Stranger Than Fiction

ISBN: 1415900825
ISBN 13: 9781415900826
By: Chuck Palahniuk

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Chuck Palahniuk Essays Favorites Memoir Non Fiction Nonfiction Palahniuk Short Stories To Buy To Read

About this book

L'auteur livre dans ce recueil d'essais une description de la société américaine à la recherche de contacts humains. Mélange de réflexions sur l'écriture romanesque, essais autobiographiques et reportages baroques pour mieux cerner l'écrivain.

Reader's Thoughts


è una grande soddisfazione essere delusi dal proprio autore preferito. ho sempre più la sensazione che palahniuk segua, forse inconsapevolmente, le orme di douglas coupland. dieci anni fa c'era memoria polaroid, oggi c'è questo. un po' di articoli scritti qua e là e raccolti apparentemente alla rinfusa, sulla stranezza dei comportamenti umani. un po' di memorie personali che sfigurerebbero se paragonate a dei buoni blog. ha riciclato gli appunti presi per scrivere i romanzi, ne ha fatto un libro, e lo vende perché c'è sopra il suo nome. bravo bastardo, e io ci sono caduto.


I will admit I was a little bored by his demolition car story, and the testicle festival wasn't my cup of tea, but the rest of the (chapters? essays?) I was in love, and as a whole I can definitely say I loved the book. I recommend this to anyone who likes good writing and smart writing and funny writing and isn't a sensitive reader topic/description wise.Chuck Palahniuk is a genius. He is funny, cohesive, and writes very well: eliminating cloggy words but not going overboard (you know- when you can tell the aim is artistic fluency, but it really sounds like a stage actor cheesily overacting an already overdramatic scene, like "the wind--it hurts. The pain! My love. Oh life!") and picking out the good parts of a story. I love his voice. I love that he made me laugh out loud. Several times. I loved how real his "portraits" of others felt. He talks to you like a normal person, not super loaded and elegant syntax-wise or with diction that's just there to prove you know every four-syllable word in the dictionary. He is just...awesome.4.8!


I don't yet have the stomach for Chuck Palahniuk's fiction. I've tried reading pretty much all of his novels and 'Fight Club' is the only one I've been able to finish, and that's because I'd seen the movie and pretty much knew what was going to happen. His writing is just so over-the-top graphic, filled with human suffering and self-loathing that for me they're too much of a mental, emotional, and physical workout to get through. But at the same time I would like to one day be able to read his stuff, let myself experience all the emotions, memories, and associations his writing churns up for me AND be detached enough to just finish the &$^*!! book. So I was pretty stoked to see this collection of his non-fiction writing on the library shelf. I think a more accurate title would have been, "Perhaps Stranger, but Definitely More Boring Than, My Fiction." Compared to his fiction writing and his fictional characters, like Tyler Durden from Fight Club, the real-life people and their situations he writes about in this collection come across as a little ho hum. Even folks like Marilyn Manson. I found myself wishing that he would take the best, most interesting parts of this non-fiction work and combine them into something fictional. Which I guess is what fiction writing is all about.


If i could've given this book no stars I would've. I got about three stories in and realized I was forcing myself to read the next story. I ended up skimming through the rest and decided I wasn't missing anything.I think the book is an interesting concept; this fiction writer writes a non-fiction book about different people and how they live their lives. It's a book of stories to glimpse into how other people live their lives. The problem is, isn't that what books are in general? It's a glimpse into a life different than yours. The only difference is the stories (or maybe just how they're written) is not that interesting.For example, the story about the amateur Greco Roman wrestlers. Yea, that could be an interesting glimpse but nothing really hooked me. Yes, they're wrestlers. Yes, they have to make and lose weight at the drop of a hat. So what?I'm not saying the people were boring but nothing sparked about the way the author was presenting them. What was stranger than fiction about wrestlers?


Chuck Palahniuk wrote one great novel fifteen years ago. This collection of essays solidifies that Fight Club was a fluke; A glorious fluke, but a fluke nonetheless.The voice of all the essays is highly similar to the Fight Club narrator- whom we presume- is similar to Chuck P, himself. The thing is, 'Jack' from Fight Club is a deeply alienated, confused soul- afraid of intimacy- insecure in his role as a man. Fight Club works because of this- it is literally the story of the destruction of 'Jack' and his rebirth. This isn't rocket science analysis here, folks.Essay after essay confirms that 'Jack' is really Chuck. A narcissistic, confused man- jumping from attachment to attachment, never quite landing anywhere.He tries steroids until his balls shrink one summer. He passes a kidney stone in drunken/stoned oblivion. He relates attending big parties and being someone, after Fight Club is made into a movie. Brad Pitt gave him a shout out!The interviews are the worst. Marilyn Manson, Juliette Lewis, a misogynistic inventor. They seem deeply contrived, calculated to appeal to a certain demographic- and worst of all in a colleciton- horribly dated. In 2010, how exactly are Marilyn Manson's Crowleyish songwriting rituals interesting? Or relevant? Juliette Lewis' last decent performance was as a radio DJ in Grand Theft Auto- not exactly a compelling statement that she is an artist for the ages.I take that back- the pieces about his dad and the piece about the Navy are the worst. Horribly, Chuck Pahlniuk's father was murdered. I respect him for attempting to write about the experience surrounding that tragedy. That said- his take is so superficial- and so sadly self-centered that the end result is painful to read.Oh, and the navy. The idea of sending a gay writer, who's biggest success was about distorted masculinity in the 90's to do a cruise a nuclear sub is a good one. Chuck makes it boring. He makes an extended tour of duty on a nuclear submarine boring. Read that sentence again.An excellent, powerful argument for retaining anonymity a la Salinger after publication. Books are written by people, obviously. But seeing the man behind the curtain as such a pathetic (not tragic!) figure undermines his entire body of work. He has limited insight, seems entirely too concerned with looking good at parties, and generally comes across as the sort of self-absorbed douche that one avoids studiously in reality.Nice work on Fight Club though.


