2008 Kristen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: thrill seekers, those who don't care about facts
Recommended to Kristen by: Martin, Chris, and a bunch of guys my age.
Shelves: eh-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Magdelanye
Vonnegut,Kozinski,Christopher Moore and now Chuck Pahlaniuk have tapped the black humour of all the mainstream sacred cows, with stylish grace and the prescient ablity to extrapolate the consequences of our most innocuous acts.

Another commonality: they all have the uncanny ability to transform our feelings for their ungainly, unlikely,unlikable, sometimes even rather repulsive oddball freak heroes from clinicly detached to warm and fuzzy. Quite a class act.

We may not like them, but they are us....more
Denise
Jun 22, 2008 Denise rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: People who want to read something different.
Strange, intriguing at first, but ended with disappointment. Tender Branson is a veritable oddball, with more against him than the average person. I liked him up until a point in the novel where he ceased to think for himself. After that the book became unbearable, and a struggle to read. What started out creative, interesting, amusing, and with a bunch of mental "oh really"s, ended somehow in dejection. Which is odd, because the ending is quite amusing at parts. It is different in that when you...more
Stu - (Sequere me in tenebras)
"Pacy, inventive, often funny, dark, disturbing and plain weird! Welcome to the mind of Chuck Palancuick"

Testing, testing, one, two, three

Are you reading this?

Testing, testing, one, two, three

Is this thing on?

Testing, testing, one, two, three

Yes Chuck, I get that you like writing a lot of that literacy term, called, drama of sensibility. Maybe it's time to look at using something different.

Survivor makes Fight Club look like a mild experience when leading towards the angst spewing forth from t...more
G.R.
I really enjoyed Fight Club. I thought it was inventive and clever, well constructed and in it's way very honest.

I knew I was going to finish this book (Survivor), it was easy to read. I read it a few years ago and don't remember much at all about it story wise, but I do recall feeling like people who liked Fight Club are supposed to fall in line with this, and it didn't feel like he had really put the effort in.

Apparently people really liked this book, I know many people gave it a lot of stars...more
Patrick Gibson
What would you do if you worked as a gardener for a wealthy couple who are mastication-challenged and you’ve landscaped their yard with plastic flowers stolen from a giant mausoleum where you’ve just met a girl, who’s brother you may have killed, and thinks your ugly but can predict horrifying disasters while your therapist slowly obsesses over tile grout, and you are the sole surviving member of a religious cult whose doctrine commands you to commit suicide?

You would hijack a plane (flight 2039...more
Charissa
Apr 24, 2008 Charissa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: lovers of great writing and twisted world views
Recommended to Charissa by: myself (thanks self!)
Damn. That was a good read. I have to say I was a little reluctant in the early stages of the book. He builds the tale so slowly, and you really have no idea who these characters are. But as the layers unfold and you begin to burrow to the heart of the book... I have to say I'm impressed. Mister Palahniuk is all that and a bag of chips. He kind of reminds me of Tom Robbins... but the cynical, perverted version. There are echoes of the themes that run through Fight Club. He has a very subtle bone...more
Eric Althoff
Jul 16, 2007 Eric Althoff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: the Palanchiuk cult
You know him best as the father of "Fight Club," that fiendishly nihilistic modern tale of materialism and machismo run awry. "Survivor" is a different take on almost the same theme, a fractured look at contemporary living as seen through the twisted prism of a not-too-innocent.

The narrator begins by telling us that he has hijacked a plane and that he will run out of fuel in so many hours. In that time, he will tell us (and the flight recorder) the tale of how he got to where he is. So then, in...more
Laura
I have never read a Chuck Palahniuk book before until this one. I was actually more interested in picking up "Invisible Monsters," but since my library had "Survivor," I decided to give it a try. And I'm glad I did! I could hardly put it down. It is such a quick read with a storyline of seemingly endless twists and turns. Many of the elements of the book are sooo over the top when it came to morbidity and hilarity. From religious cults to landfills filled with pornography the satirical humor was...more
Fewlas
Oct 21, 2012 Fewlas rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fewlas by: R.
Shelves: americana
Quanto dolore serve per diventare dolore dipendenti? Per non riuscire più a farne a meno?

