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2.96 of 5 stars 2.96  ·  rating details  ·  19,723 ratings  ·  1,613 reviews
The Manchurian Candidate meets South Park—Chuck Palahniuk’s finest novel since the generation-defining Fight Club.

“Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67 on arrival Midwestern American airport greater _____ area. Flight _____. Date _____. Priority mission top success to complete. Code name: Operation Havoc.”

Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young a
Hardcover, First Edition, 255 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Doubleday
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Best Book Cover 2009
69th out of 315 books — 3,038 voters
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Best Chuck Palahniuk Books
11th out of 20 books — 326 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 2009

Begins here account of reader me, Agent Jacob, located rural area _____, date _____. For official record, here review novel "Pygmy," tenth fictional account written master of mediocrity Chuck Palahniuk, borrowed community literature repository of city _____.

Pygmy novel written strange style, uneducated broken English like dumb child. Much time reading, but eventual comprehension. Still not like. Other authors try, much mocking critics. However Chuck much genius, many hipsters want fellat
Begins here paragraph the first of reviewer me, goodreader Chris, upon completion great American subversive novel. ISBN: 978-0-385-52634-0. Title: Pygmy. Author: Esteemed sodomite Chuck Palahniuk. For official record, expose novel as shit of iguanadons.

Sales of novel great, fueled by author prior reputation as popculture satirist. For establish goodreader history, this reviewer previously read Choke, disliked as bite in testicle by rabid wombat nut-chomp, however, is willing to give chance the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I got so caught up at reading the mangled English that I forgot I was reading a Chuck Palahniuk book, and I had not properly mentally braced myself when the first horrible thing happens in Chapter 2. After getting that shock, it was easier to remember who I was dealing with.

This has got everything you'd expect from a Palahniuk novel. Dark humor, graphic violence, and a bunch of disturbing characters with an outlandish plot and outrageous twists.

This story of a spy trained since childhood by an
La Petite Américaine
Honestly, what the FUCK?

I wonder how much money Palahniuk made on sales of this piece of shit from fools like me who wanted to give the author one more chance.

Behold, one sentence (just pages after the ass-rape scene in mangled English in the Wal-Mart bathroom): "Here worship shrine, all male neck must bind around with knotted banner, silk banner knotted at windpipe so dangle two long strands down chest to waistband trouser." I get that the main chartacter is supposed to be a Chinese exchange st
Nicholas Karpuk
Jun 29, 2009 Nicholas Karpuk rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Masochists
"Pygmy" is not a good book. Unlike some of his other works, I'm not even going to praise him for experimentation, because what he did doesn't feel like all that much of a risk.

You will not find a review of this book that does not address the prose. If you haven't already read the book or an excerpt, please do so before continuing this review.... go ahead, I'll wait.......alright, now that we're on the same page on the ridiculous way this is written. It's hard to adapt to because it doesn't feel
Christy Stewart
I'll give it another chance as soon as they translate it into English.
Jan 28, 2011 M rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the uncharacteristically intelligent who does not have sticks up their a**es
Pygmy is focused on the experiences of Agent Number 67, a 13-year old secret agent from an unnamed totalitarian state. Agent Number 67 along with 11 other young men and women take a journey to America disguised as foreign exchange students with the ultimate goal of executing a terrorist attack named Operation Havoc upon the American society.

When I was watching Angelina Jolie's movie, SALT, I couldn't help but think of this vintage Palahniuk novel. It left me wondering if the people who wrote Sal
If your reading level and vocabulary aren't excellent, you don't have a good grasp of 40's-80's Communist history, and your tolerance for extreme sexual weirdness isn't pretty high, don't read this book. All of Palahniuk's books are a little... extreme, but this one has reached a whole new level of weird.
As a quick check of the synopsis should tell you, Pygmy is an exchange student from an unnamed Communist country. His story is told in a series of mangled-English dispatches back to his masters.
David Barbee
I really liked Pygmy. It’s Palahnuik’s brand of demented satire, only this time it’s aimed at traditional American ideologies. Here, a group of youngsters from a far off communist state are sent to America as exchange students. It doesn’t matter what country they’re from, just that their native land is the pinnacle of everything America isn’t. The kids are drones that have been conditioned almost since birth to carry out the will of their hyper-socialist state. Basically, they’re everything righ ...more
Questing again after the elusive interview.

