To start with, the film is so far superior to this book it becomes a valuable example in the argument of "instances when film adaptations are better t...moreTo start with, the film is so far superior to this book it becomes a valuable example in the argument of "instances when film adaptations are better than the original books". There. Ive said it. Moving on. No, his writing is not "good" nor is it "brilliant" or "Gritty" (one of my favorites, usually translates to bad). It is indeed bad writing. Bad from the perspective of literature. Bad when viewed through scope of history and the pantheon of wonderful, eloquent geniuses of the written word. Men who have put a piece of thier soul down on paper and made it dance and contort in order to say something profound about humanity and what it means to be human. Perhaps Palahniuk's ideas are there and that is a separate issue from the writing itself. The writing (and I have to agree with some others who have reviewed this book)reeks of the same gangrenous rot that much modern "literature" reeks of. A debasement of the language down to the point where the 7 percent of American males who read a book in the last year can feel comfortable reading it and not have thier attention spans exhausted within two pages. Oh I compliment Mr. Palahniuks accomplishment. Quite impressive really. He has created a work so debased and and simple, that a whole generation of disaffected, junior-high and high-school boys now can now channel thier collective aggression and penchant for physical harm upon each other into an organized ethos. The truth is sad, because I really do feel the Chuck is really saying something profound about society, but like all bad art, we must question whether the message is communicated accurately and effectively. At its pithy middle, Fight Club is about the search for meaning within a society of artifice. A search that peters out for most as our fear of failing to accomplish our ideals flings us into a life of rote, mechanical (excuse the word)pussy-ship. Fight Club attempts to turn these fears on thier head by begging the question: are our ideals really our own? Are they bull-sh*t? Unfortunately I feel this question is lost amidst the musical screams and thuds of a festival of meat-pounding violence. John Gardner once said:
~To write with taste in the highest sense, is to write with the assumption that one out of a hundred people who read one's work may be dying, or having some loved one dying. To write so that no one commits suicide, no one despairs; to write as Shakespeare wrote, so that people understand, sympathize, and see the universality of pain and feel strengthened, if not directly encouraged to live on.(less)
The book was pretty scary...veracity not withstanding. I like to look at it up on the bookshelf. It's a creepy title staring down at me, the haunting...moreThe book was pretty scary...veracity not withstanding. I like to look at it up on the bookshelf. It's a creepy title staring down at me, the haunting sound of fiddles off in the distance. Sometimes when I stare at this book for a while I get very hungry. Yet still scared and hungry in combination.
You might even say I get "Scungry". While reading this book on the toilet, my phone rang and and a disembodied voice on the other end screeched "Your in the bathroom aren't you?"
Turns out it was my mom (she sometimes sounds like the Mothman)but damn this book was scaaaaaaary!
After reading this book one must ask themself, is he lying? And if he is lying, what is his intention in lying. What does he hope to accomplish? A care...moreAfter reading this book one must ask themself, is he lying? And if he is lying, what is his intention in lying. What does he hope to accomplish? A careful reading of the book makes the likelihood of it being a lie very slim. If indeed it is a lie, it is a carefully crafted lie that Corso put together intertwined with reames of supportive data and evidence that really accomplishes nothing. Seeing as it wasn't published until he was a very old man (he's now passed on)he stood to benefit very little from any publicity gained. The sensitivity of the positions held by this man in his professional career, working closely with the president, having top secret security clearances, working in the very heart of the pentagon, highly decorated for his military career, make a questioning of his integrity almost inappropriate. This man's testimony would be highly regarded in a court of law. That leaves us with a few inescapable conclusions. He is mistaken about what he experienced, or he is telling the absolute truth. It seems to me that when the evidence is weighed, and all preconception and prejudice is dropped, he makes a great case. And that is pretty amazing. (less)
Oh this book was so creative!! It is just vast in its immensity and scope! I put it on the bookshelf right between Herman Melville and Vladamir Naboko...moreOh this book was so creative!! It is just vast in its immensity and scope! I put it on the bookshelf right between Herman Melville and Vladamir Nabokov even though thats not alphabetical order. I Don't care! It deserves its place amongst the great ones!! Maybe "Moby Dick", "A Tale of Two Cities"...and "Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers"!! Hmmmmmm. I love reading books written in Pidgen English about bratty young children going through adolescence. I also particularly love it when there is an older grandparent figure that seems to be the only one the adolescent can relate to. How creative!! I like the wonderful arguments the protagonist gets into with her teacher when she is asked to speak English properly in order to communicate effectively.
