[This is a re-post of a book review. I’ve been on a wild streak of good fiction writing this week so this blog suffers as a result. Part two of the Karate posts will be coming soon, I expect by Sunday morning.]
I finished reading another book, Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Stranger than Fiction.’ This was non-fiction from the writer who created ‘Fight Club’ and also wrote ‘Choke.’ My personal favorite of his is ‘Survivor,’ but I admit I have not yet read Fight Club; that one I am saving for the right day.
I suspect that this collection of shorts surmise his early journalistic endeavors where he established his style. There were a few stories that I believe were written specifically to be included in this collection, meaning I don’t think they were ever bought until this book was whipped together. Most of the early stories were covered in tell-tale fingerprints, foreshadowing his novels to come. One short story even seemed narrated by the same character who told the story in Choke. Choke was a first person narrative, as was Survivor (I think all his books might be told from first person.) In some of the stories it felt like I got to see Fight Club before it ever became Project Mayhem, but more interesting still – seeing what happened to Chuck immediately after his book became a movie. Fame, hmmmm.
The first couple stories were kinda like my blog posts; raw, repetitious, and almost really good. The second story in the book seemed to go on and on and on. About the time I was ready to skip forward, I only had a page or two to go, so I pushed on, and the story ended brilliantly. It was about the dying sport of wrestling and the addictive mentality of the few athletes keeping the sport alive. I know, boring! But having seen the movie Fight Club, it was like reading one of the key insider pieces.
There was a humorous story about wearing ‘Disneyland style’ costumes with a large Paper ‘Mache headpieces around Pike’s Place in Seattle. The humor came with all the hostile problems associated to something so innocuous. In the end they almost get arrested. For what? Read the story.
Inside the bindings and deeper still was an interview with Marilyn Manson that painted him more a man and less a monster, as well as a great interview with a young Juliette Lewis about making out with Robert DeNiro. There was also an interesting story about Brad Pitt’s lips and penis pumps – classic Palahniuk reading. But from beginning to end, from average to extraordinary, and from humble to self-recognized, it is all right there, laid open and spread-eagle to the world, right where we can see that truth is stranger than fiction. Money changes the man.
[Disclaimer – Chuck Palahniuk, you still owe my wife $20 bucks for buying ‘Rant.’ That book sucked, dude. Take a break, spend some millions, and maybe get some new ideas. But first, pay C-Jane back for that awful ‘Rant.’ How is that for a rant?]