Nuovo prodotto da uno dei miei scrittori preferiti (a questo punto uno sui tantissimi che ho introdotto con questa frase) che non è però un romanzo, quanto piuttosto un excursus nella vita dell'autore stesso e una breve raccolta di articoli già pubblicati da altre riviste . Si va dai saggi brevi scritti mentre era in giro per gli Stati Uniti, magari per le riprese di Fight Club - strepitoso il pezzo che ha come argomento le labbra carnose di Brad Pitt, che tra l'altro sottoscrivo su tutta la linea- alle interviste a personaggi famosi tipo Marilyn Manson o Juliette Lewis. Alla fine del libro la sensazione è quella di aver letto di nascosto il diario segreto di una persona famosa, quasi i referti del suo psicoterapeuta, ma non è che uno non se lo poteva proprio immaginare, le prime righe dicono infatti testuali parole: “Casomai non ve ne foste accorti, tutti i miei libri parlano di una persona solitaria che cerca un modo per entrare in contatto con gli altri.” e nel mio caso c'è riuscito, anzi l'ho personalmente risollevvato dal limbo dove lo avevo accantonato dopo Diary e Cavie, due romanzi che poco avevano a che fare con i suoi precedenti capolavori (escludendo Portland Souvenir). Come si dice quando si desidera essere banali: un libro che dopo che lo hai letto non sei più lo stesso, in effetti io vorrei essere Brad Pitt o se proprio non è possibile posso accontentarmi anche di Juliette Lewis, eviterei comunque di essere Palhniuk troppo difficile, troppo complesso, troppo doloroso, più facile è costruire un castello (e questa la capite se vi leggete il libro).


If you are familiar with Chuck’s work, you know that it is very bizarre and out of the ordinary. If you are not familiar, well – he is the author of Fight Club. Stranger Than Fiction is his collection of non-fiction essays. Most of them are about other people, but there is a section at the end that is all about his experiences. Throughout the book, he gives clues as to what influenced some of his novels. He gets his inspiration from talking to people and hearing their stories. It is interesting to see what exactly influenced books that I have read. That being said, some of the stories seemed a bit longer than they needed to be and they got a little slow at times. There were also some very interesting ones. The ones that entertained me the most came from his own experiences and also the story about him talking to Marilyn Manson. 3/5 stars. It was interesting, but it did get a little slow at times. I guess every story isn’t for everyone.


"This is the first novel Chuck has done in which every story is a true event, not based but really a true event and thus why I consider this book to be Chuck's best book in my eyes. I personally think reality is a lot stranger than fiction and maybe that is why we constantly go to fiction a lot because fiction is something people can dive into as in their lives could be something different or it could be a parallel of what their life is now. However, reality is just as awesome if not better depending on how you play the rules during life and yes there are rules while living life in my opinion.My personal favorite stories in this book are easily going to be the time when Chuck was writing the script for the moview version of ""Fight Club"" as well as his praise letter to Ira Levin who is one of Chuck Palahniuk's influences when it comes to his writing. I perssonally found this to be worth the read and thought ever story relative since it is about Chuck's life in some way, some fashion, some form and I enjoyed reading about his life even if they were a just a few short stories here and there. A read for those who want to know the author besides his work."

Nathan Helgren

A nice collection of essays and short stories. Some of them lack the punch of his fiction, but are great tales nonetheless. I especially liked when he got personal and shared some of his life. Well worth the read, but if you are expecting Choke or Suvivor you may want to adjust yout thinking before picking it up.