Wow that teacher sure was culturally insensitive. Who does she think she is....I mean Really.....a teacher?? Whats SHE ever done with HER life?
I also like how college professors can assign this book in order to meet the new multi-cultural requirements of our public education system, thereby presenting the appearance that they are culturally aware institutions.
This book helped me to finally realize that The Northern European Culture is evil and that I should kill myself (Being a white male) to rid the world of my presence. I'm going to jump off a cliff......but not without my copy of Bully Burgers!! (less)
I had the sneaking suspicion while reading this book that Suskind was swilling giant glasses of beer, smoking a pipe and laughing to himself as he wro...moreI had the sneaking suspicion while reading this book that Suskind was swilling giant glasses of beer, smoking a pipe and laughing to himself as he wrote. The narrative reeks of self-pleasure and this is one of the qualities I relished about it. There are a number of moments where I laughed out loud (including the end where I re-read the last paragraph multiple times). Rarely have I enjoyed a read as much as I enjoyed this one. It was like calling in sick and staying home laying on the couch, eating junk food and watching the History Channel all day. In some deep receding place of perversity I think we identify with Grenouille. He innocently pursues his vices the way a kid might compulsively grab thier own genitals. His existential consideration of his own plight, coupled with his drive to be left alone is somewhat akin to an animal....yet this is a cunning, clever little pervert of an animal. In considering Grenouille's character arc, I'm tempted to draw allusions to King Lear, but the truth is that Grenouille wouldn't care for such things so I won't bother. I'll leave you with a vision of his little hunchbacked form walking briskly across the countryside, stopping occasionally to sniff the air..dreaming sweet dreams of that one perfect scent! (less)
Wow, Its fascinating the utter certainty people have in thier grasp of "reality". When something is presented from outside thier paradigm they must cl...moreWow, Its fascinating the utter certainty people have in thier grasp of "reality". When something is presented from outside thier paradigm they must classify it into the known. This is the intellectual arrogance of those who claim the author has psych issues.
These tests have shown no mental disorder whatsoever with Whitley, yet people persist in the slander that this man is mentally ill. Why? Because what he says happened to him seems unbelievable. Because it frightens people? That, in and of itself is not a logical reason to discount what he says. All it reflects is our extreme discomfort with the unknown. It is a position of weakness. Those who claim Whitley Strieber has epilepsy, or any other sort of mental disorder are completely refuted by the medical data. So they are in a position of arguing AGAINST SCIENCE. I encourage anyone to read his work with an open mind and hopefully the next time you gaze at the night sky, your heart will soar with the possibilities, and you will not limit yourself within the prison of the "known".(less)
I must say, anyone who reads Heinlein extensively can not fail to take notice of his "interesting views" on male female relationships. Although his bo...moreI must say, anyone who reads Heinlein extensively can not fail to take notice of his "interesting views" on male female relationships. Although his books make many other statements, I find it most fascinating how the plots invariably involve a woman, a young virile man, and an older wiser father type figure who poo-poos and makes veiled sexist remarks towards both "the young" in general and the fairer sex in particular.
I've come to surmise the older father type figure is Heinlein himself, projected holographically into his work, filtered perhaps to present only the most noble of traits, yet painfully aware of the shortcomings and limitations of age.
His work also reminds me of the curious interest Science fiction fans(Myself Included) have of overt sexual content within the genre. This is not a criticism, just an observation. Its been called the "Dianna Troy" phenomenon. Alas I must add for the sake of honesty, everyone I know who got Reeeealy in to Robert Heinlein, also got a little bit "freaky"....if you know what I'm sayin. But I digress.
