Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Survived

now finished: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
now reading: um...nothing. lots. law textbooks.

It was okay. It's good that I have now read Palahniuk, master weirdo. This wasn't the weirdest book I have ever read. I mean, it's no Infinite Jest. It's not even Naked Lunch. It had a coherent story, at least. But the ending was -- well, it was silly.

So, the book was all right, I suppose. I guess I just expected Palahniuk to be more literary. I am not even sure exactly what I mean by that. I also found his device of numbering backwards to be silly. The book starts with chapter 47 and ends with chapter 1, and likewise it starts on page 289. Right: an-NOY-ing. It seemed to have no point. I mean, it's not as if he tells the story backwards. He goes back to the beginning and then tells it in order. Whatever, Chuck.

Meanwhile, all those adjectives you've heard about Palahniuk, like volatile or bizarre or creepy or whatever? Yeah, not really. Just a little kooky. But the Super Bowl bit was fun.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


now reading: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Don't you maybe think "Chuck" is one of those names where you sort of become a certain type of personality just by having the name? Kind of like "Tiffany" or "Butch." Well, I guess with "Butch" you have to have a certain type of personality to get the name, but with Chuck it's as if only certain Charleses can be Chucks. This despite Peppermint Patty's harassment.

I will leave aside for now the utter frustration I feel with nicknames that have lots of letters that aren't in the original name. Chuck. Jack. Peggy. Ugh. Even Jim and Bill annoy me for that reason. As opposed to, say, Kim, Jenny, Rob, and so forth. Or like if I were Elizabeth but called Beth even though at least it's contained in the full word that would freak me out, because then you have different initials sometimes. How can you live life having two different sets of initials? That's just wrong.

OK, I guess I didn't really leave that subject aside. I ranted. Coincidentally, Rant is another of Chuck's books. So, back to the subject at hand, which is Chuck.

Hmmm, I say, in response to this man. I mean, Survivor is enjoyable enough, but it is not leading me to think any great literary thoughts. Chuck Palahniuk, so far, strikes me as the guy who you're always glad comes to writing group and to whom you enjoy listening but about whose work you never have really much to say after except maybe "That was good."

And since his reputation of weirdness precedes him, I don't have much to say about the weirdness either, really.

Anyway - I'm almost done! So there's that. A few people at law school rave about Mr. Palahniuk. But they're the intellectually curious misfits, just like the people at the bookstore that raved about Palahniuk. I wonder what authors the boring law review people like?