At first glance, Chuck Palahniuk is just some guy who used to work on a truck assembly line and got lucky with a mondo big book about guys beating each other up, starting a gang and completely getting out of control. Every person I know who’s heard of Fight Club, but not watched it, thinks it’s about fighting. Without looking at his work, Chuck Palahniuk easily gets pegged as a grown up high school bully who got lucky. But that’s sooooooo wrong.
Chuck’s body of work elicits your most sensitive emotions. It’s meant to. He writes shock thrillers; but that’s not exactly right. You see, what Mr P actually does is *craft* very important messages dressed up as shock thrillers. If you read a few of his books, you’ll see that they’re much more than paper-thin horror stories. You won’t notice it at first glance, but Mr Palahniuk thinks very (pause) very hard about what he does and what the rest of us are doing too.
What do you think this man might be like?
Would you want to invite him home?
What are the chances that he might sign more than one of his ten books in your collection?… or that he’ll even sign one decently?
When you see his ‘tough guy’ book jacket photos, you wonder how this man ever got published. When you watch his movie ‘Fight Club’, you figure the man is Waco-Texas type crazy and that the people who published his book are too. When you visit his official website [ http://www.chuckpalahniuk.net ] and see the pictures of Dad all thinned-out like a Holocaust survivor, you wonder, you wonder, you wonder.
But when you meet Chuck Palahniuk face to face, you find out that he’s well-articulated, intellectual, caring, soft-spoken, gentle and an all-around nice guy. Really. Even your wife is amazed by the man because his focus is not the violence, nor the gore nor the craziness that are his stories; his focus is on us. This means a lot because your wife only finished one of his books, and she found it too crazy (even though it was the mildest one you could recommend).
I had mixed emotions about going out to meet Chuck at the RANT book-signing at the major book store downtown ten years ago. I adore his books; his stories are overflowing with new ideas and perspectives and most of them didn’t last through a full day’s sunshine when I read them the first time (meaning I swallowed them up in about six hours); devour is a good way of describing how I’ve read Chuck’s books. My mixed emotions had a lot of fears mixed in: -) I was afraid that the man might be coarse and unlikable –) I was afraid that he’d do or say something that would forever make me look at his work with disgust. I was afraid that he might fart (hahaha). [ http://tinyurl.com/palahniuk-farts ]
If you ever get the chance to see him, don’t hesitate… GO!
And if you want to read his masterpiece, read RANT first. That’s where he acmed… everything before it is great… almost everything since hasn’t impressed me.
I’d love to discuss him with you – feel free to connect: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written By: Topless John