Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dear Diary

I just finished Chuck Palahniuk's (Lord, will I ever remember how to spell that man's name right off the top of my head??) Diary (a novel, in case you were wondering). It made a good buffer in between two longer pieces, Dhalgren and next on my agenda, House of Leaves.

I should start this off with admitting that I have read a good deal of Palahniuk's work. I read Fight Club (which was a bit ruined, since I saw the movie before I read the book), and so, while I liked it, well, like I said, it was a bit ruined. I absolutely loved Lullaby, but reading Survivor made me begin to assume that the guy's a one-trick pony.

Having read Diary, though, I guess I have to admit he has at least a couple tricks. I mean, you'll still get some standard Palahniuk fare, like listings of arbitrary facts (which end up not being so arbitrary at all). I swear, the man is King of the Factoid.

Somehow, though, Diary breaks into a more empathetic role. Sure, you've got some of his usual abrasiveness here, but Misty Wilmot becomes a rather sympathetic character. I think some of his other books, you're too busy being shocked and horrified to have a tremendous liking for his characters.

And while it certainly does hearken to Shirley Jackson's The Lottery (and no, this isn't exactly a spoiler, seeing how the reviews page has it right there), I still didn't exactly expect what happened to happen. At the beginning, I felt like maybe I had it all figured out, but really, it took a few twists and turns and in the end, I feel like it was worth the trip.

Meanwhile, there are also some good nuggets for those of you who like to read art satire as well. I think he makes a few excellent points in the pages.

All in all, I thought it was a fun ride and more than a little bit creepy.

Speaking of creepy, I started House of Leaves last night and I'm already creeped out. Big time!

Thanks for reading,

LLB

2 Comments:

Blogger Hebdomeros said...

I've never read Chuck P. Maybe because I think of him as the American Irvine Welsh, which may or may not be accurate at all. And while I like Welsh, one Welsh is enough. I have flipped through Chuck P's new collection of essays, and they look interesting. I might check them out someday.

I loved House of Leaves. The structure's a little off-putting for some people, but if you made it through Dhalgren you won't have any trouble. I actually found it a pretty fast read; I found it really addictive. The creepiness is only just beginning.

9:33 AM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Hmm. I have always meant to read "Trainspotting" and never have. Or any other Irvine Welsh for that matter, though it should probably go on the list (although, I think the idea of heavy Scottish dialect always put me off).

Having not read Welsh, I can't really say whether the styles are similar, but I can say that Chuck P. is dark satire to the point of being black, utterly outlandish, and hilarious (if you have that sort of sense of humor, I guess). With strong strains of good old-fashioned misanthropy. Chuck P. is definitely around the bend. I've joked before that I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley. I would definitely recommend Lullaby and Fight Club -- like I said, Diary is a bit softer, but I'd recommend it too. Then again, I can also imagine that some people would utterly disagree with my recommendation.

Yeah, I think that Dhalgren really did get me all primed for House of Leaves. TOTALLY creeped out. To the point where, last night, I was thinking, hell, I don't think I'd want to move into another place, what if this type of shit started going on? Ha...

7:51 PM  

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