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

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Reader's Thoughts

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.

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.


3,5 starsI love Chuck Palahniuk. And he gave me another reason to. Published in 2003, it took me about 11 years to pick it up, but better late that ever! And it felt sooo good reading one of Chuck Palahniuk's books! The way he writes, the irrelevant facts in the middle of a sentence, like the useless information of the day... And on top of everything, someone can say that Diary is - kind of - a summer read. Let me explain. It's a "coma diary" and it is written between July and the beginning of September. It's August, so it was the perfect book to choose!When i first started reading it, i didn't know if i should laugh or cry with the way Misty Marie was describing her life. Now that i think of it, that always happens with Palahniuk's book. Well anyway. Misty is having a shitty life, her husband is in a coma after trying to kill himself - not successfully as you can understand- and she has to work at a hotel as a waitress in order to take care of her daughter Tabi and her mother in law. Peter, before falling into his coma, was building hidden rooms within the houses he was remodeling and scrawling vile messages all over the walls; this is an old habit of builders but it's been dramatically overdone in Peter's case. Angry homeowners are suing Misty left and right and her dreams of artistic greatness have been ruined. But then, as if she was possessed by the spirit of the fabled Waytansea artist Maura Kincaid, Misty begins painting again, excessively and compulsively...Well it started like a story of despair and then it turned darker... At first it reminded me of The Wicker Man, but then it turned and it reminded me of Rosemary's baby and then it was something else!The big question is: do we know who we are? Misty seems to know everything about the human anatomy. They teach it at the art school. But does she really know who she is?


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.


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).


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.


I have read over 8 books by this author and the only reason i gave him two stars was because i love fight club so much. honestly, i thought the movie was better than the book, but ill give it to him anyway. in an effort to be edgy and controversial, chuck loses sight of important literary necessities like continuity, concept, intelligence, character development, and so on. his books sometimes feel like i'm in someone else's bad acid trip. but of course, this is all probably intentional because he would rather be a cult icon than a pulitzer prize winner. right there with you chuck. dont get me wrong, he most certainly has his moments of genius, but they are few and far between.


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.


“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


Well, I'm ambivalent about this book (Which seems unusual, judging by the other reviews; it seems to be a "love it or hate it" kind of book).It takes a few chapters of reading to start to understand who our main characters are here. At first, I wasn't sure if the book would ever start to make sense, but once I had those first few chapters read, an interesting storyline started to emerge. I thought I had the book figured out for awhile, but for me, the book ended the same way it began; with me scratching my head and going "Wait, what?" This could have been a result of sleep deprivation when I read the ending, however. I'm going to have to give it another go later and see if it makes any more sense.This is the first book by Palahniuk that I've read, and he seems to have quite a way with words. The book is filled with vivid and sometimes disturbing descriptions, making me feel at once like I both knew the main character and felt deeply sorry for her.There is one device that Palahniuk uses in the book that had me chuckle to myself, though. Many times throughout the book, he uses weather to describe the main character's emotional state. Literally, as in "the weather today is partly angst with a shower of self loathing." (I made that example up but I swear they're all very similar). Every time I came to one of these descriptions, I couldn't help but picture Palahniuk at his computer or typewriter or wherever it is that he writes, looking smug and saying to himself, "This is brilliant!" The mental image amused me.


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.


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"]>


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... ;)


Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk delivers a nihilistic tale of an artist finding inspiration after the suicide of her husband. Along the way we learn that the idyllic island on which they live is involved in a conspiracy in which she is the key player. Even with this knowledge, the artist is powerless not to play into the dark purposes of her neighbors.Along the way, Palahniuk reveals all to be diary. A painter may decide to paint Saint George and the Dragon, but the painting is still the artist's diary. From the choice of subject to the size of the canvas, the colors and the style, all bares the artist's soul.Palahniuk writes, "Everything is a self-portrait. A diary. Your whole drug history's in a strand of hair. Your fingernails. The forensic details....Peter used to say, an artist's job is to pay attention, collect, organize, archive, preserve, then write a report. Document. Make your presentation. The job of the artist is just not to forget."Palahniuk's Diary takes us to Plato's Cave where all we see is the shadows on the back wall of the cave. We never see others, only the aspects of ourselves that fall over them in the shadows playing on the wall. We see what we want to see, how we want to see it and yet we only see ourselves for it is all a diary.It was an interesting read that I think about months later, pondering what was the author's nihilistic junk and what is worth still pondering.


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.

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