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December 16, 2008



Ok, I can scratch this one off my TO DO list. His books run hot and cold with me. I really liked Choke, LOVED Invisible Monsters, but Lullaby was just TOO much for me.

I really did like Stranger Then Fiction though. But a totally different side of him.


When I was a freshman in college, Chuck Palahniuk gave a reading of this story in my dorm. I think a little part of me died that day. Someone abruptly stood up and lurched out of the auditorium mid-story...though I don't know if he passed out or not. Then there was a Q&A where he tossed fake limbs into the audience.


I was at a church in Northwest Portland hearing that story, of all places, from Chuck. But his readings had spiraled out of control long ago so that's where Powell's used to stick him and he took every advantage with it.

didn't pass out though. My brain is maybe not imaginative enough to be horrified.

niki r.

I read Invisible Monsters on a plane ride once. I have never felt so nauseous.


I remember a few years ago Chuck came to Spokane and was still in the process of working out Guts. He mention how it was the second time reading the essay and a few people left the room and such. I was in a crammed book store, standing room only and it was hot and uncomfortable. I thought I was going to hurl when he was reading it. I don't know at what point it was. But I was feeling very woozy.

After he was done reading it he took glee in counting the one person who fainted. They got a cheesy door prize.


Palahniuk: Closet Queen? I'm not accusing, I'm actually asking -- I get the impression that everyone knows he's gay, but he never talks about it. And seeing as I loathe closet queens, I'd like to know more before I decide whether I need to hate him or not.


@grrg: He was outed a few years ago in like an Entertainment Weekly article if I remember right. It went something like, "And Chuck lives with his boyfriend..." that was all and he kinda went into a rage about it.


He is gay. He came out in a large furor after he believed that a Rolling Stone (?) article was about to out him, though the journalist didn't and he later deleted the blog rant.

I read Haunted after I told someone that I enjoyed American Psycho and they recommended Chuck Palahniuk. I completely disagree with the comparison now. Psycho was enriched by its details, and the time spent revelling in them says something about its narrator. The same can be said about Haunted, except that the narrator is Palahniuk himself, and I am completely disinterested in knowing more about him through scenes which have little or nothing to do with advancing the plot. Plus, the last chapter of Haunted was a complete cop-out from having to actually wrap up the narrative.

It isn't "xxxtremity" worth slogging through anyway, Rich.


I haven't read the book, but what does it say about me that the quote you shared with us doesn't bother me at all? I mean, stuff like that is supposed to bother people, right? :|


That point in the book that you mentioned is exactly when I had to put it down in fear of illness. I haven't touched it since.


Rich, you are slowly turning very very very soft. Maybe some people have a "pass out to Guts" gene and others don't, because I don't really see how/why this story is so bad. I listened to him read it on the internet, and, yeah, it is gross, but I was way more affected by a few limb-slicing scenes in The Ruins.

That being said, I still love you!!!

P.S. What do you think of the outcome of Paris Hilton's BFF???


I really loved Haunted, except for that story, though I still made everyone read it XD. his other stories aren't my cuppa, he works best in short story format (just like Stephen King). What was it that made your sister put down the book?


Is it weird I had the urge to go out and have calamari after reading that line?


I actually put the book down after reading "Guts" and couldn't come back to it for a good 6 months. I'm glad I finished it, though.


Wow! I must read this thing and find out if I'm an equally big pussy as you!


Here ya go Eline...


I actually made my friend read this tonight after she got sick of me calling her lame for not wanting to. I definitely think there is a different feeling in reading Guts versus hearing him read it aloud.


wow, i can't believe that it affected you so much. i dont think i have ever read anything that has caused that intense of a reaction. nothing more than tears running down my face. hmm, I did have crazy and vivid dreams after i finished a wrinkle in time when i was like 11. I remember waking up to the sound of my voice yelling, "I love you" (I think I was trying to save my family from the tesseract)


I was supposedly at the first reading of "Guts" where no one passed out or vomited. There's a joke about Bostonians in there somewhere, but it's too early for me to find it.

The story was published in Playboy awhile ago, so enthusiastic readers, feel free to google it -- I'm sure it's out there somewhere.


God Rich you've corrupted me. I had to google anal prolapse and now I think I'm scarred for life.


Ooh, I just went ahead and put in a wish for it on paperbackswap.com. If it is as bad as you say it is, I don't think I'll have to wait to long for a copy to come my way.

The internet has pretty much desensitized me to everything (except foot pr0n, that stuff grosses me out every time), so I'm curious to see if I can read the whole thing. :D


So... Where was your sisters point of no return? Which passage left her scarred for life?
xo c


Hated that book!!! Too gross to finish.


I read Haunted about a year and a half ago and Guts has definitely stuck with me. I remember getting somewhat light-headed and dizzy while reading it. I don't think I ate for at least 24 hours.

Perhaps you react differently to different media. I could understand film not bothering you as much because it only gives you visual and aural stimuli and there's always the whole "that's just latex and corn syrup" thought readily available. While reading, you're totally at the mercy of your imagination and my imagination produces sensory impulses. So if you're like me, the minute tactile descriptions of Guts would bother you much more than just seeing/hearing something. I mean, just thinking about the way he described the, err, bite still makes me queasy because OMG I CAN FEEL IT IN MY MOUTH. So I wouldn't say you're getting soft or old, I would just say that reading is more real to you. Fear not! I imagine you'll still be able to handle the extreme movies with the best of 'em!


What's worse to think about is that the words that caused you to pass out aren't just fiction. It actually happened, and in a much more tragic manner. In fact, the lawsuit is one of the most famous of former presidential nominee candidate John Edwards' career.

If you can handle subjecting yourself to it, scroll down to the section entitled "The Accident."


This is my revenge on you for posting that clip from Salo. I made it through both but it's Salo that still makes the bile rise in the back of my throat.
Still, kudos for not finishing the book, really. the rest, though there are some good moments, is mostly pointlessly mean spirited.

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