Thursday, August 09, 2007
Chuck Palahniuk - Diary
One of my most exciting reads all year, and certainly a worthy shot, no doubt, for Best Book of the Year (though, of course, this book has been in the market for a while now.)
I was initially very unimpressed by what I saw; a 230-page tome, with a cover reminiscent of trashy teen fiction, I was ready to fling it to the back of my reading list. But the utterly captivating opening chapter drew me in IMMEDIATELY. And I was hooked. It opens with a rather chilling anatomical description of how each facial muscle works in concert (or not) to form familiar facial expressions.
And how these facial expressions have simply stopped working for a certain Peter who has just committed attempted suicide. And is right now letting his wife Misty proceed with her waitressing job, as the people around her all die. Sort of.
Soon, the novel takes a nihilistic turn, and you realise that there is a shady force, unspoken yet evil, that works behind the scenes, threatening to kill everyone on the island. (Which it DOES eventually do.) The shady force slowly annihilates everyone on the island, as Misty concurrently rediscovers her artistic talent - something she shrugged off when Peter made her pregnant in art school, making her drop out.
As the momentum of the novel builds up to Misty's first art exhibition post-suicide, the killings begin getting more vehement, and for the reader, it takes all one's patience to prevent oneself from flipping to the end, to learn, exactly, who is behind the spate.
A fabulous, fabulous book, written in a style that is postmodern, but not vacuously story-devoid at the same time. One of those books that you cannot take your eyes off, be it due to plot, language, or style.
I give it a 10 out of 10, and I have NEVER done that before.
On a related note, CONGRATULATIONS to Bal, our co-writer, for his straight A achievement! Off to Newcastle he goes to join me.
at 6:34 PM