Patrick Gibson

Then, sorry, your seven minutes are up.Lind, Washington—home of the Combine Demolition Derby. I kid you not. How about the Rock Creek Lodge Testicle Festival? Or how about a tour of duty on the USS Louisiana (it’s a submarine)? (Palahniuk was very tame on that last one which I expected to be a real bugger-fest.)Twenty-four brief essays on the world according to Chuck Palahniuk as only he can see it—bizarre, eccentric, strange, peculiar—oh wait, those are all synonymous. Some are intimately person and some are detached and analytical in a queer sort of way.I like his writing, but sometimes his subject matter is a little like putting mustard on Jell-O. It makes you go ‘whoa!’So remember, “you are nothing but the real estate between your legs.”Palahniuk lives in an alternate universe. This makes for great fiction, but when he brings it home, it’s a little unsettling (even though his essays are tame compared to the novels). If you are shy about raw language, brutal violence, unambiguous sexuality, and building your own castle, this is not for you. Then, sorry, your seven minutes are up.


This book starts out with several very interesting essays revealing the frightening fast that much of what we have read in Chuck's fiction books is actually based in fact. However, by the time this book ended it had, like all of Chuck's previous books, wormed its way into my head and heart. "Escort" scribbled fear of imminent mortality over my left ventricle and I read "Monkey Think, Money Do" a few times, etching it into my grey matter. This book exceeded my expectations. As long as you don't except the winding and twisting and fragmented plots that weave into Chuck's novels, you won't be disappointed by this book.


This is the book that demanded I take this man seriously. A collection of short essays shows the commitment he has to the craft of writing. Some are hilarious, some are touching. All are entertaining.


You know how you read Chuck Palahniuk's novels and go, "Where the fuck does he get this stuff?" It turns out, mostly from what's right around him. You know when you read stuff in his books and you go, "Is that true?" Yes, it probably is true.The book opens with him hanging around and observing the Missoula Testicle Festival. What he describes is a streak of horror, orgiastic excess that is the exact opposite of sex. Car crash exhibitionism. Yet this, along with the rest of the essays on 'People Together', has this respectful warmth at the centre, an acknowledgement that people are trying to connect, to share and express themselves, to be creative. Even if it's in awful taste, even if it's bizarre, even if it's banal. The hicks using old farming combines in a demolition derby, the horrendous physical abuse wrestlers put themselves through trying to get to the Olympics, the eccentrics building anachronistic castles in America. All is this beautiful expression of what human beings are capable of imagining and sharing.


i stopped torturing myself at the half way point and burned the book over my stovetop and ate the ashes in hopes of regaining the 3 hours i put in. didn't work. this was one of the worst things i've read since i tutored freshmen in their first writing anyone who happens upon it and can't resist, here are the only nuggets worth digesting: {you are here} and {the lady}. and i'd say the latter was more so, if only for the quick spill on palahniuk's personal history. also it's worth taking into account that i didn't read much past the second section of portraits where the mental yawns became unbearable.


Palahniuk is right. These essays of his are most certainly stranger than fiction. Just from the every first essay alone, you’re hoping that he’s making all this up. But no. The annual Rock Creek Lodge Testicle Festival just outside of Missoula, MT, detailed in the aptly-titled “Testy Festy”, is the kind of bizarre and mind-boggling public orgy that you think can – or should, rather – exist only in the most perverted of minds. (The shocking writing and fantasy worlds of Marquis de Sade comes readily to mind.) Yet it is all very real. (Too much Viagra and Spanish fly, perhaps? One can only wonder.)Luckily for us, the rest of this volume of odds and ends Palahniuk composed in-between his novels are much less pornographic, but just as equally bizarre. In the first section “People Together”, we meet semi-professional wrestlers hoping to make the U.S. Olympic team (with or without cauliflowered ears), desperate amateur screenwriters making their three-minute pit to studio hacks, die-hard combine demolition derby contestants in rural Washington State, Northwest castle-builders (a favorite chapter of mine, as I too fantasize about living behind medieval walls…with modern amenities, of course), and psychic shyster who are surprisingly capable of actual divination (but only after one too many glasses of red wine). In the section “Portraits”, Palahniuk spends a lot of time shedding light on the oddity known as Hollywood. Whether it be his odd interview with Juliette Lewis (mainly for her naïve belief in Scientology – that racket of all rackets), or even Marilyn Manson’s depressing tarot-card self-reading in his attic, I am reassured once again that a lot of money – no, make that too much money – can make a self-deluding nut out of you. (The spirit of Howard Hughes is alive and well in the Hollywood Hills and the ephemeral and fickle world of celebrity-dom.) In “Personal”, his third and final section, Palahniuk exorcises many a demon by confessing to a brief addiction to anabolic steroids – which he kicked after his balls shriveled up (which may classify as TMI for some people) – as well as the odd encounters that he still gets to this day from fans of Fight Club, his novel-turned-cinematic-hit.Palahniuk’s prose is best described as a form of personal confession, but told with the eye of a cultural anthropologist, voyeur, and journalist all wrapped in one. I may not know his fiction one bit – except for seeing David Fincher’s cinematic adaptation of his novel Fight Club – but my curiosity is now piqued. Let’s hope it’s just as riveting and astonishing as his non-fiction.

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