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Diary: A Novel Paperback – September 14, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Chuck Palahniuk's novels are wildly imaginative, with writing that is vivid, raw, and unpredictably hilarious. Visit Amazon's Chuck Palahniuk Page.
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Top Customer Reviews
I see how people could feel that this story falls considerably short of what they expect from Palahniuk. And short isn't the right word, because that has negative connotations. Maybe it falls to the right, or to the left, or maybe even higher than people's expectations (if you look in the right places). Usually his stories leave your head spinning with their absolute insanity, whereas this one kind of just leaves you humming to yourself and thinking it's all a little absurd, but not even that interesting. On the surface that is.
If you look at the story more metaphorically, and look at what the events that are taking place say about society, love, life it actually is quite interesting. If you have a familiarity with the works of Plato I think you will have fun with this book. He is referenced by name several times, but people who know his work will recognize tons of his ideas worked in. I found it intriguing the way ideas that have been around for thousands of years were worked into modern times and proved to be relevant and socially significant for the present day.
I think this book merely doesn't cater as well to thrill-seekers as much as, say, Choke or Haunted, which is definitely a huge part of Palhniuk's audience.Read more ›
For the first 38 pages or so, I was completely lost. I had no idea what was going on. Then in a few pages all the basic things are explained. I then reread the first 38 pages again and everything made perfect sense. I don't know why it was written like this, perhaps so you pay attention to the atmosphere and details, instead of merely absorbing plot details (like that's ever a problem with one of Palahniuk's books), and while these opening pages were well written and filled with great stuff, it was still annoying, even if in the end it led to a greater appreciation. I didn't care for the supernatural stuff, and the repetition stuff seemed especially repetitive, without being as insightful as in previous books. The ideas on where we get our inspiration were very interesting, but that's about it.
I found the use of the 2nd person to be refreshing, although I don't know how women readers would like this, since "you" are a comatose male (this is revealed shortly after page 38, so it's not a spoiler, and knowing that makes the first 38 pages much more intelligible on the first read). It's not until the very last page that all the pieces of Palahniuk's idea are revealed, and I think while his execution is less than perfect (but still very good), you have to appreciate the completeness to which the idea was used and executed.
Diary is a very good book that I recommend. I rate it near Invisible Monsters, Lullaby, somewhere below Survivor and Fight Club, but above Choke.
Today, the reader from Harrisburg finished Chuck's novel "Diary." The novel that never really convinced him was a diary, as it never stooped to that convention of writing in the first person. He read the awkward switching from third person to second person in Chuck's novel.
Your novel, Chuck.
Apparently, you are in some sort of ironic writer's coma. He is. You are. See how disconcerting this can be, carried out over 250 plus pages of his novel?
Your novel, Chuck?
If you removed all the third-to-second person clarification prose, this job drops an easy 50 pages. Take out all the adipose ramblings of subcutaneous fat and musculataure, which begin cute and end tedious, maybe we're down to a tight novella, Chuck. You are. He is.
In the middle, his novel picks up something resembling dramatic steam. He stayed the impulse to throw the book aside, half-read, Chuck. Your reader, the guy from Harrisburg. But nothing too awfully surprising happens on Waytansea Island. He, your reader, just waits and sees that you have some clever almost Nietzschean idea of eternal return and artistic hell. Did he, I mean you, Chuck, the writer of this poorly executed novel, intend some statement about artistic sacrifice? Or did he, you, I mean, intend just a good read? Because on the latter you failed, and on the former, you failed, and about the best I can summon is that you meant well, and you aren't Danielle Steele or that basic ilk.
My impression was that in picking up a Palahniuk novel, my first Palahniuk novel, his first Palahniuk novel -- your novel, Chuck -- I'd find crisp writing, challenging plot developments, and a refreshing, even bracing worldview.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Top ten favorites.
Took me a couple times reading it to follow entirely. It's odd, but the writing is wonderful. Palahnuik's best book.
Along with Survivor, my other favorite Palahniuk book. Friends are mystified that Fight Club is not number one. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christina
I enjoyed this book and its unique structure. I've read many diary-based books before but this was different. The story kept me guessing right until the end. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alexandra F.
After reading Palahniuk's latest, Beautiful You, and absolutely hating it and finding it insulting to me as both a reader and woman, I decided to read an earlier work that I had... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pink Pearl
Chuck Palahniuk’s Diary is an interesting book. It’s a real downer – but, it is intriguing, weird, and, well, very interesting. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nancy Goldberg Wilks
Never disappoints, I always wondered what she painted but I suppose that's why I love it so much, thank you chuck p. You will always be my favorite author.Published 4 months ago by .Audrey Chavez.