Diary

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

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Reader's Thoughts

Airiz C

Liking Chuck Palahniuk's books must be akin to a Fear Factor challenge for most readers. And sometimes I can't help but wonder, what if THAT is what exactly Palahniuk wants the readers to feel about his works? Feel challenged by it, dislike it, feel disgusted or insulted by it--all of these by hurling the naked truths of human nature to the face of people in the harshest possible way?My first Palahniuk book is Choke, and I was sort of culture shocked when I read it--a multitude of f-bombs being dropped from heavenly heights, sexually explicit situations, bitter but truthful ruminations about life. Completely different from the books I've been reading--and that's saying something because I usually go for the "dark side" of literature. I thought Choke would already build my literary panoply when it comes to his works. But I was wrong--Diary might not lie on the opposite side of the spectrum when leveled with his other works, but it's a new account of insane despair that I'm not really used to.Diary is a story about art,and, well, the crazy reality that most desperate people live. It also tackles a Marxist concept but viewed from a strangely twisted angle. It is written mostly in the second person point of view and in the format of a 'coma diary' written by the female protagonist, Misty Wilmot. There is no subtlety in Palahniuk's style of writing, and when what he writes stabs, it stabs straight to the heart and conscience. It gets under your skin most of the time.I will not detail everything, but I just want to say that this is a satisfying read. The Palahniuk "flavor" is exotic and dark, and it's the sort of taste that most readers will only refer to as "poison". If only everyone reads closely, the antidote to the venom of reality that Palahniuk presents in this work is also present--right between the lines.

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.

Kayleen

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.

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.

Ramona White

This is an awful book. I'm not sure why I read it. I think there was a recommendation on the Barnes and Noble blog so I guess I can place the blame on them. Nah. It's my fault. I read people's ratings and reviews here on Goodreads that said not to waste my time reading it then dove right in anyway. And, even if I could blame my starting the book on B&N, I can't hold them responsible for my continuing. Maybe I could say that I kept reading in order to see just how bad the book was going to get. Yeah. That's the ticket. (My kid and I have had several frank discussions about my tendency to say "This seems like a bad idea; let's do it." So far, thank God, she has only displayed this when it comes to books.) Speaking of daughters, this book will have you looking sideways at yours for many days to come.I guess, having heartily disparaged this book, I should say there is one good point to it: I no longer have the need/urge to read "Clown Girl" by Monica Drake. Nope. I have full faith that the reviewers know what they're talking about when they say they dislike it. Furthermore, having experienced Palahniuk at his crappiest I can tell that if he enjoys a book enough to write the introduction then I should run the other way as quickly as possible.

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.

Caroline

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.

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.

Jennifer

This book was so close to a 5 for me. It was such a dark, brilliant, creative way of tying a story together. It kept me on my toes from the beginning and little things were mysteriously repeated that ended up making so much sense in the end. Sometimes I get tired of the regurgitated plots I see in so many books, the repetitive characters and thoughts. This man isn't afraid to go off the charts and create appalling, new ideas and creatures and interesting, smart characters. He's also visually descriptive, leaving little to the imagination. I loved the way he packed a wealth of interesting, knowledgeable facts into each diary entry. At first you don't understand why, in the middle you're just entertained by it because it's factual data, and in the end it all ties-in to help improve your understanding of what's taking place. It's so thought out, and unique, and quirky. This is my first Chuck read and I definitely want to blow through the rest of them, because I've heard this isn't one of his best, so now I'm really full of anticipation. In the beginning I was borderline annoyed/intrigued on where it was heading... but trusted the author and now I'm glad he held out as long as he did, because it was all revealed with a purpose. I'm the queen of trying to figure out where the book is heading and love that Chuck knew me, the reader, well enough to know how to be evasive with the plot.

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.

Frank

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.

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.

Shimelle

This was my first selection to our book group -- and it definitely shook things up a bit.I love Palahniuk, and this is actually my favourite of his. Fight Club comes second, so if you hate Fight Club, I can't think you'll like this. The style is still there -- short, choppy ideas repeated until you wonder why, a vocabulary that makes you double take from time to time. One of our book groupies actually read it with a dictionary to hand because she wanted to know what every word meant. Which, given my love of dictionaries, I think is pretty cool in its own little way.What I really love about this one, to set it apart from the others, is the amazing construction of the female narrator (something I wasn't sure he could do...but he certainly can) and the art slant to everything. It's a different perspective than the out-to-get-the-corporate-world of Fight Club or the out-to-get-the-truth-out of Survivor. It's more insular and introspective (well, as a diary should be) and the value of the written word and the work of art are important here...not so much the world. Don't read it if you'll be phased by the profanity or any of quite a few twisted images, but if you're willing to let it go as not-part-of-your-reality, it will definitely give you something to think about. I actually find it empowering, but there's no way I could explain that in less than about six lifetimes.

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... ;)

MJ Nicholls

The Correspondents #4Dear MJ,Received your letter via Patrick. There are several things a man can do to attract a woman. I present a series of options for perusal in the following numerically partitioned sentences. 1) Kidnap. All you need for this is a car and a popular secluded late-night environs. Prowl lanes and nooks for bait. Once you have kidnapped your selected woman she will hate and fear you: the best qualities for a woman to have in any relationship. 2) Wear Down. Works best with friends. Wear a female friend down over a series of years by constantly telling them you like them and they won’t find anyone as devoted to them as you, and eventually they will ditch the dream of a proper man and take up with you out of desperation. 3) Subliminal Self-Advertising. Stalk your prey, and on their daily route, flash brief adverts of your brilliance at opportune moments. Signs saying MJ IS GREAT! YOU SHOULD MARRY MJ! every few yards. After a month or so she will fall into your arms. You can resuscitate her herbally. I hope these tips have been helpful. Good luck with the being you thing.Chuckily,ChuckNextPrevious

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