Kathryn's Reviews > Stranger than Fiction

Stranger than Fiction by Chuck Palahniuk
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's review
Jan 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: hard-to-describe, non-fiction
Read in January, 2010

I missed the pattern to this book the first time around. Part of it is Palahnik's collection of anything he's encountered that he thought could be used. "Fight Club" used a lot of his experiences at a charity hospital, "Survivor" had as many interesting cleaning methods that he could find, and calls to telephone sex numbers ended up, well, everywhere. "Stranger Than Fiction" is a collection of the tidbits that he liked best, or hasn't been able to fit into a novel yet.

But you also need to pay attention to the introduction, because the book has an even larger meaning. "Every story in this book is about being with other people. Me being with people. Or people being together." All the live-sex in a Montana festival (and the parallel story of the amateur wrestlers), or the corpse-hunting dogs, or the smug-but-scared story of the psychics he's VERY sure (oh yes, he is indeed) were pulling a scam, they're all stories about people trying so hard to reach out to someone, ANYONE, who will confirm that, "Yes, it's perfectly okay to do what you do, be who you are, and feel the way you do, because I feel exactly the same way."

I loved the story about the castle builders, the Rocket Guy chapter made me sad, and looking at the book as a collection of people trying to make a link to other people makes the final story VERY hard-hitting. Because all his father was trying to do was to start dating again.
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