Tell-All
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Tell-All

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2.81 of 5 stars 2.81  ·  rating details  ·  8,170 ratings  ·  786 reviews
The bestselling author of "Fight Club" presents a "Sunset Boulevard"-inflected homage to Old Hollywood--a dark reimagining of "All About Eve" and a hilarious assault on celebrity.
Audio CD, 9 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Greg
This guy wrote a review of this book that is wrong.

This is not a good novel. I don't even know where to start on it.

I imagine this conversation happening between CP and his editor:


CP: Did you get my new novel?

ED: Novel? I got your short story.

CP: Oh, you kidder. Seriously, what do you think?

ED: Chuck, you can't release this as a novel. It's 150 pages, but the plot only takes up about 15 of those pages. This is a short story.

CP: My fans are retards though, they will think it's edgy. I can do an
...more
Kemper
Say what you will about Chuck Palahniuk, no one can claim that he’s scared of experimenting with different ways to tell a story.

In Rant, we got multiple character viewpoints as though they were reminiscences for a documentary. Haunted had a variety of characters telling fictional sort stories. Pygmy was written completely in the mutated broken English of the main character. And now in Tell-All Palahniuk is again playing with how the story is told. It’s like a hybrid between a screenplay and a go...more
Jacob
March 2010, before: What's this? A fictional biography of a real-life celebrity (Lillian Hellman), reimagining her as a larger-than-life/legendary character? And it's by Chuck Palahniuk? And it's the length of an average novel? Oh, my! What could go wrong?

Oh, hell, I think I just jinxed it.

May 2010, after: But wait! It’s really just a tired, by-the-numbers Palahniuk novel, starring a bunch of tired, by-the-numbers Stock Palahniuk Characters, and lazily disguised as The Ultimate Hollywood Novel...more
Peter Derk
Okay, not my favorite Chuck Palahniuk book. I'm a pretty big fan, read ALL of his books and have seen him speak twice, which is a blast if you ever get the chance.

Like always, he delivers in terms of a quick read, some social commentary, and a little bit of humor thrown in the mix (see: anything attributed to Walter Winchell in this book).

That said, the story is so-so. The book really hits its stride about a hundred pages in, which is over halfway.

If you're going to read this book, here are som...more
Mark
This book only has 179 pages and yet i see that 13 of my magnetic clips ( thank you waterstones) cling to, self-evidently, 13 of the pages. They normally serve to mark things that I find particularly insightful or dates and details to remember but in this case they mark, to a large extent, places in this short book in which i have gasped in a none too controlled way over something particularly outrageous but funny.

Do not fear gentle reader, I have no intention of quoting them all but they do poi...more
Imogen
Sigh. Oh Chuck. You're just convinced that you've found the magic formula, and you can churn out a book every year or two indefinitely, aren't you? I mean, this isn't as bad as Pygmy, or even Snuff, but it's on the same level as them. Ugh. First, it is barely a book; if we acknowledge that every new chapter has half a blank page to mark it, this is like a 150-page book. Second, why is the repetetive verbal tick in this book (they are in all of your books, Chuck) some random three-animal-noise bl...more
Caris
I hope it’s better than Snuff, I says as I hold the book at arm’s length, taking in its pretty cover.

Don’t be funny. You know it’ll be better than Snuff, it has to be. There’s no way Chucky P. could churn out such crap again. It isn’t possible.

I don’t know. It’s not starting out so well. I’m a bit worried. The text is kind of distracting with all of the bold print and the arbitrary barnyard animal noises.

Dude, just keep with it. You’ll get it eventually. You never understand his stuff right off...more
Eric Hendrixson
What I like about CP is how he is willing to experiment with different ways of telling a story. Rant is an example of a successful experiment. Tell All is an example of an unsuccessful experiment.

One major problem with the book is voice. The first person protagonist is just not fun to read. It is possible to write unlikable people as good narrators, and CP has done it before; he did this especially well in Choke. In this case, the voice was annoying, grating, nearly unreadable for the first hal...more
Misha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tina Rae
Jan 17, 2011 Tina Rae rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Palanhiuk fans
Shelves: favorites
Oh man. I am in love. I know I say this with almost every Palahniuk book I read but I definitely mean it this time: THIS is my favorite Chuck book. No doubt about it. It is literally everything that I want from a book. It has the best characters I've ever read (Chuck wasn't kidding when he said in an interview that he loves Hazie. I know she's my favorite character. She seems like she's the good one and she's only doing things to help others but she's really not. She's cunning and devious and so...more
Brandon Tietz
You can think of this as a vintage Hollywood version of "Glamorama" by Bret Easton Ellis. It's a constant barrage of celebrity name-dropping (and in bold print, no less) with a slew of camera directions and editing room speak. Instead of Christian Bale we get Mickey Rooney. Kate Moss is replaced with women like Monroe, Garbo, and Joan Crawford. So if you enjoyed that aspect of machine gun pop-culture in "Glamorama," then "Tell All" delivers the same thing in a nostalgic, grainy reel.

