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Survivor: A Novel Paperback – Print, January 4, 2000
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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"Mordant...one's sympathy for the improbable, doomed hero is fully engaged." --The New Yorker
"A wild amphetamine ride through the vagaries of fame and the nature of belief."--The San Francisco Chronicle
"Convoluted, maniacally comic, partaking deeply of the America that streams towrd us in the dead of night from the cable channels--that place of outrageous expectation, slavish idolatry, fanatic consumerism, and mind-stopping banality." --Sven Birkerts, Esquire
From the Inside Flap
From the author of the cult sensation Fight Club (now a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter) comes Survivor.
"A turbo-charged, deliciously manic satire of contemporary American life." --Newsday
"The only difference between suicide and martyrdom is press coverage," according to the "been there, done that" wisdom of Tender Branson, last surviving member of the Creedish Death Cult. At the opening of Chuck Palahniuk's hilariously unnerving second novel, Tender is cruising on autopilot, 39,000 feet up, dictating the whole of his life story into Flight 2039's "black box" in the final moments before crashing into the vast Australian outback.
Not since Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night has there been as dark and telling a satire on the wages of fame and the bedrock lunacy of the modern world. Wickedly incisive and mesmerizing, Survivor is Chuck Palahniuk at his deadpan peak.
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“Survivor” is Chuck’s second book published (1999). It’s not as crude as “Choke” and not as subversive as “Fight Club.” It has the same dark humor that I openly laughed out loud at; thankfully when you are reading, no one knows exactly what you find so amusing. Recently it was announced that “Survivor” is being adapted by Jim Uhls (screenwriter of Fight Club) into a television show. I believe the plot and back story are enough to keep this show afloat for several seasons. I will try to keep my expectations low, to avoid being disappointed.
The novel is about Tender Branson, a member of the “Creedish Church.” Only firstborn sons and their wives get to stay in the Creedish community; the rest are sent out to work in the “outside world” as servants, to send their earnings back to the church. Tender spends his time scrubbing the home of employers who seek his advice on etiquette but only ever interact with him via speaker phone. (“What are they serving for dinner? Lobster! How are we supposed to handle that?!”)
Following a mass suicide of the Creedish Church community and remaining members in the “outside world,” Tender becomes the sole survivor. A smarmy agent develops Tender into a sacrosanct mega superstar mahatma. (“I told the agent I already knew my childhood. Over the phone he said, “This version’s better.”) “Survivor” is a satirical jab at instant celebrity and religion, blended together with helpful cleaning tips, a history of artificial flowers and the hint of love story.
If that isn’t enough plot to entice you to read the book, I am sorry. Someone at Wiki practically re-wrote the book on their site, so I’m doing my best not to reveal too much. Each time I read the book I have found new things to love. All of the people I have recommended this book to, loved it and went on to read more novels by Chuck.
Favorite Quote: “You’ve never seen a crucifix with a Jesus who wasn’t almost naked. You’ve never seen a fat Jesus, or a Jesus with body hair. Every crucifix you’ve ever seen, the Jesus could be shirtless and modeling designer jeans or men’s cologne.”
“Amphetamines are the most American drug. You get so much done. You look terrific, and your middle name is Accomplishment.”
Last but not least the audiobook is wonderfully read. The narrative brings out, especially, the irony and Dadaist essence of the book through his readings. Highly recommended.
Overall I thought the book was great and I am only giving it three stars because it was so dark and disturbing at points that it was a little sad, which is not really what I typically aim to feel when reading a book. In terms of my taste, this book is an average read that I wouldn't really say anything bad about, but that I also would not necessarily recommend to others unless you are an avid reader. If you only read a few books a year, there are better books for you to read in my opinion.
Most recent customer reviews
Tender Branson, the last surviving member of the Creedish death cult, has commandeered a Boeing 747, emptied of passengers, in order to tell his story to...Read more