Book reviews

"Survivor" (Chuck Palahniuk, 1999)

It's funny, Mr doob bought this and three more books by Mr. Palahniuk a few years ago, and although they have been around our bookcases since then, I never got round to read more than the first pages from "Fight Club" while I waited for an Ubuntu install to finish (it was that quick!).

Then we went on holidays past week and he brought a couple of books with him to read (beach + books = perfect match). One day, while he was sleeping under a hazy afternoon sun, I sneaked into the bag and took "Survivor" out. I started reading the first page and... I got hooked.

What sort of wicked mind can conceive this kind of stories I don't know, but they sure are intriguing. The thing I like more is that the plot twists, even if "fantastical", still feel like they could actually be certain. As if they have been carefully studied and polished, painfully rewritten once and once again until everything fit into place.

Being the first novel I read by Palahniuk, the style was pretty new to me. It is like someone is speaking at you all the time, telling you the story of what happened. In a way it reminded me to Charles Fort's "Book of the damned", I guess because of the sentence-full stop-sentence-full stop structure, instead of the more typical sentence with subsentences, comma, subsentence, comma, etc., style. This feels a bit uncomfortable at the beginning but once you get the hang of it, reading less direct prose feels like it's dumbed down, padded so that words don't hurt you.

It also surprised me the amount of facts that the book exhibits. And it actually made me go and look for the methods that Palahniuk uses to document himself prior to writing a book! It seems he spends an awfully long time in libraries and studies everything in common life, armed with a pen and notebook. Which makes total sense. Pretty impressing.

I think I'm going to read the rest of books, now that I'm on it. As for this one--and just in case you didn't have any idea of what my opinion was: yes, go read it!