I'm struggling with the voice a bit. I imagine I'll hit a point where it will click into place and flow a little more smoothly in my head, but right now I'm struggling.

I may have hit a wall with this book relatively early. There was a scene I found disturbing and repulsive, and now I'm in the hands of a narrator who makes my skin crawl. I'll continue, because clearly Palahniuk wants to challenge me, and I don't like to back down from a challenge. But I
Adam McDonald
Jun 12, 2010 Adam McDonald rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Chuck Palahniuk fans and people who enjoy twisted fiction.
CLASSIC Chuck! Hard to read (literally, hard to read in the way it was written), gross, yet making great points about consumerism and how it has infected the American Way. Trust me here, you won't like it at first. It takes at LEAST 20 pages to get into the dialect it's written in (if you've read Trainspotting, you'll understand what I'm talking about) and even after that, there were times I had to re-read the same paragraph a few times to get what was going on.

Chuck presents an anti-hero you re
Another Palahnuik gem.

He may be the Vonnegut of our age. Scathing satire with all the subtelty of a sledge hammer. And a fun read, too, though the stream of consciousness pigeon English took some getting used to.

Flying panda kick! BAM POW!

Let my biases ring clear: I typically love Chuck Palahniuk. No single author has influenced my love of reading and writing more than Chuck has over his career.

"Pygmy", as the book jacket says, is a romance and a comedy (satire would be closer to the truth). It is by far the most obviously humorous of his books (the running joke about Colonel Sanders made me chuckle several times). It's at once a biting send-up of American values (the observations about public education were absolutely priceless
I just started this book yesterday, and I can already tell that I'm going to despise it. The broken English is absolutely horrible. I read for pleasure, not to spend ten minutes a page trying to figure out what the hell is being said and trying to follow along.

Further review to come once I've finished it. Providing that actually /do/ finish it.


I could not finish this book, and I do NOT just put books down. It annoyed me so badly that I closed it and returned it to the library before it a
Sentimental Surrealist
The Vapidity Wars: 1,188 Words and Running

This was originally a long rant about not just Palahniuk but also Bret Easton Ellis, Rick Moody, and Jonathan Franzen, who I feel have problems similar to Palahniuk's, although I'd take Moody and Franzen over Palahniuk and Ellis. I saved the whole rant in Word and plan to work it into a much more elaborate and less Palahniuk-focused essay, because while I really wanted to publish the whole thing here, this review is long enough even without the outside a
I tried really hard to like this book, but I could not bring myself to give more than a half smile every now and then. I have to comment on the prose. It makes the reading incredibly difficult. Usually, when the writing is strange (A Clockwork Orange) it’s consistent and one gets used to it after a while. However, with Pygmy I felt that fluid reading of the book was hindered by the writing and I was struggling to understand passages. I often had to read parts over again just to understand what w ...more
If you came here looking for the next Fight Club then walk away now.
Finally, I got around to reading and reviewing a recent book. Feels good to be with the times. Though I have to admit that I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near the new releases table if I hadn’t been anxiously anticipating this book for the past year. Ol’ Chuck is one of the few authors whose entire bibliography I’ve taken the time to read. He has rarely disappointed me. I was nervous about this novel, because his previous novel Snuff was one of those rare disappointments. Fortunately, Pygmy was m ...more
Cult American author Chuck Palahniuk of Fight Club fame can usually be counted upon for entertaining, eye-opening dissections of the ridiculousness of contemporary American culture, through his deft wielding of satire, hyperbole and gratuitous violence.

Indeed, it wouldn't be a Palahniuk novel if it weren't bristling with vulgarities, crassness, physical torture and sexual mayhem, and in that sense fans won't be disappointed with his 10th novel.