As if to bui...more
Bradley
I added an extra star considering this isn't written in the same exact style of every other Palahniuk book prior to Rant with the exception of Snuff. This weakness of his was most prevalent in Haunted, which included great stories and the wonderful gimmick that each story was written by a different character who was each trapped in the writing retreat from hell. Unfortunately, every story was written in the same exact way and obviously by the same exact character: Chuck Palahniuk. It's really no...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Less a finished novel and more a writing-workshop dare grown out of control, Chuck Palahniuk's latest is almost too slight to deserve a write-up at all, although I suppose I'll try: it's essentially a fake kiss-and-tell biography of a 20th-century Hollywood starlet as told by her longtime put-upon assistan...more
Fewlas
Tre stelle e mezza.
Sono in molti a dire che questo libro è difficile da seguire, addirittura noioso, per via di tutti i nomi che non si conoscono, riferimenti ad una cultura teatrale e cinematografica lontana un oceano e di parecchi anni.
Io invece ho trovato questo libro molto piacevole, scorrevole e – come è ovvio quando si parla di questo autore – avvincente. Ma non è tanto l’elemento sorpresa che me lo ha fatto apprezzare; oppure tutte quelle trovate geniali e curiose che infarciscono a merav...more
Mariano Hortal
"Tell-all" de Chuck Palahniuk. El antiguamente transgresor Chuck se nos ha acomodado definitivamente en este nuevo estilo de novelas cortas, mucho más comedido que en anteriores. En definitiva aquí tenemos la historia de una estrella del cine de Hollywood en el ocaso de su carrera, una Liz Taylor al uso, con todo lo que rodea al cine y sobre todo sus "Was-bands" que constituyen todos los maridos que ha tenido, en una trama que se mete de lleno en la novela policíaca, por los intentos de su actua...more
Jeff
Chuck's new book follows in the overly stylized vein used in Pygmy and Rant. I have to admit that while I love Chuck, I wasn't crazy about either Pygmy or Rant. Luckily, the uber-stylization works for not against Tell-All. I found this send-up of Hollywood insider biographies to be very funny, exceedingly clever, and downright witty. Sure it was overly repetitive at some points, but it was a fun ride nonetheless.

I'm curious to see how Tell-All goes over with typical Chuck fans. As a bookseller,...more
Arvy
I am disappointed. Father Palahniuk, this is trash. You had me at Fight Club but this one is just depressing.

disappointment #1: The plot was good. But it wasn't good enough. Predictable and boring. Miss Kathie's shit-filled Hollywood life is engagingly exxxagerated andbutso bitch, I give zero fucks.

disappointment #2: The Tourette Syndrome of infinite name-dropping killed me. Jesus I swear, it felt like I was being fucked by a thousand merciless rabbits the whole motherfucking time (bdsm - submis...more
Airiz C
3.5 stars (I wish Goodreads allows half-star ratings.)
I would like to think of Chuck Palahniuk as a demented cook. He takes pleasure in extracting the glitz and grit of ordinary human lives and mixing them with the most vulgar, most risqué ingredients he could come up with. He is obsessed with the presentation of his work—sometimes he would mold it into a ‘coma’ diary form, sometimes into an interview form, sometimes into that frenzied Engrish A-Clock-Work-Orangesque form. He would set this on a...more
Neil
Palahniuk doesn't do well by himself here. This is a repetitive, slight shadow of his better work. He still has firepower with the language, but it's wasted here on a predictable, skeletal story about a woman who has quietly molded the old Hollywood star she works for into an icon.

As star Miss Kathie Kenton ages, an opportunistic young actor comes into her life to try to take advantage of her. Hazie, Kenton's do-everything assistant, must battle to try to battle him off while rebuilding Kenton'...more
Kasa Cotugno
Hollywood is a cheap target for satire, and it has been done to death far better than this on numerous occasions. Palahnluk picks usual topics to skewer in his own way, but it is unclear why he chose this one and why he chose the method that he did. Told by a "Thelma Ritter like caretaker," Tell-All relates the story of Kathy Kenton, a film icon looking for a comeback and for true love. Kenton is an amalgamation of recognizable stars of Hollywood's earlier years, but anachronistic pairings of na...more
Textor Texel
О выходе этой книжке я узнал благодаря своей ненаглядной женщине(несмотря на то, что я давний поклонник творчества этого автора).Оперативно заказав книжечку в интернет-магазине, она оказалась прекрасным дополнением к моему жёлтому собранию сочинений Паланика. Прочитав данное произведение примерно за неделю, я закрыл книжку, сел на стул и потратил немалое количество времени, пытаясь собраться с мыслями, которые разбежались во все стороны после довольно-таки сумбурных впечатлений.

