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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  4,625 ratings  ·  329 reviews
No author can shock readers quite like bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk ("Fight Club," "Choke," "Damned"), whose meditations on the darkest depths of the American ego have been known to induce fainting fits in his audiences. Palahniuk channels both Stephen King and John Cheever in this singularly sinister and hilarious short story, straight from the passive-aggressive fr ...more
Kindle Edition, 32 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Byliner Inc. (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,625 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
I love it when a short story fires on all cylinders. This one does. And I like cats too, but couldn't help laughing at this one’s fate.

When Palahniuk is on his game, he’s hard to beat. 5 Stars! And highly recommended.

(view spoiler)
Anya (~on a semi-hiatus~)
I should be used to the Palahniuk brand of fucked up by now but time and again I end up surprised.

I read the short story between lectures and while I am not thoroughly impressed, I can appreciate how well Chuck P can delve into the dark side of the human psyche and put it on paper.

There were lies that married two people more effectively than any wedding vows.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So short, but oh-so good! Who knew the third person narrative, short story format, and Palahniuk's cynical style would provide such a... spark.

Well, I think we all knew but were starting to lose faith.
Welcome back to top form, sir. You've been missed.
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk's novels. That is a little odd since I will concede that technically he is one of the best writers alive. As i have often said, he writes like a sumofabitch. Yet he is also unrelenting in his nihilism and creates characters that are void of passion and hope. The pessimism and feeling of existential void that permeates his writing tends to be overpowering. I don't think I have ever rated one of his novels more than two stars. It says a lot about the writer, an ...more
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This short story is mad! It's like someone punching you in the face then hiding and laughing at your reaction - there is definitely a strange look on my face!
Sam Quixote
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a few years since I read something by Chuck Palahniuk all the way through, the last being his novel “Lullaby” in 2002 and then only just. Since then I’ve tried one of his books every now and then – “Diary” in 2004, “Haunted” in 2006, “Tell-All” in 2010 – and I’ll always put them down long before the end. Palahniuk’s style of brief statement-like sentences, fact dumps, and deadpan black humour, while fresh and exciting when first encountered, becomes tedious after a while and I abandone ...more
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I hate to admit it.  In 1999 I fell absolutely in love with Fight Club, directed by David Fincher; yet, up till now, I had never read anything by Palahniuk.

Phoenix is a short story (18 pages), told using third person narrative from the point of view of Rachel, mother of a blind three year old little girl who is at home with her husband Ted, whilst she is away on a business trip.
We follow Rachel's actions in the present, intermingled with her reflections about the past - about Ted, and about his
Doctor Gaines
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I would call myself a once-avid-but-recently-disappointed Chuck Palahniuk fan (actually I would never take the time to use that term in a real-world conversation, but for our purposes it’s just right). I fell in love with Chuck’s ‘early’ work, and basically loved every novel he put out up until Snuff. Pygmy was a joke. Tell-All was boring, predictable crap. Damned was slightly better, but still not the Chuck I came to love (and Invisible Monsters: Remix was great but that doesn’t count as a new ...more
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013, e-books
5 Stars

Wow, this is a dark, twisted, and sick look at marriage, life, children, and a bad person. This very short novella is witty and funny and times, while being very mean and cruel as well. This is a story about a very unhealthy marriage, a cat, and a blind daughter. I loved it!
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I always find Chuck Palahniuk's stories deeply disturbing, and this was no exception. In the short extent of a kindle single he takes us into the mind of someone losing their grip on reality.
April Cote
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. Leave it to Chuck Palahniuk to make me feel horrified and slightly sick by the end of the story. It was a great psychology mind fuck as well. Thank you Chuck!
Raeden Zen
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Disturbing, Thought-Provoking, Short Story

Another entertaining tale from one of my favorite authors. "Phoenix" is a return to form for Chuck, who most fans would agree had lost it some in his last few efforts. So, in "Phoenix" what we're treated to is an American family that has gotten into a mortgage over their head and the drama that unfolds as a result. Rachel is on a business trip, talking to her husband Ted, and wanting to speak with their blind daughter, April. The dynamic between the thre
Matt James
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Palahniuk has been a source of diminishing returns for me. Rant was the last novel of his I really enjoyed and everything since then has been a slog to finish. Phoenix, being short and concise with it's devastation may be the new place he operates successfully. The characters are just as despicable and damaged as any others, they're given just enough pages to reach bottom without the room to get lost and repetitive.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Very Palahniuk. I enjoyed this. Gosh, he writes so well. Both his word choice and his story-weaving skills. Always so engaging. You kind of want to hate the main character for being a horrible person, but then you also kind of understand where they are coming from. (I started to write this about Phoenix specifically, but then realized that's pretty much EVERY Palahniuk novel I've ever read, haha!)
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I skipped the last couple Palahniuk books. They just weren't working for me any more. I think that the last one I *really loved* was probably Rant. I saw this Kindle Single, $.99, and decided to take a chance. I was glad I did. ...more
Heather V  ~The Other Heather~
And just like that, with the flick of a lightswitch, Chucky P has made me remember precisely what about his writing made me fall in love with it in the first place.

