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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  75,970 ratings  ·  2,528 reviews
Misty Wilmot has had it. Once a promising young artist, she’s now stuck on an island ruined by tourism, drinking too much and working as a waitress in a hotel. Her husband, a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt, but that doesn’t stop his clients from threatening Misty with lawsuits over a series of vile messages they’ve found on the walls of houses he remodele ...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published September 14th 2004 by Anchor (first published August 26th 2003)
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Shea "The first 75% of the book (like 190 pages) varied from dull to okay. Nothing really interesting was going on (or so I assumed)...I almost gave up thi…more"The first 75% of the book (like 190 pages) varied from dull to okay. Nothing really interesting was going on (or so I assumed)...I almost gave up this book because it was nowhere near as enticing as Survivor, but I pushed through and in the end I can give this book 3 stars instead of just 1."(less)
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Vanessa I think the elderly parents set up the whole thing so that insurance money could go back into their island. They used Misty and her daughter and well …moreI think the elderly parents set up the whole thing so that insurance money could go back into their island. They used Misty and her daughter and well their son to make it happen. (less)

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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  75,970 ratings  ·  2,528 reviews

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Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Liking Chuck Palahniuk's books must be akin to a Fear Factor challenge for most readers. And sometimes I can't help but wonder, what if THAT is what exactly Palahniuk wants the readers to feel about his works? Feel challenged by it, dislike it, feel disgusted or insulted by it--all of these by hurling the naked truths of human nature to the face of people in the harshest possible way?

My first Palahniuk book is Choke, and I was sort of culture shocked when I read it--a multitude of f-bombs being
Sully (thysaltymar)
“It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A clunky "horror novel" with all the usual Palahniukisms we've come to love/expect. Isn't he just OBSESSED with factoids? Piecing these together, a patchwork of knowingness played out in a mostly insipid arena, it is a haunted house story told clumsily... by a Dude.

Yet, as sordid and repetitive, as shock-for-shock's sake and clumsy as it is, DIARY is actually pretty enticing, never dull. Funny how I read him in my mid 30s, knowing how unliterary it is, a beach book parading as a beginners manual
Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it
The way this narrative was a dairy while also describing a diary was an amazing idea. The setting and the characters were the right type of people in the right place but something about it all made it sort of gross to read. And that was probably the point and I probably missed that but I wish it was more of an actual diary. I started reading with that idea and am a huge fan of epistolary fiction. My favorite of which is The Sorrows of Young Mike. ...more
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Hey, goodreads. Remember how seriously I used to take you? I would tell you every time I finished a book, and then I would tell you about the book. I guess I haven't been doing that as much lately. Kind of like how Chuck Palahniuk has been phoning it in for three books now, huh?

Because look, this was the last one of his books I hadn't read. Now I have read all of them. And Chuck? The only reason I didn't give this one five stars is because it wasn't Rant, which I have built up in my head to be
AmberBug com*
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sn-to-post
My absolute favorite Chuck book so far. It spoke to me bring an artist wit the theme of artists suffering. Original storyline as usual, he does not disappoint... but rather brings it... fully (more so then any other book he has written, in my opinion).

Suffering = living. Suffering = true feeling. Suffering = emotions. Emotions = Open mind. Open mind = creativity. Creativity = Artistic excellence. (Or something along those lines).

This book made me realize why (as an artist) I go through dry spe
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 2017
Very slow to begin with.
A little confusing at times but the end was great.
shana b
Mar 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

This book is ridiculous.
I've never found it exactly difficult to get through a Chuck Palahniuk book because he's one of the greatest, most complex writers I know of, but this book... it was such a drag. I prefferred babysitting over reading Diary.

I had to pull myself through it each and every day. I get anxious if I don't finish a book so I couldn't toss it aside. The only reason I completely forced myself through it in less than a month is because I was so exci
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookclub
This was my first selection to our book group -- and it definitely shook things up a bit.

I love Palahniuk, and this is actually my favourite of his. Fight Club comes second, so if you hate Fight Club, I can't think you'll like this. The style is still there -- short, choppy ideas repeated until you wonder why, a vocabulary that makes you double take from time to time. One of our book groupies actually read it with a dictionary to hand because she wanted to know what every word meant. Which, give
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katia Zawacki, Michael Cooper
I last read this book some time between November 2005 and March 2006, but the audio recording was excellent. I thought knowing the plot - especially the conclusion - would diminish some of its power, but I was very happily surprised that it was even better than I remember. I had forgotten just how many details about art, physiology and other esoteric intelligent topics were woven into the tale, as well as how rhythmic it is in the telling. Still my second favorite of Palahniuk's writing (behind ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
ETA: So I bought this edition because apparently I'm in love with the book.
But I didn't know that the front cover is like this:

I'm so happy because the gimmick is awesome. I appreciate it.
I'm sad because this is for my collection of all Chuck Palahniuk and I'd like to wrap it in a plastic cover. How would I be able to do that if the edges are uneven?

