Friday, October 23, 2015

DIARY by Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk

            Chuck Palahniuk’s Diary is an interesting book. It’s a real downer – but, it is intriguing, weird, and, well, very interesting. Although I listened to the audio book, in my opinion, Diary is a “good read”.

            Misty met Peter at art school. They eventually married and returned to his home to live, on Waytansea Island, where she worked as a waitress and he as a contractor. As a child, Misty had been drawing fancy houses and other scenes from Waytansea Island, although she had never been there. This is just another oddity in this plot – just like the diary – just like the odd phone calls about disappearing rooms – just like Misty’s return to her art. The twists and turns that are revealed as the plot unfolds are intriguing.

            This is my first experience with Palahniuk, and I love his writing – from the book’s “weather reports” to his “creative” phraseology, such as “Bermuda Triangulated”. The writing shifts as the plot progresses: for example, Misty begins with “take a drink”; as the plot develops, she switches to “take a pill”. There are also shifts during the same time: for example, Misty might mention “Peter’s body”; then, she will repeat her comment, substituting “your body” and directing it to Peter.

            Diary includes interesting detail about art school – for example, how everyone wants to do something “new”, such as a teddy bear filled with poop. Palahniuk includes detail about the human musculature, facial features, and the like that art students learn early on. The relevance of this information becomes clear as the plot unfolds – and “unfolding” – or unfurling – is precisely how it feels as we experience this plot.

            I wish I had read Diary, instead of listening to the book. Although I enjoyed the audio, there are so many clever nuances and subtleties in Palahniuk’s writing that I wish I could go back and capture precisely some of his cleverness.

            This is a great book. Intriguing plot. Clever writing. Interesting characters. I am so glad that I discovered Palahniuk and look forward to reading his other work. I love Diary!



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