Pregnant women and cat lovers might want to proceed with caution, but anyone else - longtime fans of or newcomers to Chuck's storytelling - should absolutely take in this lightning-fast short story experience. Right from the first page you know it's all gonna go terribly, horribly wrong in the end, and that's why you're reading it. Ho
Mark Wilkerson
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I have been hypercritical of Palahniuk lately; his recent novels have been extremely unsteady and inconsistent, and this has left me jaded. Because of his early success, though, I still pick up his stories, in hopes of finding the gems he does occasionally produce still. In reading "Phoenix," my expectations were admittedly low.

Maybe because of my low expectations, or maybe because Palahniuk was inspired (I can't tell the difference anymore), I enjoyed "Phoenix." The pacing issues that have pla
After Fight Club I went on something of a rampage through the books of Chuck Palahniuk which only ended once I got to Rant. Not many of Chuck's books since then have really popped up on my radar, but Phoenix makes me think it might be time for us to get reacquainted (in fact, I may need to read Survivor again)

A short story that took no time at all to read but stuck in my mind for a long time afterwards, Phoenix sees us visit the hotel room of Rachel, working away from home and checking in by pho
Sonja Arlow
Normally when I dislike the main characters it negatively influences my reading experience but as I enjoyed Choke so much (and THAT narrator was an egotistic sex addicted asshole) I was curious to try out this short novella.

The problem was that I just did not care about Ted or Rachel and their shaky marriage. The only thing that prevented this book from getting a 1 star was the antics involving Belinda Carlisle.

This was a very big miss for me but will try more of this author’s books, however pe
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
As usual I'm never a fan of books that have any kind of animal cruelty and this one is no exception. I did appreciate that the person committing the cruelty got theirs in the end ... makes it all a little better. Over all the book was good. Fast-paced and kept me interested. This is the first book by Palahniuk that I've read and I wasn't sure what to expect from him although I've heard that he can be pretty twisted. After reading Pheonix I am willing to give other books by Palahniuk a chance but ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
There was a time when I thought Chuck Palahniuk was at the top of the writer food chain. I've grown up since then, and unfortunately, Palahniuk's writing hasn't aged with me. He's still following the same tropes and at this point, seems okay with just filling in a pseudo transgressive writing template. He wrote a companion essay about the writing of this piece and he hints at the intended emotional depths of this story that just aren't on the page. It would have been interesting to read that sto ...more
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully written, perfect length. After reading Lullaby a few years ago, I became hesitant to read more of Palahniuk's works. While Lullaby had some creepy, jarring moments, I was overall disappointed after reading the works of art that are Fight Club and Invisible Monsters, and the generally mediocre reviews I've been hearing. Phoenix has had the ability to rekindle my intereste in Palahniuk's writing.

An excellent work in dysfunction, conflict, and the lengths we'll go to in order to get wha
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am a lousy, horrible human being. I fully admit, when I realized what happened to the cat, I laughed way too hard. And I love cats. This story will NOT be for everyone. I'm just a twisted sort of guy.

This story is short. I'm a slow reader and it only took me twenty minutes to finish it but it was worth every penny of its $.99 price tag. The writing is spot on. The humor isn't dark, it's pitch black.

This is the best thing Palahniuk has written since Diary.
Jeff Nash
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: weird-fiction
It's hard to call such a short story a proper return to form.

After suffering through Snuff and Pygmy (and picking up Tell-All and Damned, finishing neither), this is a short reprieve.

Maybe it's because there's a limited number of characters or the flash fiction format requires limited length. The claustrophobic, contained atmosphere? The ambiguity of what is actually happening?

In the end, I thought it was worth my 99 cents.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
That was short, wasn't expecting that, I got the book as it was by Chuck, I didn't notice that it was a novella.

Very good twisted story about paranoia. It was nice to see a book featuring toxoplasmosis and that it can cause blandness.

At the end of the book it mentions that there is a movie in the making for Haunted really looking forward to that.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was my first by this author, I will for sure be checking out more of his work though. It was a pretty dark short story that reminded me a lot of The Unremarkable Heart and Other Stories ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even though it was just a short story, this was really classic Palahniuk. He did an amazing job of winding themes of alcohol abuse, familial dischord, and the sheer gross-out shock that he specializes in. I read this on a borrowed Kindle, so I got do enjoy it for free, but I'm sure it's worth a couple of bucks if you have to download it somewhere.
Donald Armfield
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a crazy bitch. Not for the animal cruelty people. The things Toxoplasmosis can do to children never mind a crazy woman who watches the home shopping network on mute.

A very hot kindle single with a great twist. Keep the hair spray away from Kitties.
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so I am a liar, and I have been for many years. I always said that I just hate writers who kill the family pet. This is such a sharp, mean story, though, that I barely even noticed the nasty old cat.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Whenever I'm looking for something a little (or a lot) strange but intriguing I pick up a Chuck Palahniuk book. As usual this one was great. I enjoyed this Kindle single more than I did some of his novels.
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Chuck Palahniuk R...: Phoenix 1 15 Aug 02, 2014 05:30AM  

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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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