Vile, unsympathetic to every female, and completely, unashamedly, and unabashedly, honest.
It's a memoir, in a sense. This guy has never existed, and...moreVile, unsympathetic to every female, and completely, unashamedly, and unabashedly, honest.
It's a memoir, in a sense. This guy has never existed, and on the other hand, he is EVERY guy that has ever existed. He's the guy that hates it when people call when he's right in the middle of a game of Halo. He's the guy that downloads so much porn that he has separate folders for different fetishes on his desktop. He's the guy that's completely confused as to why Marie Osmond is famous. We never get his name, but we don't need one.
He is completely and immediately likable (first chapter heading: "Christmas With Parents". First chapter, in its entirety: "Same old bullshit.") He's a 30 something slacker at a dead end "nothing special" job, whose girlfriend is obsessed with everything he isn't. He's bored with everything (except his xbox) and doesn't understand why she doesn't dump him.
The only reason i didn't give this one a full 5, was simply because it didn't have the complexity of The Lie , Chad Kultgen's other, and sadly, only, novel. Where that book had 3 completely separate views of every situation and drama that unfolded in it, this has only one. I'm not saying it gets boring or anything, on the contrary, i loved it and it was a insanely easy read. It was just a bit too simple compared to The Lie . Oh, and the narrator of this book is basically Kyle from The Lie , which, i know this one was released years before, but they were basically the same person. It's not so much as a detriment to this book, more like an observation. Despite his misanthropic and misogynistic personality, Kyle was pretty awesome.
The book isn't particularly depressing, but the ending is. The narrator basically just gives a very bleak look on life and love and makes a very, very, VERY bad decision. But, hey, i knew this wouldn't end well. I'd only read one of his books before and now i know. Chad Kultgen, he doesn't like happy endings. I'm okay with that.
So, if you can't read about sex (and i mean a lot of sex, and every kind of sex you think you know, and all the kinds you don't know) don't read this book. For me, it was really refreshing. Kultgen is just so completely honest. He cuts the bullshit and, well, lets it all hang out. It may not be up to par with The Lie , but its still full with spouts of hilarity, dirty dialogue, and in its own unique way, ends up being touching.
I honestly don't know how his books are getting published, but I'm glad some big company is taking a chance on this guy. I just hope more readers do.
Hilariously evil, extremely perverted and insanely addicting. The last 100 or so pages are filled to the brim with devious plots and dirty tricks and...moreHilariously evil, extremely perverted and insanely addicting. The last 100 or so pages are filled to the brim with devious plots and dirty tricks and it all works just so well. The characters really change and, well not grow, throughout the novel, but develop new personalities. I, literally, can not believe how it ended. It's just so insanely @#$%-ed up.
It has, also, one of the most effective points of view I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I mean i know I've read a book like this sometime before, it just worked so pitch-perfect for this one. Each character is retelling events of their four year stay at SMU, from an undisclosed period in the future. So, for example, when we first see Kyle meeting Heather, Kyle narrates "Little did i know, she would be the end of me." We're left to wonder what he means. Will she kill him? How does she ruin his life? They are so happy, what the hell is going to go wrong? It is HIGHLY effective in pushing you through the book at a quick pace.
And i loved the alternating chapter perspectives of each character. I know i admit this for every book that uses this device, its just this kind of book is built for it. And it doesn't make you feel like you are a 9 year old like some books that put the name of the character on every chapter header. It assumes you're smart enough to know the difference between each character, and you really can tell. Everyone has their own slang, mannerisms and sense of humor.
If you're looking for an edgy, hilarious, and witty tale of 3 college friends who want to ruin each others lives, look no further. But be warned, this book is filled with more dirty and hilariously disgusting sexual activities than you can wave a used condom at.
And I'm not even embarrassed to say i loved it so much. (well, maybe a little.)(less)
I have no idea why i read this book so fast. To get it over with? To get through the feeling of embarrassment for Palahniuk? I don't know. What I do k...moreI have no idea why i read this book so fast. To get it over with? To get through the feeling of embarrassment for Palahniuk? I don't know. What I do know is that it is NOT a good book.
