Posts Tagged ‘rant’

Damned

July 5, 2011

I have an ARC of the new Chuck Palahniuk book and I’m trying so, so hard to care, but I can’t make myself! I used to find him so interesting, like, at least as much as a cultural phenomenon as a writer, but I feel like in his last three novels he’s gotten his style ground down to such a fine, sharp, codified thing, that I can’t muster any feeling at all. Not even ennui or boredom! Like I picked it up and the first couple paragraphs were textbook plastic Palahniuk that made me put it down and want to hide it. I guess I will read it but it’s hard to make myself when there are so many other things that I’d rather know about. Like Ali Smith has a new book! How much more interesting is Ali Smith! Or I could even re-read Rant, which was when Chuck peaked, as far as I’m concerned.

And I am concerned pretty far, actually.

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Diary

June 30, 2010

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 your grand achievement, or whatever the French word is. But Diary was great! Remember when your writing used to be transgressive not because of vibrator jokes, but because of the grim tone and the overwhelming, almost-but-not-quite cartoonishness of the immorality of all the characters? This was fun! You did interesting things with the plot- I don’t even want to say what because it would give it away! The fact that you think girls are icky was expressed interestingly, instead of boringly! The metaphysical stuff was fun, the repeated staccato phrases didn’t get overwhelming or boring, and there were homos.

Thumbs up, Chuck.

So here’s what I think: Snuff, Pygmy and Tell-All are Chuck’s humor trilogy. Y’know how he likes to write in trilogies? Diary is part of the horror trilogy with Haunted and… something else, I forget what. Well, Chuck, your humor trilogy has failed. Please write a second horror trilogy! Or keep doing sci-fi, like Rant! Because when you are on your are on. Finishing this one is kinda bittersweet.

(this is from my old goodreads account.)

Tell-All

May 30, 2010

Sigh. Oh Chuck. You’re just convinced that you’ve found the magic formula, and you can churn out a book every year or two indefinitely, aren’t you? I mean, this isn’t as bad as Pygmy, or even Snuff, but it’s on the same level as them. Ugh. First, it is barely a book; if we acknowledge that every new chapter has half a blank page to mark it, this is like a 150-page book. Second, why is the repetetive verbal tick in this book (they are in all of your books, Chuck) some random three-animal-noise blurt followed by a celebrity’s name? That’s stupid.

Third: this was your chance, Chuck. As the gay dude who tries to embody straight dude masculinity in his books- and the one who I think still sells well enough that maybe you keep churning ’em out in an effort to keep the publishing industry afloat?- writing about a woman, from another woman’s point of view, in the style of the gossip column- that famous, old-timey domain of ladies and gay men- you could have really made a point. Any fucking point! Something about camp and old-timey Hollywood glamour, or something about queeniness, or… I don’t know, anything! But in every one of your last few books, I totally root for you to do something smart and awesome (because you did in Rant, which still fucking stands up, I read the synopsis on Wikipedia and get totally pumped), and then you don’t really do anything.

Bummer, Chuck! Bummer.

(this review is from my old goodreads account.)