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


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.


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.


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.


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.

Varol Aksoy

benim aman spoiler alırım, aman kitabın zevki kalmaz diye önsöz okumama hastalığımdan dolayı kitapta geçen anlatımların birer kurmaca öykü olduğunu düşünmüştüm fakat aslında içinde geçenler tümüyle chuck palahniuk'un beslendiği enteresan yaşam portrelerinin gerçekçi anlatımlarıymış. kurgudan da garip adına sahip olmasının nedeni de buymuş, sıradışı yaşamlar ve chuck palahniuk'un yazım dünyasının nasıl şekillendiğine dair ipuçlarından oluşuyor. bahsettiğim gibi ilk bölümü fazlaca argoya sahipti ve bir an neye uğradığımı şaşırmıştım. zira kitap hakkında yorum bekleyen arkadaşlarıma nasıl anlatacağımı bilemiyordum fakat ilerleyen anlatımlar bu çizginin fazlasıyla dışındaydı. bana göre bir başyapıt sayılmaz, iyi yerlere gelebilir belki ama muhteşem bir edebi ürün sayılabileceğini düşünmüyorum. hani can sıkıntısında farklı dünyalara göz atma isteği olur ya, işte o ihtiyacı bastırabilecek bir kitap benim kanaatimce. yeraltı edebiyatı seviyorsanız, chuck palahniuk'a saygı duyuyorsanız okumalısınız, aşk böcek tarzı kitaplara daha fazla ilgiliyseniz önerebileceğim bir kitap değil. sana puanım 4 kanka :D


I liked this book.This is a collection of true stories of very bizarre things that have occurred or occur regularly. They are all as the old adage goes: So strange they could only be true.In the intro to this book Chuck Palahniuk even admits that he is something of a one trick pony. He views everything in America as the following struggle: We strive to be alone. We fight our way to independence from our fellow human beings by pursuing whatever interest we have, and then we get there and find ourselves lonely, and must reacquaint with our fellow humans. I agree with him, this is the lense that he views everything through, and it is getting annoying in his fiction literature. But these stories, these are true stories. And I think that his writing style is very aptly applied to these stories and telling them. Long story short: Chuck Palahniuk's writing style is best applied to nonfiction.I read this book because I was staying for a week on the Oregon coast with my family. It seemed appropriate because Chuck Palahniuk is from portland. Also, this book seemed interesting.

Infernal Apex

This collection of journalistic pieces, anecdotes and offbeat essays by Chuck Palahniuk was an entertaining read. He's a keen observer and this is written in a very straight forward, minimalistic way. Included is a wide variety of material, including celebrity profiles, an insider’s view from the violent world of amateur wrestling and mixing among the Navy aboard a nuclear submarine. Some of the pieces are much more personal, written in a brutally honest manner which are at times funny (bumping elbows with Hollywood during the filming of "Fight Club") and also deeply sad (the murder of his lonely father by the crazed ex of a woman he was dating).The most heart-wrenching story is about a girl who gave up corporate America to work in search&rescue with her two dogs in South America. Through it all, Palahniuk says there's a link driving the people in these stories. It's their need to feel special and a part of something. I believe this is a major theme behind the explosion of social media today. Our behavior has fundamentally shifted as information technologies have advanced, and in turn the way we think about ourselves, other people, and reality itself has shifted with it. We are becoming something new.


A collection of pieces covering a variety of subjects: autobiographical, ruminative essays; a portrait of Marilyn Manson; a look into amateur wrestling; an expose of a middle-America monster, uh, combine derby; and so on. All written in Palahniuk’s Ernest Hemingway gone jaded, bare-bones, non-judgmental “minimalist” style. Which style he also writes about, by the way.A lot of the stories are extremely interesting, especially the ones that creep into seldom charted territory (like the combine derby story, or a piece on life in a Navy submarine) --- but no matter how much magic Palahniuk’s got in his writing, he just can’t make Juliette Lewis interesting. He’s also very compelling when he writes personal stuff --- not so much about his poor murdered father (some things are too troubled to make really engrossing material), but like his times popping steroids or volunteering with AIDS patients or staying at a “haunted” house. Now, if he hadn’t written Fight Club, would this collection of stories in “manly,” terse prose, some startling and some rather boring, be published as a hardback? Probably not. But what’s very good here outshadows the mediocre.


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.


L'ho letto nel "lontano" marzo 2011, la recensione (scritta su aNobii) è la stessa di allora, ma ripropongo anche qui :DSono fortemente convinta che sia il miglior Palahniuk che io abbia mai letto. E giuro, è difficile, perché li ho adorati tutti.. I punti stima per quest'uomo crescono ormai in maniera incontrollabile: costui -dopotutto- ha un cuore, è intelligente e pure modesto. Lo voglio sposare. O conoscere. Mi accontento di conoscerlo!! Il sottotitolo del libro è parecchio indicativo: Quando la realtà supera la fantasia.. E la fantasia di Mr P. è sconfinata, vedete voi!! Sono una serie di articoli sulle cose più disparate: interviste, esperienze in prima persona, testimonianze.. E' stupendo vedere quanto la gente sia sciroccata e senza speranza.. Avete presente quando dite: "Ma tutti io li becco quelli strani?!". Ecco. Dopo aver letto questo libro, capirete che in realtà ancora non avete visto niente..Il libro merita già per la sola introduzione: adesso me la stampo e me l'attacco a casa, poco ma sicuro :DLe storie più belle sono: La mia vita da cane (stima assoluta) La signora Non cerco Amy (Adorazione pura) Egregio signor Levin, (Persona stimata di riflesso) Accompagnatore"E' una cosa davvero da femminucce pensare che la vita debba comunque continuare per sempre" (Pag 126)"Fino a quando non andò a vivere alla fattoria, Patrick era come me: equilibrato (Ma dove?? Ma quando?? O.O), razionale, sensato."(pag 138)"Non esistono i fantasmi. Ma se esistono, cazzo, mio padre farebbe bene a venire a dirmelo di persona." (Pag 145)"Leggilo. Se non ti piace, non abbiamo niente in comune" (Pag 173) [Esattoooo! Eliminare una persona dalla propria vita perché non apprezza un determinato autore.. xD]"Estrai qualsiasi pezzo dal suo contesto e perderà di efficacia" (Pag 177)"Quando il problema appare troppo grande, quando ci viene mostrata troppa realtà, tendiamo ad arrenderci. Ci rassegniamo. Non riusciamo a mettere in atto alcun tipo di azione perché i disastri ci appaiono inesorabili. Siamo intrappolati." (Pag 219)"Con la scrittura, ci dà la possibilità di avere meno paura di vivere" (Pag 226) [adorazione più assoluta ]"Ecco dunque perché scrivo. perché la maggior parte delle volta la vita non è divertente, nel momento in cui accade. La maggior parte delle volte riesci a malapena a reggerla. [...] Ecco perché scrivo, perché la vita non funziona mai, se non con il senno di poi. E scrivere ti permette di riguardare al passato. Perché se non riesci a dominare la vita, almeno puoi dominare la tua versione" (Pag 239) [A questo punto, sono già innamorata persa di costui]


"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."


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.

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.


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.


I think the title of this book kind of throws you off. Palahniuk writes some very weird, dark, strange characters in his fiction books, so I expected this book would be about similar things or people hes discovered in real life. It's actually not very strange at all. I guess the strangest person was the fairly non-strange interview with Marilyn Manson. It's really just a collection of his magazine articles and interviews. It's very 'This American Life'-ey. Which is to say it's good and interesting, it just wasn't what I was expecting.

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