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Stranger than Fiction

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  20,007 Ratings  ·  742 Reviews
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 fiction.At 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 Rolli ...more
Paperback, 233 pages
Published May 10th 2005 by Anchor (first published June 2004)
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Jun 22, 2013 Lyn rated it liked it
I have often said there is no reason to read fiction as life is far stranger and more interesting and it is this premise that leads award winning and best selling author Chuck Palahniuk to write this compilation of real life oddities and bizarre observations.

Organized into journalistic sketches, Palahniuk describes such things as:

out in the open pornography
wheat field combine demolition derbies
the art of American castle building (there is a castle near where I live that hosts a Renaissance fes
J. Kent Messum

*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
Oct 19, 2010 vikki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 was more so, if only for the quick spill on palahniuk's personal history. also it's worth taking
Jan 02, 2013 Francisco rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Aug 10, 2007 Dan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Chuck Palahniuk fans
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
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 ...more
Caitlin Constantine
Apr 21, 2009 Caitlin Constantine rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this way more than 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
Paul Nash
Jan 10, 2017 Paul Nash rated it really liked it
Another Palahniuk...what can I say?
He's one odd character, but he has no shame and swallows his pride.
These stories are all true...and very interesting.
I'm not a big fan of non-fiction, but I did enjoy this one.
4 stars
Dec 31, 2007 Joaquin rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Axel Marazzi
Oct 01, 2012 Axel Marazzi rated it really liked it
Terminé «Error Humano», de Chuck Palahniuk. Es lo primero que leo de él, y ya logró que lo quiera y lo envidie.

El libro se divide en tres: «Gente reunida», «Retratos» y «Personal». Su nombre los describe lo suficiente.

Todos son relatos cortitos que cuentan historias tan interesantes como extrañas.

Desde un festival de sexo donde todos garchan porque sí hasta su paso por Los Angeles durante la época de «El club de la pelea».

Tiene una franqueza y simpleza que nos hace sentir identificados. Se acer
Kitap, Palahniuk'un bir dizi yazısının bir araya getirilmiş hali. Bu nedenle yazılar arasında bağlantı zayıf doğal olarak.
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 27, 2011 Mallory rated it it was amazing
I will admit I was a little bored by his demolition car story, and the testicle festival wasn't my cup of tea, but the rest of the (chapters? essays?) I was in love, and as a whole I can definitely say I loved the book. I recommend this to anyone who likes good writing and smart writing and funny writing and isn't a sensitive reader topic/description wise.

Chuck Palahniuk is a genius. He is funny, cohesive, and writes very well: eliminating cloggy words but not going overboard (you know- when you
Adoro Palahniuk, e in questo libro è interessantissimo scoprire da cosa gli sono venuti alcuni degli spunti poi confluiti nei suoi libri.
Situazioni assurde della vita reale, raduni di gente che trova un proprio scopo in un'attività e fa in modo di ritrovarsi con altri suoi simili. Sia questa attività il sesso esibizionista, la lotta, gli scontri tra mototrebbiatrici, la costruzione di castelli in pietra.

Interessante anche la parte con i brevi aneddoti tratti dall'esperienza personale di Chuck, p
Dec 30, 2014 L rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stranger than Fiction es una lectura obligada para todo fan de Palahniuk, aunque no lleve el mismo estilo narrativo que el resto de sus historias. Es una respuesta a muchos por qués que uno se plantea cuando lee sus novelas: sobre su estilo, los temas que aborda, e incluso sobre su propia vida. Los primeros capítulos y algunos retratos son un poco pesados; otros, y sobre todo en "Personal", están buenos.
Me parece genial que, escribiendo historias reales pero inverosímiles, cuestione esa crítica
Aug 19, 2007 Nicole rated it it was ok
So it started out all right, but really crashed and burned in my opinion, maybe because I lost patience. This is a collection of stories, some interesting and indeed, almost stranger than fiction, others average. It is at its best when relating other people's stories, worst when it Palahniuk recording his own musings, which to me seemed as if he's trying too hard, and personal stories, which are not generally strange but seem more the experiences of a person who doesn't want to be well-adjusted, ...more
Error Humano es un libro de relatos, en su mayoría, de tipos que están bastante pillados de la cabeza.
Son muchas historias cortas las que componen el libro, de modo que me resulta difícil hacer una valoración general.
Con algunas me he muerto de la risa (Casi California me ha matado), otras me han cabreado (como Querido Señor Levin)... y alguna me la he saltado porque lo que hagan los paletos sureños con sus cosechadoras me interesa más bien poco.
Indah Threez Lestari
Mar 06, 2017 Indah Threez Lestari rated it liked it
Shelves: in-english
105 - 2017
Farhan Khalid
Jun 04, 2015 Farhan Khalid rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary, american
Lonely Person

All my books are about a lonely person looking for some way to connect with other people

The dream is a big house, off alone somewhere

Writing Novel

You plan and research. You spend time alone, building this lovely world where you control, control, control everything

You stay in your story world until you destroy it. Then you come back to be with other people

Reading a books is not a group activity

In my own cycle, it goes: Fact. Fiction. Fact. Fiction

Journalist and Novelist

The journalist
Mar 09, 2009 Erik rated it really liked it
Palahniuk is right. These essays of his are most certainly stranger than fiction. Just from the every first essay alone, you’re hoping that he’s making all this up. But no. The annual Rock Creek Lodge Testicle Festival just outside of Missoula, MT, detailed in the aptly-titled “Testy Festy”, is the kind of bizarre and mind-boggling public orgy that you think can – or should, rather – exist only in the most perverted of minds. (The shocking writing and fantasy worlds of Marquis de Sade comes read ...more
This collection of non-fiction essays starts you off with a one-two punch in the gut (no surprise for anyone that knows Palahniuk) with pieces including descriptions of sexual exhibitionism and of wrestling injuries. (I literally had to pull over to calm my stomach.)

