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Survivor: A Novel Hardcover – February 17, 1999
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Speaking of little black boxes, Skinnerians would have a field day with the presenting behavior of the folks who make up Palahniuk's world. They pretend they're suicide hotline operators for fun. They eat lobster before it's quite... done. They dance in morgues. The Cleavers they are not. Scary as they might be, these characters are ultimately more scared of themselves than you are, and that's what makes them so fascinating. In the wee hours and on lonely highways, they exist in a perpetual twilight, caught between the horror of the present and the dread of the unknown. With only two novels under his belt, Chuck Palahniuk is well on his way to becoming an expert at shining a light on these shadowy creatures. --Bob Michaels
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
SURVIVOR begins on its final page, and shoots backwards towards page 1, always reminding you of its approaching demise. Along with the novel, the narrator is apporaching his own demise, as he pilots a commandeered airplane waiting for it to crash and explode. In order to preserve his life story, he is speaking into the black-box on-flight recorder, hoping to wipe himself out and attain immortality at the same time.
What is his problem? Well, he is the last survivor of a suicide cult, a former indentured servant in the "real world". He also narrates of his tranistion from nobody to media messiah back to nobody. In it, Palahniuk takes on a wild ride through a satire of modern society in all its little nuances. Everything from Lobster eating to TV networks gets raked over the coals in this incediary novel.
ALthough the book, like FIGHT CLUB begins to self-destruct about three quarters of the way through, the story is so compelling in its banal gruesomeness that you can't help but read it. Palahniuk is a magician who will keep you hypnotized, glued to each page until the final end of both his protagonist and the book.
Oh, and did I mention that the book is also riotously funny? It is. So in other words, one of the best books I've read in awhile.
Is it similar to Fight Club in some respects? Yeah.
Is it a literary masterpiece, destined to become a classic? Probably not.
But is it an excellent book to spend a few light evenings with? You bet your life it is.
Testing, testing. One, two, three.
Maybe this is working. I don't know. If you can even see this, I don't know. But if you can see this, read. And if you're reading, then what you've found is a review of the story of everything that went wrong.
It doesn't take a page.
And there you are at 39,000 feet. Above the clouds and in the cockpit of a Boeing 747-400 with no passengers.
And no pilot.
Final evacuation call for Chuck Palahniuk's novel, Survivor.
And don't ask if it has anything to do with the television show.
It'll just make you look stupid.
Imagine being raised for slave labor just because you were three minutes and thirty seconds too late. Imagine everyone you know and love offing themselves in a mass cult suicide. Imagine becoming a mass media produced messiah just because no one could prove otherwise.
Imagine Tender Branson, your new pilot.
He doesn't know how to fly a plane.
He'll tell you himself.
He's just dying to get a few things off of his chest.
This book is totally backwards. Seriously, you'll see what I mean. With a lot of similar humor and style to his first novel Fight Club, Palahniuk's Survivor is a great read for newcomers and devout fans alike. Pick up this book and you won't want to put it down. But it'll be the most time you'll ever spend reading to get to the bottom of page one.
Mr. Palahniuk has again succeeded in creating a very unusual plot, which is as good as that of "Fight Club", but its primarily used as a vehicle to provide the same lambasting of modern society that "Fight Club" provided. The lambasting takes some new turns and has a few new targets (although cornflower blue does make a return), but the method is the same. The characters are written in much the same method and the book-ending cataclysm is very similar. While I do hope that the next book of his that I read, "Monster" is different than his first two books, I was still very pleased with "Survivor". The reason is very simple, while the two books are similar, they are both so drastically different in both style and character development than the rest of the books out there that they are very compelling and thought-provoking reads. There are few authors capable of delivering the same sophisticated, yet still blunt, critique of both the excesses and shallowness of modern American mass society.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw the Fight Club back in High School, after it had been released on DVD and it was life changing experience--because it turned me on to Chuck Palahniuk's writing. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Scott T
buy it used and get it much cheaper.
You'll be reading it in one sitting, so don't pay full price unless it's a gift.
Find my advice useful? Read more
This is undoubtedly Chuck Palahniuk's best book. Incredibly creative and equally disturbing. One of the most well written books I've ever read.Published 1 month ago
Great book Would read again. So glad to have it in my collection.Published 1 month ago by MusicQueen
This was a great book. I love this author because he is so unconventional not just in his story ideas, but also in his writing style. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lisa D
Fantastic book. Must read for anyone, regardless if you're a Palahniuk fan or not.Published 2 months ago by Kyle C.