Diary

ISBN: 064168682X
ISBN 13: 9780641686825
By: Chuck Palahniuk

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Reader's Thoughts

Emanuel

This is my first Palahniuk's book... It's creatively written, I do quite enjoy the book as the writing style is very unique and easily get drowned to it, he (Palahniuk) could be a "Tarantino in literature" (hmmm... i might be wrong...). At first I annoyed with all the dates, but then, i ignored them, maybe that's another point which make this book unique, it's a diary anyway... playing with dates, days, and times... I have to re-read the beginning of the book for few times, when it's talking about face muscles... well, i am not good in memorizing the scientific terms of those muscles. :PWhy only 3 stars then?I'm quite biased, after I've read the short review on the back cover... someone from Time Out has said about "Rosemary's Baby" & "The Wicker Man", so i had both Mia Farrow and Nic Cage settled in my mind (not in purpose), just before i started reading the book, I have seen both movies mentioned and to be honest, i dislike The Wicker Man (the remake), maybe the book (if any) or the first movie installment are better. So, basically the review (at the back cover) has ruined my imagination and make this book pretty predictable, and another point by me, i do not really like the end of the story, sort of an anti-climax, a typical Hollywood ending.All the ancient painters are the witches, who are doing witchcrafts by concocting colored potions for the paintings. Emerald green is actually insecticide, poisonous. Tyrian purple is made from clams. Dutch pink is crushed buckhorn berries. And Indian yellow is the urine of cattle fed mango leaves.Well, i like that part... ;)

Salymar

“It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

David Becker

My summary of opinions of this book? So young! So angry!Anytime you see so many varying opinions of a book, it's worth picking up, even if you'll just be taking part in a literary car accident: you just HAVE to look to see why everyone is slowing down. I'll bet Chuck's airbags went off after this book, but I think it's possible that it's just a fender bender.I think a lot of Palahniuk's work is like a drunk guy shooting arrows at a bunch of children lined up against a wall with apples on their heads. Will he split the apple occasionally? You bet! But he'll make a gigantic mess doing it.So, enough stalling. I did like this book. I saw it in an airport on the way to Miami, looked it up online, and saw divergent opinions, so I picked it up. I absolutely do not see this as a horror story, so whoever had that idea needs to be slapped around a bit, but I enjoyed enough of it where I could suggest it to a couple of people.I liked the continuing discovery of the hidden messages as the book went on, and I also liked the slowly-revealed courthship that you see, too: the last time I saw a family like this that has lost its prestige yet still clings to a name (or island, here) was in James Mitchener's "Chesapeake". I know people like this. It's a perfect match, and described very well, in Palahniuk's signature style. I'd almost like to see him tackle something from life like that, because I think he's be able to grab people and get them reading history.Ah, but the flaws. Some of this is just absurd. I don't like people that bury themself in foolishness just to spring themselves with a ridiculous twist or plot device. In that way, I thought we got a little "Left Behind" going on, and that is by no means a compliment. Also, the fire at the end? is that the resolution? There's cliches a plenty here, especially if I could find a way to put the accent marks over the word as I type.I don't know. I suspect that Chuck is turning into the literary equivalent of Dane Cook: a master at marketing himself to a core audience that will eagerly buy what he is selling, and he has occasional flashes of brilliance, but at the core, he's mediocre. Dane Cook has just about exhausted his 15 minutes. Is Palahniuk also a one-trick pony, albeit one greatly assisted by and indebted to David Fincher, Brad Pitt, and Edward Norton?

Charmie

Some strange shit. Always the strange shit, Chuck. This novel tackled art in a very weird way. How it was used to save a cheesy named Island. How an artist was brought to a master plan by a strange group of Island people, to do her art, convince her to do her art and fulfill the prophecy of saving the Island. Enriching it. Nurturing it. Though some parts of the book were tough for me to handle, I consider this an easy read. Especially towards the ending. It felt like it was shortened and brought to a conclusion immediately just so Chuck could end it. Terms were easier to understand then. I've read his recent book, Damned, and in that, Chuck still had his 'repetitive use' of phrases and words.. Making it look like some hidden clues for deciphering something that might come in handy when Chuck leaves the world, make a name of his own, as the author with readers disgusted by his works.. I don't know.Maybe he really wanted to have this effect on people. He writes like this to manipulate, and confuse. And he's better this way, really. I like the book. I really like it. Misty spoke to me in some unexplainable ways to awaken my own 'personal coma'. I really liked the idea of some form of a cult, a pagan god, witchcraft, tradition and the thrill I feel especially towards the ending. Though I never knew what her mural looked like, I'd say it was perfect that people were burned to death.