Mi chiedo se questa corsa non sia soltanto una messa in scena che copre un’altra messa in scena che copre un’altra messa in scena che copre un’altra messa in scena che copre un’altra messa in scena che copre un problema.

Il mondo intero è un disastro che aspetta di accadere.

Quanto dolore serve per accumulare la quantità di massa inerziale necessaria all’attesa del disastro?
Dennis Burke
This is Palahniuk's most compelling book. For fans of the odd contemporary fiction, it's a must have, and a must read annually.
Nancy Oakes

There's some terrible things talked about in this book, but god help me, I couldn't help but laugh.

Survivor is the story of Tender Branson, who, when we first meet him, is on an airplane minus passengers and pilot, the former having been deplaned shortly after takeoff and the latter having parachuted after giving tips to Branson about how to keep the plane in the air after the pilot jumps, the amount of time before all four engines flame out, etc. Branson is the sole occupant of the plane, and...more
Billie.henry
Truly, the hype around Palahniuk made me a little wary. There's nothing more disappointing than reading the work of someone who's been raved about, only to find out that their words are less than well-crafted.
Well, "Survivor" had me hooked from the first page. Palahniuk's style of writing appeals to me. He crafted a creepy, weird protagonist whom I just can't help but feel sympathy for. His sentences put me right into the world and mind of a weirdo, while making me laugh and revel in the sheer...more
Jonathan
What started out as a promising read quickly spiraled into a flaming wreck, similar to the plane crash that we're guaranteed on the first page. Or is it the last page?

The book and chapters are numbered in reverse order, as some kind of clever gimmick so that you open at the end of the story, and count down the pages until you finally reach the beginning. The concept is intriguing, and might work better if the story was structured around it(think: the film "Memento") but here, it feels pretentio...more
Christina
This book is just.... omg wtf IDEK. Yes, acronyms clearly sum it up best. IT IS AMAZING. This book captured me from the first page, and not just because I realised the pages (and chapter numbers) count backwards. It is a tragedy from the very beginning, but as any Chuck fan knows, there's no looking up. This novel spirals down from page 288 to 1, dragging you along without mercy.

One thing I love is that Palahniuk's characters always have the strangest insights to life. They're truly unique indi...more
Maria Grazia
L'idea è veramente interessate: prendete l'unico sopravvissuto di uno degli strani culti suicidi che prosperano in America, e trasformatelo nel testimonial totale, nel guru totale, nella vittima totale, dategli come compagna una donna dotata della preveggenza e come nemesi un fratello pazzo, e fate si che gli impulsi suicidi inculcategli nella sua chiesa finiscano finalmente per andare a compimento tramite uno spettacolare dirottamento aereo che terminerà solo con lo schianto al suolo dell'aereo...more
Bill
The survivor of a religious cult tells his life story to the “black box” of a hijacked airplane bound straight for hell (or maybe Arizona). Told only as Chuck Palahniuk can. This story is extremely twisted and somehow retains its brilliance throughout. There I so much going on and so many turns in this tale that I have no idea how Palahniuk keeps it together. I guess that is where the story really shines - Its brilliance lies in the fact that you don’t get lost in all the black humor and demente...more
Sunday
In which Chuck Palahniuk evolves from a one-note caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly that has finally perfected the art of sucking its own dick.

Read four or five of his books and get back to me. Palahniuk is a bad cover band of himself.
Kamalia Ramlan
satira yang menarik. sindiran untuk para kapitalis dan pengikut agama yang buta tuli.
Kate
May 20, 2010 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: those in the Palahniuk fan club
Recommended to Kate by: my friend Ashley
Now that I'm done with this book, I'm still on the fence about it. I didn't hate it but I wasn't like OMFG this is the bestest book I've ever read!

Nope.