So Charlie the Wallflower, unlike you, I know why I'm both happy and sad at the same time...

2nd reading review:
Just for the record, the weather toda
Oct 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Palahniuk fans/people who like strange twists
I'm always struck by just how weird Palahniuk's novels are. In the case of this one, I really thought I had it figured out. Turns out, I didn't. I should probably just give up trying and enjoy the story. Which I usually do.

Misty lives on Waytansea Island with a husband in a coma and a mother in law who seems bent on pushing her to be the famous artist everyone seems to think she is. While Misty went to school for art, she takes it as an insult that everyone thinks she, a poor white trash girl,
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Some strange shit. Always the strange shit, Chuck.

This novel tackled art in a very weird way. How it was used to save a cheesy named Island. How an artist was brought to a master plan by a strange group of Island people, to do her art, convince her to do her art and fulfill the prophecy of saving the Island. Enriching it. Nurturing it.

Though some parts of the book were tough for me to handle, I consider this an easy read. Especially towards the ending. It felt like it was shortened and brought
Jan 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Like all of Palahniuk’s other work, Diary is vivid, disturbing, grotesque, and a bit supernatural. If his descriptions don’t leave you feeling at least somewhat squeamish, then you must have no imagination whatsoever. He is like a painter who makes the simplest object look hideously grotesque, who can look at a common scene and envision it in the twisted way only a serial killer might. Only, the serial killers in his novels don’t kill for pleasure; they kill for reasons much more creative than t ...more
Booklover Butterfly
Dec 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those looking to step out of their reading comfort zone and try something new
Misty Wilmot was a promising young artist back in her youth. She met Peter in art school, married him, had his daughter, and somewhere along the line her talent seemed to dry up. Her husband’s unsuccessful suicide attempt has left him in a coma, and Misty is turning to alcohol to get her through the days. Peter was a contractor, and now his former clients are threatening lawsuits at Misty because rooms in their houses have disappeared and there are disturbing messages on the walls. Amidst all of ...more
Megan Baxter
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book quite a bit more than I did Choke, the only other Palahniuk book I've read. With strong echos of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," this is a creepy tale of intrigue and intergenerational mayhem on a small island off the coast of the United States.

What lengths will the islanders go to to keep rich mainlanders off their island? And what does Misty Kleinman's artistic talent have to do with it?

The story uncoils slowly, but with a growing sense of menace that made me truly uneasy.
Eddie Generous
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Far and away my favorite Palahniuk. Like Rosemary's Baby meets Harvest Home, but snarky and funny. Suspenseful, wild, engrossing. Totally fucking fantastic. ...more
Jul 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks who don't mind nightmares
I think this may be my favorite of his to date. It's twisted and spooky, and made me feel a little sick to my stomach on more than one occasion. Hmmm...that doesn't sound like a glowing review, but if you're into Palahniuk, you know what I mean. It reminded me of Dunn's _Geek Love_ a little, in that I felt both entranced and disgusted by the characters in the stories, and I just knew that the outcome wouldn't be good...had that nagging, sinking dread feeling while reading the entire thing; yet, ...more
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
A brilliant parable of how life and expectations of one's family and culture can trap you. The tale is of an art student of poor background who gave up her ambitions for the American Dream of marrying a wealthy island resident of the Northeast with a grand old house. The pressures on her to fulfill everyone's expectations to become a great artist soon moves into bizarre territory after her husband's apparent suicide attempt. Much of the story emanates in an omnmiscient second person account of e ...more
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I finished this book yesterday but sat with it for a spell to consider my opinion. I gave it four stars because it was a compelling read and it was a unique narrative with a writing style that I very much enjoyed. I also appreciated the fact that I haven't read anything like it before.
The opening chapter was awesome - an intriguing narrative hook and the use of second person had me by the scruff. The final line of the opening chapter left no argument, I was turning the page.
As the book progres
MJ Nicholls
The Correspondents #4

Dear MJ,

Received your letter via Patrick. There are several things a man can do to attract a woman. I present a series of options for perusal in the following numerically partitioned sentences. 1) Kidnap. All you need for this is a car and a popular secluded late-night environs. Prowl lanes and nooks for bait. Once you have kidnapped your selected woman she will hate and fear you: the best qualities for a woman to have in any relationship. 2) Wear Down. Works best with frien
Karim Kassam
Jun 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
This was my first, and long overdue introduction into the dark and often schizophrenic world of Chuck Palahniuk. I read this in September of 2006, so you'll have to pardon the lack of specific details.

