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Chuck Palahniuk (1961 - )

See also: American literature - transgressive fiction - USA - cult fiction

Titles: Fight Club (1996)


Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk (born February 21, 1961 in Pasco, Washington, USA) is an American satirical novelist and freelance journalist living in Portland, Oregon. He is best known for the award-winning novel Fight Club, which was later made into a film directed by David Fincher. He has one of the largest centralized followings of any author on the Internet, based around his official web site. His writings, similar in style to those of such peers as Bret Easton Ellis, Irvine Welsh, and Douglas Coupland, have made him one of the most popular novelists of Generation X. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Palahniuk [May 2005]

Haunted (2005) - Chuck Palahniuk

Haunted (2005) - Chuck Palahniuk [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
What elevates Palahniuk's best novels (e.g., Fight Club) above their shocking premises is his ability to find humanity in deeply grotesque characters. But such generosity of spirit is not evident in his latest, which charts the trials of a group of aspiring writers brought together for a three-month writer's retreat in an abandoned theater. The novel intersperses the writers' poems and short stories with tales of the indignities they heap upon themselves after deciding to turn their lives into a "true-life horror story with a happy ending." They lock themselves in the theater, reasoning that once they're found, they'll all become rich and famous. They raise the stakes of their story by first depriving themselves of phones, and then of food and electricity; eventually they cut off their own fingers, toes and unmentionables before they start dying off and eating each other. Palahniuk tells his story with such blithe disregard for these characters that it's hard not to wish he had dispensed with the novel altogether and published, instead, the 23 short stories that pop up throughout the book. For instance, "Obsolete," about a young girl about to commit state-mandated suicide, and "Slumming," about rich couples who pretend to be homeless, play so deftly with expectations and have an emotional core so surprising that they consistently, powerfully transcend their macabre premises to showcase the heart beating beneath the horrors. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --via Amazon.com

From Booklist
In this over-the-top gore fest from Palahniuk (Fight Club, 1996; Lullaby, 2002), a group of aspiring writers move into a locked, windowless theater to write their masterpieces under the guidance of a (seemingly) old man. The story of their hellacious retreat-kidnapping is interspersed with poems about the various writers and stories by them. Convinced that they will one day sell the story of their dystopian nightmare for millions, the writers seek out suffering to make their lives saleable: they starve themselves, lop off body parts, cannibalize, and so on. The stories here vaguely resemble ghost stories, but rather than being scary, they're just disgusting. Sex dolls shaped like children, a fetus aborted by Marilyn Monroe, a pool intake sucking out a man's colon--you get the picture. There's a point to the madness--Palahniuk is exploring our yearning for suffering and our newfound desire to make our misery marketable. The allegory is sometimes very clever and pitch-black funny. But Haunted provokes a lot more nausea and eye rolls than deep thoughts. One hesitates to criticize a novel featuring a chef who murders people who review his dishes poorly, but we'll take our chances; this novel will please Palahniuk's hardcore fans and few others. But he certainly has his many and devoted fans. John Green via Amazon.com

Transgressional fiction
The characters are people who have been marginalized in one form or another by society, and who react with often self-destructive aggressiveness (a form of story that the author likes to describe as transgressional fiction). Through these tales, he attempts to comment on the current problems of society, such as materialism. However, with the controversy surrounding written works with such themes in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, Palahniuk chose to start writing with a more subtle approach to get the same messages across. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Palahniuk [May 2005]

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