Dave

I’m starting to lose faith in this guy. . I mean. . Yeah. It just was not good. The best part about it is the way the guy writes. That and just the strange tid bits of random fucken trivia he throws at you in the middle of a chapter (but that is his shtick isn’t it?). I've had a lot of time to read while deployed, and this dude is a favorite in the Army. He has a rugged approach to shit and I appreciate that. Now? He's just getting silly. After Choke, Survivor and Fight club, I thought I was going to be a fan for life. . . I don’t know. A Diary that transcends time in order to make a small island community money, which will only last for a couple years? seriously? Are we throwing darts at random subjects on a dart board?I don’t mean to rag on the guy so hard, but he had some good stuff in there. . He has a talent for grabbing your attention and sticking your brain in a paint mixer, and I dig it. Just no damn substance and I wish there was some.

AmberBug

My absolute favorite Chuck book so far. It spoke to me bring an artist wit the theme of artists suffering. Original storyline as usual, he does not disappoint... but rather brings it... fully (more so then any other book he has written, in my opinion). Suffering = living. Suffering = true feeling. Suffering = emotions. Emotions = Open mind. Open mind = creativity. Creativity = Artistic excellence. (Or something along those lines). This book made me realize why (as an artist) I go through dry spells of creativity and original thoughts/expressions. Sometimes I feel like things just click and sometimes I feel like I can't produce anything worth sharing (all the bullshit). It's absolutely true that when you are suffering... you think more, you brood more, you long for things to work out. BUT while things AREN'T working out... your mind is working in overtime. When things are going well in life, it's easy to go day to day, thinking about life and the deeper meaning of things less. When things aren't going well... you tend to open your mind a little, to try and figure out why... all those serious and depressing life questions come to the surface and those thoughts are what creates meaningful art. Any art with value has extreme emotions and deeper meanings to it... things that can't be reached unless you try real hard (which works better when your mind is open to the suffering). Think about it... at what time in your life do you ask yourself the deep questions regarding your life? Usually once something goes wrong. When things are going good, why think about things which could depress you? We all know that the meaning of life, in the overall scheme of things, is depressing as hell... and usually isn't brooded upon until we are in situations which put us there in the first place. Okay, so overall... one of my favorite book and HIGHLY recommended to anyone who has a creative bone in their body. It will help you recognize creativity, where it stems from and the sad reality behind anything created with any value. Depressing book... yes. But it is Chuck and should be expected. By far my favorite Chuck Palahniuk book yet. (Even though I know Haunted was his baby and has been the book he has been wanting to write throughout his entire career... I still believe this is his best).

Heather

there was very little i enjoyed about this book. palahniuk has a flair for quirky juxtaposition in his imagery, something i appreciate -- and probably the only thing i really appreciated in diary. just for the record, the 'just for the record' repeating business was super annoying. i don't mind an occasional repeat - the cadence can be quite charming at times. but repetition of this and other phrases, plus the penchant for describing people's musculature in action, it all felt pretentious instead of charming, or amusing. definitely served as a writerly warning to me.the core idea for the story itself - the origins of which i am a little confused about (enclosed letter from a fan, claiming at least partial authorship?) - it's an interesting one, and in its sleepy, disjointed little way, was entertaining, but just barely. i put this book down for over a month, and it's the first time i haven't read a book straight through. still, i can tell palahniuk is a good writer (or at least has the potential to be), and will likely check out more of his work...someday.