It's presented in "dispatches" that the main character is sending back to his home country, whilst on a terrorist mission in the US. Okay, cool idea. The problem? If Pygmy is sending these messages back to his home country, then why the hell is he speaking in this terrible, hideously obnoxious broken ass English? Yeah, I know its an experiment, and otherwise we wouldn't be able to read the language. But, hello, we solved that problem years ago. It's called writing in English and letting the reader know that the characters are speaking a foreign language. But, alas, this IS Palahniuk. "By the books" are three words he does not live by.
I'm gonna let you guys read an excerpt, the one i found most insanely confusing, from the book. Keep in mind, the entire book is written this way:
"For official record, no yet legal adopted so become full member host family Cedar. Making all effort resist absorption into American cult of the individual, traditional method entrenched oligarchy so maintain own power: Fracture citizen isolated into different religion, different race, different family. Label as rich culture diversity. Cleave as unique until each citizen stand alone. Until each vote invested no value. Single citizen celebrated as special - in actual, remaining no power."
Got a headache yet? It got to the point of me having to skim passages, sometimes pages, in the hopes of finishing the book.
Okay, Chuck, this would be the second disappointment (although Tell All is fucking Harry Potter compared to this). Next year's Damned, which has a great premise, better be awesome. Hell, I'd settle for it being readable.(less)
A perfect addition to the "everything-that-can-go-wrong-does-go-wrong" sub genre of teen fiction. The characters were fun and relatable, the dialogue...moreA perfect addition to the "everything-that-can-go-wrong-does-go-wrong" sub genre of teen fiction. The characters were fun and relatable, the dialogue wasn't forced and stiff, and the story was just hilarious to read through. Sort of a Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist with a drug-smuggling, bones breaking and massive car pileup edge.(less)
My least favorite Palahniuk novel so far. The only thing it really has going for it is an intriguing premise (but then again, saying a Palahniuk novel...moreMy least favorite Palahniuk novel so far. The only thing it really has going for it is an intriguing premise (but then again, saying a Palahniuk novel has an intriguing premise is kind of beyond praise at this point. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and Palahniuk can write the most bizarre and crazy shit I've ever had the delight to read).
Told from the view of Hazie Coogan, house keeper (though she would argue her job title extends way farther than a simple maid) to the famous Katherine Kenton. Very early on Mrs. Kenton meets Webster Carlton Webster III, whose "root beer brown eyes" hide a terrifying, and deadly, agenda.
Simply put, Mr. Webster has written a "lie-ography", a soon-to-be New York Times bestseller at the end of which, Mrs. Katherine is killed. Problem is, she's still very much alive, and so the interesting part of the story begins. For every time Hazie and Katherine dodge one murder attempt (thrown in front of a bus, poisoned, pushed into the bear cage at a zoo, electrocuted, etc) a new manuscript of the Tell-All is found in Webster's suitcase, and a new race to avoid the attempted murder begins.
Despite this great idea, the book is just too boring, which is a sad way to describe a book under 200 pages. It can go on pages at a time simply describing some weird award ceremony the protagonists are attending, name dropping up to 20 different 50's era celebrities on a single page at a time. To make it even more obvious, every celebrity, every famous production company, even Mrs. Kenton's pets are all in BOLD font. I mean, i admit i have no idea who half those people are that were mentioned, but I'm pretty sure i could have picked up that they were celebrities and Hazie was being a name-dropping sociopath. This continues throughout the entire novel, and i just felt a tad bit talked down to. It's a hard balance between explaining to the reader who these people are, and hammering into our heads "THIS IS A CELEBRITY, RIGHT HERE, AND HERE, OH AND HERE, ISN'T SHE SO FAMOUS SHE KNOWS SO MANY PEOPLE!"
And yes, i'm aware that this is part of Palahniuk's poking fun at the golden era of Hollywood, and the nature of a "Tell-All" book in general. It just went past parody and into annoyance for me.
On the positive side, it is of note that the end of the book has a really great twist. Totally did not see it coming, and basically added another star to my rating.
Despite all this, I still love Chuck. He's like the literary version of J.J. Abrams (the genius behind Lost, Fringe, Cloverfield, the Star Trek reboot), because i will consume anything he puts out there, no matter how lame and unbearable. He's still my favorite author.
I forgive, you, Mr. Palahniuk. Just try to return to the the sheer brilliance of Survivor or Lullaby for your inevitable next novel, okay?(less)