His parents separated when he was 14 and subsequently divorced, often leaving him and his three siblings to live with their maternal grandparents at their cattle ranch in eastern Washington. He moved to Portland, Oregon soon after. He wrote for the local newspaper for a short while, and then began working for Freightliner as a diesel mechanic, continuing until his writing career took off. During that time, he wrote manuals on fixing trucks and had a stint as a journalist, a job to which he did not return until after he became a successful novelist.
To paraphrase one of the characters in his last novel, Lullaby, the speeds of light and sound are too slow for the pace his own novels usually reach. He loves to look at what taken-for-granted words could literally do, if allowed to mean what they say.
In Lullaby, a poem on a page in a book is so powerful that it kills all the children exposed to it.
The plots of his novels get progressively more wild-eyed and more ingenious, but from his first, Fight Club, published into his latest, Diary, they have a lot in common. A Palahniuk story will always be propelled by death-fear and desperation: The first time you meet that someone special you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground" Survivor.
It will be told by an acutely self-conscious narratorial voice. It will involve the debauching of an innocent, it will twist in the middle of the book into something even more surreal than it already is, and it will, on account of its dynamism and sheer imaginative off-the-wallness, never feel formulaic.
Diary is his latest homage to art and crazed reality. Everything is a diary. They seem to have been stolen.
Grown-up rich-boy Peter Wilmot has walled them off, scrawled all over their interiors with threats like "set foot on this island and you will die", then attempted suicide, sending himself into a coma.
His impoverished family has lost its estate; his wife, Misty, is surviving by waitressing at the local hotel. Misty gets through the day by drinking, swallowing painkillers and writing pithy and furious entries in her "coma diary".
She regards her own face in the mirror with suspicion - she knows about all that unseen blood and muscle under the surface.
When she and Peter first meet she is at art school, a trailer-park imaginer of the perfect American scenes she paints - "the wish list of a white trash girl; big houses, church weddings, picnics on the beach" - and he is a dishevelled, wealthy enigma who enjoys piercing his skin with expensive antique brooches.
But the island is cheapening, glutted with advertising billboards and common nouveau-riche summer types, "all their diamonds dull and greasy with sunblock". Misty is forced to fulfil a perverse sacrificial destiny for the island, joining the historic Waytansea School of Painters whose ghostly 19th-century originals have also scrawled cryptic messages of doom on the books and houses of the island.
But they reckon without the uncontrollable power of art. Like a noxious Douglas Coupland, Palahniuk charts new-felt and totally contemporary categories of despair.
His target is the fake surface of things, and Diary is a book that sometimes does get under the skin, a satisfying enough piece of emergency surgery, though its spiralling plot demands a mighty suspension of disbelief even for a Palahniuk book.
Still, this is the kind of harum-scarum theatrical that he does best; incantatory, festishistic, sledgehammer-witty, an acrid take on the old conspiracy of rich versus poor and a high-speed speculation about how we live, how we die and what we leave behind.Diary, A novel is a challenge.
Perhaps not so much for the?twisted? mind of the Author (and I mean this as a compliment, read on!), as Chuck Palahniuk has gotten us used to fantastically complicated plots (Fight Club or Lullaby), but certainly for the reader, who inevitably gets involved and entangled in the spirally developing story of Misty Marie Kleinman, wife, mother, daughter-in-law.
CHUCK PALAHNIUK is the author of fourteen novels—Beautiful You, Doomed, Damned, Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Diary, Lullaby, Choke, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Fight Club—which have sold more than five million copies altogether in the United States.
Chuck Palahniuk himself does not own nor run this website. Nor did he create it. It was started by Dennis Widmyer, who is the webmaster and editor of most of the content. Chuck Palahniuk himself should not be held accountable nor liable for any of the content posted on this website.
The opinions expressed in the news updates, content pages . Palahniuk's sixth novel takes the form of a so-called coma diary written for Peter Wilmot, who is comatose after a running-car-in-garage suicide attempt (he started with the gas tank half-empty, proving his inability to do anything well).Reviews: Chuck Palahniuk himself should not be held accountable nor liable for any of the content posted on this website.
The opinions expressed in the news updates, content pages and message boards are not the opinions of Chuck Palahniuk nor his publishers. Diary Chuck Palahniuk BookPage review by T.A.
Grasso. September One year after the publication of his best-selling and critically acclaimed novel Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk is back with another unnerving installment in his growing canon of revisionist horror tales.