Palahniuk's success, or at least, my appreciation for this book, comes from his darkly paranoid writing style. In many cases, authors who write to imbue confusion in the reader do so at the expense of narrative cohesion. Diary's success lies in the fact that it disorients the reader, but can desc
Missy (myweereads)
“Just for the record, the weather today is calm and sunny, but the air is full of bullshit.”

Diary by Chuck Palahniuk is written in the form of a diary kept by Misty Wilmot as her husband lies in a coma from an attempted suicide. She was an aspiring artist once who is brought to an Island by Peter who she marries. She soon finds out that her husband had been hiding messages in rooms he had been refurbishing. She finds herself frantically looking for them to figure out why she was brought to Wayta
Jul 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who like fractured tales
there was very little i enjoyed about this book. palahniuk has a flair for quirky juxtaposition in his imagery, something i appreciate -- and probably the only thing i really appreciated in diary.

just for the record, the 'just for the record' repeating business was super annoying. i don't mind an occasional repeat - the cadence can be quite charming at times. but repetition of this and other phrases, plus the penchant for describing people's musculature in action, it all felt pretentious instea
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
I have read over 8 books by this author and the only reason i gave him two stars was because i love fight club so much. honestly, i thought the movie was better than the book, but ill give it to him anyway. in an effort to be edgy and controversial, chuck loses sight of important literary necessities like continuity, concept, intelligence, character development, and so on. his books sometimes feel like i'm in someone else's bad acid trip. but of course, this is all probably intentional because h ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
3 stars--I liked the book. I enjoyed the plot--I'm always down for creepy villagers and cult shenanigans, not to mention possible time slips. But I'm not a huge fan of Palahniuk's writing style. ...more
Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees
“You said how Michelangelo was a manic-depressive who portrayed himself as a flayed martyr in his painting. Henri Matisse gave up being a lawyer because of appendicitis. Robert Schumann only began composing after his right hand became paralyzed and ended his career as a concert pianist. (...) You talked about Nietzsche and his tertiary syphilis. Mozart and his uremia. Paul Klee and the scleroderma that shrank his joints and muscles to death. Frida Kahlo and the spina bifida that covered her legs ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I met a guy in a coffee shop while reading this.
Guy: Is this your first time reading this?
Me: First? Why, have you read it more than once?
Guy: Nah, once was enough.

What he should have said was NOT AT ALL was enough.

The back had a review comparing Palahniuk to Vonnegut. No. No, no, no. If anything, Palahniuk is a slightly sour rip off of Pynchon's Lot 49.

A lot of the book seemed unnecessary to the story, which is why I was able to finish it so quickly. Skimming, skimming, skimming. The story is t
Jim Peterson
Oct 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: english
I found this in a so-called open library. A public bookshelf where you can give or take books for free.

As I read, I kept noticing little dots or lines penciled in beside the text. I got to wondering what they meant. Did they point out an interesting passage? Did indicate some text the reader didn't understand?

For most of the book I was more intrigued by this mystery than by the book itself.

Nevertheless, the last 20% of the book was unputdownable, so that more or less makes up for the slow start.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Chuck always has that mysterious way of introducing his character, from all the personal traits to surprise twist flashback and current personalities, the plot itself already a twist to me but reading Diary in a form of a diary from a narrator that seems not really a narrator was kind of clever yet weird. The first few chapters was okay to me, I got curious about Peter and Misty, Wilmot family in general-- quite intriguing. Love the plot idea, but somehow the development not as fun and enjoyable ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
How to Stay Into a Book?! 4 27 Jan 11, 2017 08:00PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover for Diary: A Novel 3 15 Apr 02, 2016 11:50PM  
Mrs.Shiels' Honor...: It's Not Over 3 28 Jun 01, 2014 05:21PM  
Bookworm Buddies: Diary by chuck palahnuik 7 43 Oct 16, 2013 09:24PM  
Reader Rendezvous: Further Discussion of Diary 1 16 Oct 13, 2013 10:37AM  

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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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