Tuesday, April 27, 2004

i think i've finally constructed a decent opinion on Chuck Palahniuk;

Fight Club, Survivor, and Invisible Monsters are fantastic. they make up a nice trilogy of stories that share some similarities but ultimatley have their own life and personality. these were written before the film version of Fight Club was realesed.

the 3 books post-film (Choke, Lullaby, and Diary), while being good novels with some ocasional inspired moments, just seem to rely on regurgitated themes of his previous 3 books, those themes being alienation, semi-nihilism and borderline mysanthropy. Literary critics (and people who base their entire existence on tearing down other people's work while contributing nothing of value of their own to anything) cry "overrated" and "hack" (many of these people probably being fans of Palahniuk's work, before he became slightly more well known and they couldn't carry their favorite author in their pocket anymore, or they could be bitter writers who are pissed that Palahniuk is becoming famous for writing such weird books while other more bizzare, and sometimes better, authors go unoticed, but i digress), while die-hard Palahniuk fans cling to their desperation and fond memories of his previous 3 novels while secretly wondering if their hero has lost that golden touch.

i don't think he has. with one word Palahniuk has proven, at least to me, that he still has some imagination left.

that word; GUTS.

his short story Guts, that is. it's nihilistic, but in a much more unsettling way than anything else he has written. take all the grossest moments from all of his novels and multiply it by 100, that's Guts. Palahniuk seems to have done away with the pseudo philosophical anarchist themes and focused on creating something that doesn't need to tell or be told of it's nihilistic tone. it's not your typical Palahniuk story or your typical gross out story either. maybe i'm overselling it, considering it's just a short story(it will be part of Palahniuk's next book, which to my understanding will be compilation of stories like this with some sort of narative tying it together), but i think that if you're someone who finds Palahniuk to be a "hack" or for "trend geeks", this might be the story for you.

to be cute about it, Palahniuk's first 6 novels were Fight Club. Guts is Project Mayhem.


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