То ли я стал стар...more
bethanne
May 07, 2010 bethanne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to bethanne by: me!
Shelves: read-in-2010
Chuck does it again! This book is fiction, but it sounds like something out of old Hollywood. Words alone cannot describe how AWESOME this book is. Don't listen to the naysayers when they say this book is weak, it is amazing and deserves to be read.
Anita Dalton
I have never been more grateful to see the end of a Palahniuk book. I also cannot believe I have nothing more to say about this book, but there you go. Just... Yeah. Go read Invisible Monsters and remember why we love Chuck.
Paul Eckert
Palahniuk's style remains the same, yet his stories get less interesting as time goes by.

Hazie Coogan is the 'star' of Tell-All. She is live-in maid for aging film legend Katherine Kenton. She does everything Ms. Kenton doesn't want to do herself, and she also attends to her legacy in ways in which the actress is not aware of.

The story isn't horrible, there just isn't a lot there. The ending becomes apparent way too early for it to be considered a twist, though readers familiar with Palahniuk's...more
Josh Woods
Again, Palahniuk decides he needs some sort of gimmick with which to base his novel around. Following the disappointment of "Pygmy" (which I didn't (or more aptly, couldn't) read. Which, may attest for why I think this one is so poorly written. I've seen several reviews claim it's a "relief" to see this novel after "Pygmy", but one would hope an author doesn't depend on the shortcomings of one book to champion another.), this just seems like another novel in a series of sub par books. The plot i...more
Robb
Note: NO SPOILERS

I was slightly wary of reading Palahniuk's latest. The premise centered around an aging starlet and the troubles she endured seemed slightly cliche and too simple for one of Palahniuk's protagonists. However, within the first 20 pages of this book I was engrossed in the life of Miss Kathie (a character I immediately drew similarities to another violet-eyed starlet) and realized that that sordid life of a Hollywood actress is definitely Palanhiuk material. This is by no means a l...more
Jason Leblanc
Ok. So I finished this book this morning and I really don't know what to say other than I feel very empty.

The first act of this novel was absolutely boring, pointless and overall crap. The name drops are so overused that I zoned out over and over again, hoping there was a point to the madness. There was no point. It's invisible monsters part two with shitty characters and no plot.

The story really picks up at the start of act two. Unfortunately, it took more than half of the book to get there a...more
Peter Coleman
Beneath the thin gold leaf of a lifetime’s achievement,

A cheap tin form stands, bearing its gilded skin.

Careful not to let tarnish come to its shine

Or to polish through to the dullness within;

The image of the statuette must be guarded.



For what will Kenton’s life be remembered?

Who she was, or what she did,

Or who she was presented to be?

Perched on the pedestal our expectations,

Collecting dust, the legacy.



Who will tell her story,

And whom will we see?

Gold or Tin?

Kenton’s legacy.



Katharine Kenton is i...more
Julie
After the disappointment of Pygmy, I was pleased to find Tell-All a coherent and entertaining novel. Chuck’s novels have progressively become more stylized, from the perspective changes of Snuff to the inarticulate voice of Pygmy. Tell-All is no exception with its scene-by-scene narrative complete with set up shots, voiceovers and flashbacks. As told by Hazie, she narrates her relationship with Liz Taylor-esque Hollywood diva Katherine Kenton, which includes multiple marriages, addictions, surge...more
Chibineko
I've been a fan of Palahniuk's work for a while, so I know how strange his work can get. This book really is no exception.

Tell-All is told from the viewpoint of Hazie Coogan, a woman who has been taking care of actress Katherine "Miss Kathie" Kenton for ages. She's faithfully cleaned every spot in the house, watched every would be lover, polished every flaw in Miss Kathie's appearance. When a new man steps up to claim Kenton's love, Hazie just knows that he's out to use the aging starlet in som...more
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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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“This woman is Pocahontas. She is Athena and Hera. Lying in this messy, unmade bed, eyes closed, this is Juliet Capulet. Blanche DuBois. Scarlett O'Hara. With ministrations of lipstick and eyeliner I give birth to Ophelia. To Marie Antoinette. Over the next trip of the larger hand around the face of the bedside clock, I give form to Lucrezia Borgia. Taking shape at my fingertips, my touches of foundation and blush, here is Jocasta. Lying here, Lady Windermere. Opening her eyes, Cleopatra. Given flesh, a smile, swinging her sculpted legs off one side of the bed, this is Helen of Troy. Yawning and stretching, here is every beautiful woman across history.” 96 likes
“All human beings search for either reasons to be good, or excuses to be bad.” 65 likes
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