Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


2.95 of 5 stars 2.95  ·  rating details  ·  16,769 ratings  ·  1,495 reviews
A gang of adolescent terrorists, a spelling bee, and a terrible plan masquerading as a science project: This is Operation Havoc.

Pygmy is one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the US disguised as exchange students. Living with American families to blend in, they are planning an unspecified act of massive terrorism that will bring this big dumb c...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Anchor (first published 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pygmy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pygmy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
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...more
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...more
Nicholas Karpuk
Jun 29, 2009 Nicholas Karpuk rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
Jan 28, 2011 M rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
Christy Stewart
I'll give it another chance as soon as they translate it into English.
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...more
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
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...more
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....more
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...more
Adam McDonald
Jun 12, 2010 Adam McDonald rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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....more
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...more
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...more
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...more
This is not a book I would let my children read because it contains sexual perversions that borders on the absurd. If you do not think so, then probably you watch/read too much porn or you probably live in the world described by Pygmy, the main character in this book.
That aside, i find the storyline and style of the book pretty interesting and intriguing. Just like Fight Club, the story is told in the perspective, voice and language of the main character. The character being a spy from a foreign...more
Diego Navarro
“Pygmy” by Chuck Palahniuk is a satirical, romantic, and hilarious novel. Written by the perspective of Operative 67, a teenage-trained terrorist who is sent to the United States as an exchange student, whom was to live among the Americans and to launch a massive terrorist act that will bring the country and its inhabitants to there knee’s. Agent 67 is intergraded to a “normal” American family, along with his added Operatives. His “family” and peers give him the name of Pygmy, due to his small s...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add page count: ISBN 978-0-307-47750-7 2 14 Mar 24, 2014 06:04PM  
  • You Do Not Talk About Fight Club: I Am Jack's Completely Unauthorized Essay Collection
  • Imperial Bedrooms
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Sparknotes Literature Guides)
  • Crime
  • Clown Girl
  • House of Houses
  • Dora: A Headcase
  • Cuba Libre
  • While Mortals Sleep: Unpublished Short Fiction
  • Dermaphoria
  • The Golden Gizmo
  • How it Ended
  • Stephen King Goes to the Movies
  • The Bizarro Starter Kit (Orange)
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 Survivor Lullaby

Share This Book

“Real smarts begin when you quit quoting other people……..” 141 likes
“Seek midday nourishment. Visit memorial acclaimed war hero Colonel Sanders.” 7 likes
More quotes…