I thought it was inventive and I liked how the book started at the end and came full circle at the beginning. There were moments where I was like what the hell is going on and times where I could see the story unfold interstingly. However, the best way for me to describe this style is to refer to one of my favorite movies of all time, "Memento"...more
Charlie George
Didn't like it. Never thought making fun of religion could be so little fun. Same goes for celebrity-worship. I find Palahniuk's barrage of wit and wisdom to be entertaining at a rate of about 1 out of every 100, which is just annoying.

I know his books are just vehicles for wonderfully fucked up characters and morose, stinging social commentary... but I still expect a more cohesive story than this. Of course the most fundamental theme here is suicide, which--maybe I'm just boringly even-keeled-...more
Jess
The prose of this book is among the most beautiful of any book I have ever read. Palahnuik's description of everything leaps off the page and is vivid and excruciatingly well-felt. This book is unrelentingly grim, but never fails to move and disturb you.

It made a description of a glory hole and the graffiti surrounding it seem sublime in a curious, detached way.

"Ghoulie or ghosty or long-legged beastie, I just want my hand held."

"According to the agent, the people out there looking for a leader,...more
Joe
"Some say that the apocalypse swiftly approacheth, but that simply ain't so according to Chuck Palahniuk. Oh no. It's already here, living in the head of the guy who just crossed the street in front of you, or maybe even closer than that. We saw these possibilities get played out in the author's bloodsporting-anarchist-yuppie shocker of a first novel, Fight Club. Now, in Survivor, his second and newest, the concern is more for the origin of the malaise. Starting at chapter 47 and screaming towa...more
M. Baran
palahniuk’u türkiye’de pek çok kişiyle tanıştıran ve bir anlamda “moda yapan” kitabı fight club’dır elbette. sıradan, popülist ve klişe edebiyattan sıkılan kitap okurları palahniuk’a adeta “saldırmış” ve genel algıların dışına çıkan tarzına; sert üslubuna hayran kalmış.

ancak, en az fight club kadar sistem karşıtı, ve en az onun kadar sarsıcı bir romanı daha var: gösteri peygamberi.



dünyadan yalıtılmış, belli bir algı çerçevesinden hiç çıkmamış aslında tamamen “sıradan” olan birey, korkunç tüketim...more
Христо Блажев
Окови за ума, опиум за тялото – “Оцелелият” на Чък Паланюк е безчовечен човек
http://www.knigolandia.info/2011/10/b...

Ето ви я реалността – ръбата и зловеща, която се озъбва сред страниците, а човек без човешко в себе си създава и убива поредния култ. Унищoжителният Паланюк отново е тук с ясното намерение да забие безпощаден юмрук в лицето на реалността, да продължи с ритник в стомаха и да изкара наяве цялата болезнена цинична абсурдност на съвременната цивилизиция.

Нито „Приспивна песен”, нито „...more
Elsa
Siempre que voy en los últimos capítulos de un libro, me pregunto si todas mis expectativas se verán cumplidas. Sin embargo, en el caso de Survivor, mientras más leía y más me llenaba de dudas, mis expectativas iban creciendo y cumpliéndose. Hay varias cosas que Palahniuk pone en cuestión en el libro, como la cosificación del hombre (el culto), la sexualidad como una especie de "liberación" (la frustración también se encuentra en este punto), el destino (el sueño y el asombro) y otras cosas de s...more
Justin
Sep 11, 2007 Justin rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good read
I'll never eat lobster again. Gag.

That was my initial response, several chapters into the book. It was a fascinating piece from the get-go. I'm really into the way Palahniuk shifts from past- to present-tense with virtual seamlessness, despite the fact that I realized it was part of what I loved about the book when I'd finished it. The author manages to make humorous and biting social commentary on American society at large without robbing the characters of their believability.

First the lobster,...more
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Ending? So, did he find a way out? 10 103 Jan 30, 2014 02:45PM  
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2546
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’...more
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“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.” 3076 likes
“A girl calls and asks, "Does it hurt very much to die?"
"Well, sweetheart," I tell her, "yes, but it hurts a lot more to keep living.”
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