Kater Cheek

This is the kind of book that creeps under your skin and interferes with dreams. I haven't read any of Palahniuk's other books, but one of his biggest fans recommended I start with this one, perhaps because it involves an artist as a protagonist and he thought I'd identify.Palahniuk has a very distinctive writing style. He peppers his prose with repeated phrases such as "Just for the record" and "Today's weather is.." eg. "Today's weather is surly, with a chance of bitterness." The novel is framed, loosly, in the second person, addressed to the protagonist's husband, who is in a coma following a suicide attempt. He uses non fiction deftly, adding trivia and background information as both exposition and a theme-strengthener. If nothing else, I took away from this book an illustration of literary techniques employed well.The other thing I took away from this novel is how deeply thematic it was. Without spending much time talking about any one individual painting, Palahniuk nevertheless delves deeply into art, what it means to create something beautiful, how it differs from what the students at Missy's school created. He also goes into how much nastiness goes into the creation of art. The suffering of great artists is mentioned again and again, and the novel strongly suggests that the suffering is a cause of great art, that it's as necessary an ingredient in beautiful art as the disgusting organic and inorganic components of oil paints are to beautiful paintings.I also liked the creepy mood of the piece. From nasty messages written by a nearly-dead man behind hidden rooms and walls in houses, to a diary that contains information unknown to its owner, this novel exudes the feel of a world that is only beautiful on the surface. It's got almost a wicker-man feeling too, as you start to realize that Missy is an unwitting sacrifice for a goal she had no part of.What kept this from being a five star book for me (not that many books are 5 stars, I'm rather stingy with stars) was the plot. I thought it was going one way, and it took a sharp left turn at the very end. You'd think that was good, but it frustrated me. On one hand, I can see that twist endings are usually cool, but I felt like that at the end of this novel. The islanders added an element to their plan that made Missy's role superfluous. Since their manipulation of Missy formed the core of the plot, having Missy and her art be so unnecessary at the end of it made me feel cheated.To sum up, this is a great novel for mood, for ideas, for creepy pictures you can't get out of your head and a looming sense of forboding. There are lots of little scenes which will stick with you for a long time after reading. The fact that I enjoyed it so much despite its not having good characters and a satisfying story is a testament to how well Palahniuk got the other elements right.

Karim Kassam

This was my first, and long overdue introduction into the dark and often schizophrenic world of Chuck Palahniuk. I read this in September of 2006, so you'll have to pardon the lack of specific details. Palahniuk's success, or at least, my appreciation for this book, comes from his darkly paranoid writing style. In many cases, authors who write to imbue confusion in the reader do so at the expense of narrative cohesion. Diary's success lies in the fact that it disorients the reader, but can describe in parallel separate lives and disparate events as part of a cohesive narrative thread, while maintaining the uniqueness and economy of prose that Palahniuk brings to all his books. That said, Diary is not a book for the faint of heart. Palahniuk's oft-schizophrenic prose imbues the reader's mind with unsettling, and often frightening imagery and emotion as he digs into the familiar territory of identity and its social constructs through some very interesting narrative conceits. Of course, it takes two to three readings to fully explore the depth of Diary, a classic trait of Palahniuk's books. While Diary does not live up to the standard of Fight Club, it is certainly a book worthy of attention for the seasoned Palahniuk fan.

Guillermo Jiménez

La novela funciona. Tiene congruencia, un poco de pretensión aderezado con una historia macabra: un bebé de Rosemary del arte. El complot de una sociedad en virtud del continuum cíclico de un modus viviendi que nada tiene de romántico ni de sensible.Misty es un engendro creado por un grupo de lunáticos que pretenden sobrevivir con su estilo de vida anquilosado por años, sangrando a el arte: la pintura y lo que mucho, poco o nada pueda decir al mundo.De acuerdo, Palahniuk tiene buenas ideas. Un tanto torcidas aquí y allá, fundamentadas con lecturas sobre anatomía, psicología jungiana y corrientes filosóficas jansenistas o ve tu a saber qué, las tiras cómicas del diaro dominical o el prime time de la teli.¿Tiene talento? Quizás. Al menos en esta obra permean estructuras ordenadas y una trama que desenvuelve su tensión dosificándola, esparciendo poco a poco el qué va a contarnos. Capítulo a capítulo, es decir, día a día en la entrada de este «diario» se nos relata en primera persona la vida de Misty, aspirante de pintora, de artista, venida a menos, venida a casi nada.Sin embargo, en las últimas páginas ya estás cansado. Te comienza a desinteresar el destino fatal de esos personajes desquiciados y pervertidos, de sus ínfulas de abolengo y aristocracia extinta. Insisto, el libro funciona, y no me extraña por qué es tan rimbombante y efectista el nombre del autor, a quien muchos conocimos a través de la otrora artificiosa película (basada en otra novela de él) The Fight Club.Lectura fácil, en cuanto que cualquier persona con dos dedos de frente puede entender casi de cabo a rabo. Me deja un sabor final de fuego artificial, de lucecitas de colores en el árbol de navidad, lucecitas con forma de calaveras o pentagramas, intenta asustar, pero, la verdad, no lo logra, es una farsa, una telenovela.Tengo otro de él que me interesa por la temática, Choke. Sin embargo, tendré que quitarme ese regusto salobre que me quedó después de apurar las últimas 20 o 30 o 100 páginas de esta. No, no lo disfrute y hasta pensé en lanzarlo por la ventana.