That being said, (and having got through without any 'projectile' incidents) the reader may then enjoy several enjoyable essays touching on Palahniuk's life pre- and post-Fight Club, as well as a few very enlightening interviews with
Jan 23, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
I missed the pattern to this book the first time around. Part of it is Palahnik's collection of anything he's encountered that he thought could be used. "Fight Club" used a lot of his experiences at a charity hospital, "Survivor" had as many interesting cleaning methods that he could find, and calls to telephone sex numbers ended up, well, everywhere. "Stranger Than Fiction" is a collection of the tidbits that he liked best, or hasn't been able to fit into a novel yet.

But you also need to pay at
José Vivas M.
Apr 01, 2014 José Vivas M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Con todo el punch que promete, y habiendo disfrutado ya de algunas novelas de Palahniuk, debo decir que la lectura sucesiva y continuada de estas crónicas, que en su forma original obviamente no estaban recopiladas, me dio pronto una sensación de hastío, de haberme topado con una fórmula para asombrar. Rompedoras como sean algunas de las historias, el tono de Palahniuk para presentarlas, esto-es-lo-que-hay-no-sé-por-qué-ofenderse-o-asombrarse, las iguala en cierta forma en la que, pues ya que to ...more
Apr 01, 2008 Katy rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
If i could've given this book no stars I would've. I got about three stories in and realized I was forcing myself to read the next story. I ended up skimming through the rest and decided I wasn't missing anything.

I think the book is an interesting concept; this fiction writer writes a non-fiction book about different people and how they live their lives. It's a book of stories to glimpse into how other people live their lives. The problem is, isn't that what books are in general? It's a glimpse
Corinna Scott
Jan 31, 2015 Corinna Scott rated it it was amazing
Here’s a question for you: can Chuck Palahniuk do wrong?? It doesn’t seem so to me. From someone who I associate so strongly with dark, twisted, soulful fiction I have now found dark, twisted, soulful nonfiction as well. Stranger Than Fiction is a masterful blend of storytelling, lecturing and questioning; in every way that Palahniuk explores his stories to find something deeper about them, he does the same to his readers and pushes them to look beyond the ordinary. Through Palahniuk’s way of sp ...more
Sep 27, 2014 Aimen rated it really liked it
This book was strangely good, I didn't like Haunted by him. I'm setting the bars high for Fight Club, and glad I gained a better perception of him. His writing is really good, and interesting. Some of the chapter/story/essays were better than others. In my honest opinion, the first story/essay/chapter was complete utter nonsense, testicle festival? please. The murder of his father, ghost stories, confessions in stone, and introduction were my absolute favourite. It was so intriguing to read abou ...more
Doğancan Beşikci
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 14, 2016 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2016
Some of the essays were so interesting and others made my eyes glaze over in boredom. There is one rather funny one where Palahniuk flew to Los Angeles to meet with movie executives for Fight Club. For some crazy reason, Palahniuk decided to shave his head the night before but he completely messed it up and had small cuts all over his head and a nasty rash. He essentially looked like he had a terrible skin disease. It was pretty funny, but most of the essays are serious. I listened to this on au ...more
Eve Kay
Apr 12, 2015 Eve Kay rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
The high rating is purely because:
This is still one of the good ones from Palahniuk. This is still one of the ones he writes actual sentences and thinks. You can read all the thinking! I truly enjoyed reading about things that I knew to be actual facts, never mind how much I've heard urban legends about fem fight clubs or people choking on food at restaurants for money, I know the stuff Manson said is true coz I've read his book years back.
There is a certain kind of honesty in Stranger than Fict
Nathan Helgren
Aug 02, 2012 Nathan Helgren rated it really liked it
A nice collection of essays and short stories. Some of them lack the punch of his fiction, but are great tales nonetheless. I especially liked when he got personal and shared some of his life. Well worth the read, but if you are expecting Choke or Suvivor you may want to adjust yout thinking before picking it up.
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FICTION (I think) 1 3 Dec 21, 2016 10:29AM  
  • Clown Girl
  • Water from the Sun and Discovering Japan
  • You Do Not Talk About Fight Club: I Am Jack's Completely Unauthorized Essay Collection
  • The Wild Boys
  • Now and on Earth
  • The Contortionist's Handbook
  • The Gum Thief
  • Kiss Me, Judas
  • Apathy and Other Small Victories
  • Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas
  • Porno
  • The Collected Stories
  • I : Six Nonlectures
  • The Fuck-Up
  • Silent Bob Speaks: The Selected Writings
  • Like Shaking Hands with God: A Conversation About Writing
  • Company
  • Do I Come Here Often?: Black Coffee Blues Pt. 2
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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“A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.” 907 likes
“That's why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can't control life, at least you can control your version.” 792 likes
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