#6 degrees – Its ALL about Chuck

6 Degrees of Seperation

It is the first Saturday of the month and time for 6 degrees of separation as hosted by Kate at Books Are My Best and Favourite. A book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to make a chain.

This month’s chosen book is Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Oh my, Chuck is a crazy man. I loved the movie Fight Club and sought out the book and have since read many of Palahniuk’s books. They are forthright and shocking and disturbing and ultimately entertaining.

My most recent Chuck book is the first book he wrote and one that no one would publish – until after the success of Fight Club. He was told it was too disturbing. It is called Invisible Monsters Remix. Chuck says he was inspired by flipping through magazines in the laundromat. You know how they say, ‘continued on page 20’ and you end up skipping pages and going back to the beginning, and then to the end, and all over… Invisible Monsters Remix is like that. I listened to it on Audible from beginning to end without following the directions. It was a coherent story. A road trip with violence, mayhem, drugs, sex changes, facial disfiguration, plastic surgery, beauty, self-loathing and unrequited love. Then I listened to it following the directions on which chapter to read next. As the story’s events came out in the different order, the emphasis was different. As a writer, it fascinated me that the same chapters put together in a different order could become something else.

“No matter how much you think you love somebody, you’ll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.”  Invisible Monsters Remix, Chuck Palahniuk.

The next Chuck book I want to talk about is Snuff. A porn star decides to set the record for serial fornication. If you don’t think this is a thing, look up Annabel Chong. A satirical look at the porn industry, I found particular joy in the names of the porn films that played on a loop while the 600 hundred men wait in the basement for ‘their turn’.

“Branch Bacardi, star of The Da Vinci Load, To Drill a Mockingbird, The Postman Always Cums Twice, Chitty Chitty Gang Bang, The Twilight Bone, A Tale of Two Titties…” Snuff, Chuck Palahnuik.

Can I link to another Chuck book? There is no rule to say I can’t. Ok, to mix it up I will link to one of his short stories, Guts which appears in his book Haunted. I read this short story 20 years ago and the man known as Guts has certainly haunted me. An abnormally skinny man who, following a masturbation accident involving a pool filter, lost part of his lower intestine. The actual incident is described in some detail.

I know of no other writer like Chuck Palahniuk. One is probably enough.

Ok, one more book. Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk is about a 13-year-old boy from a totalitarian state sent to America as an exchange student and sleeper agent intending to do a terrorist act. The family he stays with have an obsession with dildos and batteries always seem in short supply.

How about the Chuck novels I haven’t read? After googling I am intrigued by Lullaby, a book Palahniuk wrote to come to terms with his real-life experience of the death sentence given to the man who murdered Palahniuk’s father.  It is about a journalist assigned to write stories about SIDS after his own infant has died. I just read the second line of the teaser and I am creeped out already.

To finish my chain, I will return to the beginning. Perhaps it is no surprise that Fight Club 2 is a graphic novel.  I love this picture, which I think is a parody of the painting American Gothic.

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3 thoughts on “#6 degrees – Its ALL about Chuck

  1. Haha Kathryn, this made me laugh. You are right, there are no rules that say you can’t stay with the same writer. I love that you did. You’ve given me a whole new perspective on the man! (Actually, it’s not that I WOULDN’T read him if, say, my reading group scheduled him but with so much to read he’s not up there among my top priorities. Perhaps, though, a short story wouldn’t hurt me!)

    1. I am glad to give you a laugh. I think Chuck appeals to my dark side but he is not for everyone. A short story is always a nice taster though.

  2. Nice chain. You’ve made me wonder why I’ve never looked for more Palahnuik novels. I loved Fight Club, and have re-read it several times. It is, I think, an exceptional book, but now you’ve tempted me, and what a good idea to make the links all belong to him.

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