David

I think Chuck Palahniuk is one of those authors I just don't and am not going to get. I tried to read another book of his years ago and it left me the same way as this one -- weird, with intriguing ideas, but the writing style just doesn't work for me. Too much nihilism and odd, uncomfortable scenes that make me squirm, not in a good way.Diary is ostensibly the diary of a Misty Wilmot, whose husband is in a coma after a suicide attempt. She was an art student before she married her schlub of a husband, Peter, who brought her back to Waytansea Island, which is some kind of shitty little tourist town with insular, busybody, slightly creepy locals and well-heeled visitors. Now Misty is a fat, aging, for-all-practical-purposes single mother who cleans hotels, takes care of her daughter, and reflects bitterly on the death of her artistic dreams and why she ever married Peter.It turns out that the island's residents are creepier than you think. When Misty's daughter tragically dies, she is seized with a burst of creativity and begins to paint. Her fellow Waytanseaers encourage her. She begins to find clues left around the island that other women have come here before her in similar circumstances. The plot, when it is revealed, is a creepy little conspiracy with a touch of the supernatural.There are a few bright moments in the book, and some lines that stood out, but it just couldn't hold my interest enough for me to get past how much I disliked the voice and all the characters. Overall, it kind of resembled an inferior approximation of a Stephen King novel.

anarki

Diary by Chuck Palahniuk. This. Fucking. Book. Is. Shit. I am having a hard time finding the fitting words to say about this. To write a something like "This is Fucking Great!" or "This book is GOOD!" or even "This book is perfect!" to do so is going to be a crime. Even giving five stars wouldn't be enough. I would even say that this is even better than Fight Club. A dark gripping tale of an artist doomed because of her oozing lava of talents. Misty Kleinman Wilmot, you are cursed with that gift that you have for—eternity. As a girl, being raised by a hippie mother, Misty never experienced what world is like outside the trailer park in Tecumseh Lake. That dream of being an artist is what Misty was living for. She weny to art school. In there, she met Peter Wilmot. The biggest mistake of all the mistakes she ever made in her life. Poor Misty. Gifted. Cursed. Inspiring.Peter Wilmot was on a mission to find that woman cursed with talent that will provide salvation to Waytansea Island. Yes, he was successful. The name "Misty Kleinman" was hyphenated with Wilmot. He soon tried to get Misty to Waytansea Island—the island populated with lunatics. The island trapped with traditions. In order to get Misty to the Island, he impregnated her. Tabbi Wilmot was the result, and Misty staying in the island. I meant trapped. Better word—wrapped.Being promised that her dreams of being an artist would be made into reality, she lived in that island as a waitress at a hotel the Wilmots owned. A mother. A queen of fucking slaves. For some reason, Peter attempted to kill himself. He failed. Peter had become a living dead in the hospital. A vegetable waiting to rot—was slow rotting. Then, together with Grace Wilmot, Misty raised Tabii.Suffering. Suffering. Suffering. A daily overdose of it brings her talent back from the dead. The sleeping volcano exploded. She started to paint like a schizophrenic overdosed with talents. With her eyes closed and Tabbi as her inspiration, she painted masterpieces of art that were known to be impossible. Misty had lost everything. Now, Tabbi and that dream of being an artist were the only things left for her—what was left for her to do. And oblivious to almost everything, what awaited Misty was a conspiracy that happens every four generations that would kill hundreds of people. An event that would make the island filthy rich for generations at a price of hundreds of lives. Misty Kleinman Wilmot. A queen of fucking slaves. A hostage who was destined to save the island from running out of money for the next four generations. A tool to use. The island that trapped itself with its own cycle. Once you are born, you're already doomed to fulfill your fate. You're doomed at being you. How can not being you and being you be curse at the same time? ... Life perhaps is... A cursed gift. A fucked-up life is the main reason why we great art ever existed. How stupid would be a painting of two unicorns kissing each other compared to a painting of a sky burning like hell with angels crying and screaming from wounds inflicted by demons, winged beings falling down from the great red sky. How stupid would that be if you call Justin Beiber's songs “Art.” Ok. Ok. I'll stop making fun of her.Suffering ... is the key in creating exceptional art. What hurts us the most awakes the artist inside of us. Brings out the genius out of our brains, out of our souls. Scars and wounds are the best source inspiration. You art shows your wounds your scars your life—it shows everything about you. Art and Suffering—they're almost synonymous.Do you know that the best artists are not the finest and perfect human beings? Chuck Palahniuk's Angsty Nihilistic Existential Voice was never this loud. Cynical and in some sense, optimistic. The plot build-up flares with excitement and disgust. Not to mention that this book has the best plot twists ever. Whoever the narrator was (probably it's Misty), it still continues to be a puzzle. Which is one the things I liked best about this novel. One of the best reads I ever had. To not read this would be a crime against yourself. You don't know what you're missing. And just for the record, you've already missed enough things in your life.

