Ren's Reviews > Tell-All

Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk
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Mar 27, 12

Read from March 22 to 27, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** Tell-All is a fictional biographical screenplay, about a legendary film star, Katherine Kenton. It is told by her housemate-slash-maid-slash-au pair-slash-sociopath, Hazie Coogan.

I have to say, the whole story fell flat for me. I had high expectation for Mr. Palahniuk's book. It just had none of what did ever grip me in his earlier books, like Rant, Diary, and Survivor.

Sure, his prowess of language was expertly played, using Hollywood names to ascribe a better description to a situation. Such words as "was-bands, "lipsticked stick figure", how he used them was ingenious, provided me with an entertaining image to portray the scene.

Tell-All was presented in the form of a screenplay. I have no objections. I admire Chuck Palahniuk's creativity when it comes to presenting a novel. He moves away from the norm of having chapters 1 through 5 be about historical account of the protagonist and his relationship with other characters. It's not like watching water flow downstream, yet predict its direction, so it's just flat.

But really, what's so great about how Chuck Palahniuk writes is he could build your anticipation then crush it with a hard-hitting hammer of surprise and disappointment. Surprise -- that Hazie Coogan is a selfish prick -- a lying, cheating, sociopathic, selfish prick. Disappointment -- that you thought you'd figured out the whole story by the last 8 pages, but no. You're just a mere mortal and you will never have any way of knowing the future, no matter how hard you try.

Palahniuk's brilliance when it comes to storytelling overshadowed the fact that Tell-All's story fell flat for me.

It is not what the story is, but how it is told. Any boring event could be a blockbuster or bestseller, if you know how to sell it well, and by God, Chuck Palahniuk knew how to sell it.
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