Jess's Reviews > Survivor

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
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Aug 20, 2008

it was ok
Read in September, 2008

I'm going to be honest, I'm starting to become less and less impressed with Palahniuk's work in general-- and it saddens me to admit this. I've read five of his books now (one non-fiction; one too plodding to even finish), and it's becoming too obvious that every character voice is exactly the same. They are all written the same, they all have the same delivery of speech and thought patterns, they are all perfectly one-dimensional. Blank, emotionless, cruel, somewhat hateful. Disenchanted with the world, anti- and asocial. There's no depth of feeling; even when Palahniuk attempts to create a characteristic turn-around, it falters and falls short (with the singular exception of Fight Club). The "hero" always knows a handful of miscellaneous facts that loosely relate to the content enough to serve as cynical metaphor (how to make soap, how to clean up evidence of violence, etc.); this miscellany is always interspersed with social commentary and scraps of dialogue, absolutely routine by now. It works for one book, creating such a by-the-book nihilistic protagonist through disjointed prose, but when every. single. character. is a misanthropic maggot, it gets old.

The writing is still "sharp," if you want to call it that, but completely formulaic. Disappointing to discover this about Palahniuk's style.

That said, this one is at least holding my attention a little more than Diary, so I'll probably finish it.
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02/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Ben (new) - rated it 1 star

Ben i couldn't agree with you more. this guy is so overrated and the book was like a bad tv show.


Robert it was a while ago, but i remember survivor as my favorite palahnuik alongside fight club. i believe survivor was written first. of course you're spot on about his writing being formulaic. after lullaby i'd had enough of reading that same book he's always writing.


message 3: by Daniel (new) - added it

Daniel chuck palahniuk is the shit! how could you not like this book? after reading CHOKE i had to see what SURVIVOR was all about and i was right on the money, it was gooooooood. i will be reading more chuck in the near future.


Marija spot-on!


Alicia I am curious which of his books were you not able to finish? I have only read a couple so far...


Kester Embarrassing. You're complaining that one of his first books is too much like his later novels. You should probably write that on the review for the later novels instead.


message 7: by No (new)

No Name Hmm. Didn't really see my first taste as "blank, emotionless, cruel, and somewhat hateful", not close (not close does NOT hint at OPPOSITE of that btw), but I might notice similar voice if I read another


Rachel He's a satirist. It makes sense for a lot of his books to have the same sardonic sense to it. Most authors have a tendency to have main characters very similar to each other. Look at Stephen King for instance. He has very unique characters and stories but you can also always tell it's a Stephen King novel.


Kristofer Because invisible monsters is definitely the same character as the other books. You know, being a female character and all.


Shamis Archer I couldn't have said it better myself, not an enjoyable book for me


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Mccausland It became obvious to you after 5 books? It only took me 2.


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