Luis

2nd reading review:Just for the record, the weather today is fiery stale summer but the air is full of regrets.Reasons I gave this 4 stars before and now I'm giving it 5 and how it's one of Chuck's best:-it is boring at the beginning. Don't get me wrong. It's boring because Chuck is already talking about some things you'll only understand if you've read the whole book already. That's why reading this again makes it way greater and more appealing. Reading it again will make you appreciate the genius of Chuck. How he perfectly weaves the plot and how clues are everywhere. And how he perfectly uses the repetition that were so overwhelming at first. And how he stirs and plays with your emotion.-I didn't find the story--the medium where Chuck's philosophy moves--fits the nihilistic points before. But rereading it made me understand.The weather today is obvious adoration of a book."Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It's all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand.Your whole drug history's in a strand of your hair. Your fingernails. The forensic details. The lining of your stomach is a document. The calluses on your hand tell all your secrets. Your teeth give you away. Your accent. The wrinkles around your mouth and eyes.Everything you do shows your hand.Everything is a self-portrait.Everything is a diary."(view spoiler)[ plus point is there are gay essential characters (hide spoiler)]First reading review:I wonder where would I be now if I haven't met Chuck.He gets to the truth of things, of humanity, its real face.“It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”“You're always haunted by the idea you're wasting your life.”["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Amanda

I'm always struck by just how weird Palahniuk's novels are. In the case of this one, I really thought I had it figured out. Turns out, I didn't. I should probably just give up trying and enjoy the story. Which I usually do. Misty lives on Waytansea Island with a husband in a coma and a mother in law who seems bent on pushing her to be the famous artist everyone seems to think she is. While Misty went to school for art, she takes it as an insult that everyone thinks she, a poor white trash girl, should be producing great works of art. After her husband fails an attempt at suicide, she begins a diary that she writes to him in his vegatative state. As she chronicles her everyday life, she tells of meeting Angel, a man who seems to appreciate her work too much. She tells of people that her husband did work for calling and threatening to sue for disappearing rooms and strange writing underneath the dry wall and wallpaper work. Misty's story gets stranger as her mother in law and those around her all seem to be conspiring and pushing for the art they "know" she can produce. Through most of this book, I was trying to see if I could figure out the "secret." I never did. Parts of it dragged, and parts of it had to be re-read just because his style of writing isn't always standard. But by the end, I was completely into the story and, like always, completely surprised. Definitely a good read for Palahniuk fans or anyone who likes novels that don't follow anything relatively normal.

Leigh

There have been some Palahniuk books that, while reading, I often think "Is this that good?". I question it, I wonder, I think, "Will this be the one that is just meh?" Then, sometimes in the final pages, he pens gold."It's hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace."It's in those lines I realize, he knows what he's doing. He can tie together 300 pages with 3 little lines. I'm not sure Diary is my favorite, but I am certain I wasn't able to put it down. I finished it in a few hours, over the course of two evenings. The back of the book says "Madly inventive". The LA Times may be right. The story of Misty Wilmont and the people of Waytansea are perfect Palahniuk. Completely and totally f****d up. I found it easy to relate to Misty. You have a girl who was raised by her overworked mother, dreamed constantly of getting out, etc etc etc. It's not an unusual story, not by any means, but it's one that is all too easy to understand. There are elements of the book that were clearly inspired by other works. A little Children of the Corn at times, at moments a little Needful Things. Maybe Palahniuk is a Stephen King fan? All told, I'm glad I read it. I'm still mulling over my thoughts on this book, but for anyone who loves his writing, take the time to check this one off your list.

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