I took a couple of nights off this week. Things haven’t necessarily been any busier, but my creative motivation has been off. I just haven’t had the energy to blog or read or do much of anything besides come home, have a drink, and vegetate in front of a show (we’re binge-watching Ozark right now). I have a three-day weekend ahead, though, so I’m hoping to get my chi-washed and my energy back on track. I’ve got a lot of writing to do, what with the second half of February Photofest and oh… 75 more stories for The 💯 Story Challenge. (You can also find these published on my Medium site.)
So let’s get to the books…shall we?
Tonight, the star of the show is Chuck Palahniuk.
My love affair with Palahniuk began, as it did for most of his fans, with Fight Club. The year after I graduated from high school (1995). I’m not sure I would have been in the head space to accept his style into my life if I weren’t young and pissed off, but at the time, his style and subject-matter spoke to me.
And then sometime during college, I actually got to meet him at a local bookstore after he gave a reading. He went out for drinks with a group of us, and I was thoroughly fascinated by his writing history.
For example, did you know he stole every down moment while he was a diesel mechanic to write his debut hit? Now a movie and “cult classic,” Fight Club was something new and fresh and quite enlightening for me, as a reader.
I still have my signed Poets & Writers cover, signed by him and framed, on my office wall.
I was instantly in love with Palahniuk’s style and his penchant for the absurd and taboo. He’s only pushed those boundaries more as he has grown as a writer and a presence in the literary world.
Though I haven’t read any of his newer stuff (I stopped at Haunted in 2005), I feel it’s time to try something newer. I really enjoyed Choke (also a movie now), found Lullaby the hardest to get through (content-wise, it really pushed the envelope), and I’ve considered reading Beautiful You next…it seems fitting for an erotica writer.
What I like most about Palahniuk’s work is that it feels fresh. His ideas are unique in a world of “everything looks the same” and “haven’t I basically read this plot line 2 dozen times already?”
If you like biting, timely social satire, aren’t easily triggered or offended, and have a dark (maybe even sick?) sense of humor, Palahniuk might be your guy. Definitely a key player at the Transgressive Fiction round-table.
I put him in a similar league to Kurt Vonnegut or Charles Bukowski. Not for everyone…but oh-so-delicious for those of us who can appreciate their “fuck you if you don’t like it” style.