If your going to sample some Heinlein, I say start with this novel and then read "Glory Road" and you will observe exactly what I describe here.(less)
This is a rare book in many ways. Rare in its insight, in its perspective, and most assuredly a physically rare book as far as printings. Right from t...moreThis is a rare book in many ways. Rare in its insight, in its perspective, and most assuredly a physically rare book as far as printings. Right from the get-go the narrative presents Crazy Horse's (Curly's) simple beginnings from the mystical and natural perception that is/was the beauty of the plains horse culture. A culture that, though historically brief (between 100 and 200 years length) had to have been among the most wonderfully rich that has ever existed. The brilliance of the text is that delicate quality of allowing us to see Crazy Horse's human frailties, see him witness the injuries perpetrated on his people, and to see him use his belief in the great spirit, coupled with his passion, and forge these elements into amazing courage in the face of almost certain destruction by a numerically superior force. This man was a holy man, and an almost supernatural warrior chief honored and feared by both Calvary and natives alike. I truly can't begin to describe his feats of bravery and spirit, but suffice it to say, that his visage is currently being carved on the face of Thunder Mountain in the badlands, and when finished, will be the largest natural stone carving on the Earth. In summation, reading this book was one of the pleasures of my young life, and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to know of the great heroes who belong to those for whom history has so often lacked a voice.(less)
This book by Whitley Streiber offers one of the most compelling and novel views on human spirituality and the challenges we face as a species that I h...moreThis book by Whitley Streiber offers one of the most compelling and novel views on human spirituality and the challenges we face as a species that I have ever read. For those familiar with Whitley's UFO related works of non-fiction, this is a must read, primarily because he describes his experience with the man he calls "The Master of the Key" as the most important one of his life. If a man who believes he has had continual contact with visitors from "elsewhere" is calling THIS the most important experience, perhaps we better sit-up and take notice. The account revolves around a mysterious, and well-dressed stranger who came knocking on Whitleys hotel room door at 2:00Am one night while he was on a book-signing tour in Toronto. For some reason Whitley allowed the man into his room and proceeded to have one of the most fascinating conversations of his life. The man offered him insights on our true nature as "radiant bodies" and how the human instrument has a very refined sensory organ composed of electrons in "superposition" that resides a few centimeters above the surface of the skin. This sensory organ is what allows the human radiant body to get into the "quatum" state...connected to everything, everywhere! The conversation then blows from conscious computers, to humanity's future on a planet that is rapidly changing. I recommend this treasure of a book for anyone who has a new-age, yet very practical bent. Very Powerful stuff!(less)
I found this book long after discovering "Delta of Venus" as a boy on someone's book shelf. I read "Little Birds" as an adult and I believe it should...moreI found this book long after discovering "Delta of Venus" as a boy on someone's book shelf. I read "Little Birds" as an adult and I believe it should be taken in tandem with the former rather than separately.
What I can say is that thanks to encountering Anias Nin as a boy, I grew up viewing sexuality and sexual attraction as something that takes place mostly in the mind and it is that tension that she describes, between desire and fear/exhileration, and the surrender that her characters often go through that has made for a very healthy sense of the sexual in my life. I view this as a stark contrast to most of my other male friends who only view sexuality through the somewhat crude lens of pornography. I would recommend Nin's books to them, but I am almost certain they would hate them.
So Nin had a positive effect on my life, and contributed to my understanding of the way the female mind views sexuality. I can't think of a higher compliment to give her.
I would also just add that its healthy for a mind to sometimes entertain thoughts for which you wouldn't morally approve. This is the very nature of the illicit, and why we are attracted to it in the first place. (less)
What is so fantastic about this book is that the protagonist is a eunich. But unlike other popular books where the protagonists are eunichs(and there...moreWhat is so fantastic about this book is that the protagonist is a eunich. But unlike other popular books where the protagonists are eunichs(and there are droves of course)in this case the eunich is a baddass. We don't feel sorry for Taita because we are too busy being awed by his intellect. We are also lost within a panarama of sensual delight, floating on an ether of dynastic splendor that is ancient Egypt. Action, adventure, passion, intrigue. There are also boobs in this book.
I believe I first encountered this treasure when I was about twelve and I still own a copy. For lack of a better word it's awesome! This book will equ...moreI believe I first encountered this treasure when I was about twelve and I still own a copy. For lack of a better word it's awesome! This book will equip ANY person, young or old with a plethora of data with which to confound, annoy and impress upon your peers. Unlike many books of facts, this particular "Facts" book is actually interesting. The facts are applicable in conversation and most surprisingly, they should kindle a spirt of wonder in even the most life-drained of office-bots. Go get a copy Now. (less)