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Survivor

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  67,306 ratings  ·  2,397 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
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3rd out of 20 books — 296 voters
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30th out of 589 books — 551 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
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
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
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
شريف ثابت
كابوس مكتمل الأركان!

تشاك بالانيك يفك أزرار بنطلونه، يخرج قضيبه، ويطرطر على المجتمع الذى فقد كل خصائصه وتحول لطبقات لا تنتهى من الزيف ثم الزيف ولا شئ إلا الزيف على جميع الأصعدة بلا استثناء.. لأجل هذا انفجرت ثورة تايلر دوردن فى نادى القتال..

الرواية بصدد التحول لفيلم سنيمائى يتولى إخراجه فرانسيس لورانس (مخرج الجزء الثانى من ألعاب الجوع) وهو ظلم فادح لأن الرواية لا يصلح لها إلا ديفيد فينشر بما أنتجه التعاون السابق بينه وبين بالانيك فى نادى القتال

كل كلمات الشكر لا تفى هشام فهمى حقه، سواء لاختياره لل...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
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?
Kaitlin
I'd give this a 2.5* rating because the whole time I was reading it the one thing that kept popping into my mind in order to describe this was weird. It's a really weird, dark and somewhat depressing book (not quite what I expected). I did enjoy the writing, it was written much like a stream of consciousness and that was interesting to see, but there were times that phrases were repeated and I wasn't really interested in reading the same thing 3 times or more in one novel.

This is the story abou...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
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
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
Luis
"For instance, if Jesus Christ had died in prison, with no one watching and with no one there to mourn or torture him, would we be saved?
With all due respect.
...the biggest factor that makes you a saint is the amount of press coverage you get.
The same as if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, you realize, if no one had been there to witness the agony of Christ, would we be saved?
The key to salvation is how much attention you get."


This is the best Chuck Palahniuk book.
Or no...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
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
Sentimental Surrealist
Bits of this book have that sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub David Lynch horrifying kitsch aesthetic that's pretty much the only thing I can appreciate about Chuck P anymore, but look. There's a character here who works on a suicide hotline and encourages people to kill themselves. I don't care what sort of point he was trying to make, I don't care that it's probably supposed to be satire, I don't care that they're only fictional characters, and I certainly don't care that this'll make me look like o...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
Marie
The book has a conceit where the chapters and pages are numbered backwards - which is handy because you always know how much book you have left - but really the content doesn't reflect that. It's not a told-backward story. The story starts with a climactic present moment - our narrator has just hijacked a plane and is going to crash to his death after having let the passengers and pilot off - and then jumps back in time to tell the story of how he got there in chronological sequence.

Our hero is...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.
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.
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
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
Theresa Flores
4.5 stars.

Definitely one of my top 3 favorite Palahniuk novels. Survivor is about Tender Branson, the last known survivor of the Creedish Death Cult. With only a few hours left before his plane crashes off somewhere in Australia, Tender Branson is now recording his life story into the flight recorder box of Flight 2039.

What I loved most about this novel is definitely the movement of the entire story from start to finish. A Chuck Palahniuk novel is like one big cake with an intricate design--...more
Crabby McGrouchpants
Palahniuk's method is this: each chapter starts, and ends, with a "tent stake"; you're alerted to something new you need to adjust to/gets your interest pique, and, inevitably, you get a "cliff-hanger," so you turn to the next chapter.

The effect in this novel is dazzling: you feel like, with the protagonist, you're being pulled backwards, as though out the window of a high-pressure airlock, while traipsing 'cross the Modern-Day America the author is (rightly) credited with skewering so well.

(And...more
Souvik
A typical Palahniuk roller coaster, 'Survivor' once again leaves you disarmed, perplexed and full of questions. It will transport you into a world which is too unreal to believe and too real for comfort. Only Chuck can come up with such stories. And after reading five of his books, I now realize what makes him so unique; it's not so much his vocabulary or diction or structure, but his uncanny ability to so vividly sketch the universal and basic principles of life through his protagonists.
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Ending? So, did he find a way out? 12 138 Oct 18, 2014 04:22PM  
What's The Name o...: Something similar to Chuck Palahniuk [s] 4 37 Jul 15, 2014 05:22PM  
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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
More about Chuck Palahniuk...
Fight Club Choke Invisible Monsters Lullaby Haunted

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“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.” 3168 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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