Pygmy has scenes of carnage, violations of the body
Ned Rifle
It has been many years since I read a Chuck Palahniuk novel. My memory of the three that I once read is hazy and my ideas of any one are likely my opinions of the others, seeing as they not only explore the same terrain but do it using the same techniques (barely remember anything other than the obligatory listing of facts, the most facile use of research possible? Perhaps it wasn't research and he simply had many useful cleaning tips which he thought it would be cruel not to share with the worl ...more
It would have been difficult, perhaps impossible, for ol' Chuck to publish a book worse than Snuff, which read like Palahniuk Parody and, honestly, seemed as though the author in question was simply (and as quickly as possible, as it had only been a year since the superb Rant) fulfilling a contract. So, yes, Pygmy is a more satisfying read than Palahniuk's previous outing. But that isn't saying much.

I give Chuck credit for the, uh, unique voice that relates the story: All broken English, euphemi
Do I dare say that Chuck Palahniuk is back? I mean, not quite "Fight Club" back, or "Choke" back. But at least "Diary" back, and that was the novel that got me to join Team Palahniuk in the first place, so it's a start. Especially after the grueling, repetitious, obsessive-compulsive, list-of-porn-movie-titles disaster that was "Snuff" [which I ranked among the Top 3 worst novels I read in 2008:].

"Pygmy" is fantastic social sattire: Portrait of suburban Americana, through the lens of a foreign
One of the good things about reading for pleasure (instead of, say, reading for school or because someone has a gun to your head and says “read it or die!”) is that when I don’t like something, I can put it down without finishing it.
Thus ends my experience with the second Chuck Palahniuk book to disappoint me(the last one being Snuff). I’m sure this book is brilliant on some level, but after 2 chapters of this 1st person perspective story told in some kind of broken Pidgin English, about a terro
I had completely forgotten about this book until I found it while packing up all my books yesterday. A couple years ago I was put on to Palahniuk's books and enjoyed Fight Club, Snuff and Choke. Then I heard he had a new book out and thought I'd give it a try.

What a waste of money. The writing style was horrible, I just couldn't get into it at all. I gave up after a few chapters and will not ever pick it up again. It turned me off Palahniuk to the point that I've never read another of his books.
Elevate Difference
Chuck Palahniuk has a following online; it’s even called The Cult. The fandom is well deserved. When a book evokes such emotion in the reader that you might just faint from graphic truth (such as in his novel Haunted), you have got to love it! Upon opening his latest novel, Pygmy, I felt as if I were taking a dip into the sexiest sea of twisted delights. I often had to stop reading mid-page to burst into a flurry of laughter brought on by his text. This man makes me feel alive, and I need more! ...more
I read Pygmy on audio. Unless you're really used to keeping up with audio books, I would recommend you don't do that. My husband and I took very different experiences from this book, because I'm used to keeping up with spoken word stories, where he had to intensely concentrate to follow the narrative. The style in which it's written doesn't lend itself to an inattentive, background-noise approach.

The book is written as if a non-native English speaker with a heavy philosophical background is writ
I never thought that when I was considering "Worst books I have ever read", something by Chuck Palahniuk would be on the list, but here we are; One Star.

I'm not even sure I know where to start with this. Listen, I've read books with messed up prose before; Illuminatus and A Clockwork Orange are easily in my top five favorite books of all time. But this is largely because I managed to fall into the rhythm of those books, and after the first few baffling chapters, was able to read them with fluid
I really enjoyed this book. It was hard to get into at first. The writing style is very different. I found if I just relaxed, I could "flow with the book". I've read some other reviews on Amazon before I purchased this book and a lot of people didn't like it. But I think this is one of his better books and will probably turn into a pretty big cult classic. I liked it as much as "Survivor" and "Invisible Monsters". But beware this book is not for the person who likes to be offended. What do I mea ...more
Listened on 8/22/11 and 8/26/11
2 Stars - Recommended Lightly / Not as intro to author
8 Hours (7 discs)

Oh Chuckie P. You and me, I thought we had a good thing going?! I thought we had an understanding, a mutual love thing going on? We had our first date with Invisible Monsters. Remember how I fell head over heels for you but didn't want to appear too easy at the time, so I allowed you to wine and dine me with Survivor a week later?

How could you do this to me? I mean, after all the great times we
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add page count: ISBN 978-0-307-47750-7 2 14 Mar 25, 2014 01:04AM  
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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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