Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Tender Branson - last surviving member of the so-called Creedish Death Cult - is dictating his life story into the flight recorder of Flight 2039, cruising on autopilot at 39,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He is all alone in the airplane, which will crash shortly into the vast Australian outback. But before it does, he will unfold the tale of his journey from an obedient Creedish child and humble domestic servant to an ultra-buffed, steroid- and collagen-packed media messiah.

Unpredictable and unforgettable, Survivor is Chuck Palahniuk at his deadpan peak: a mesmerizing, unnerving, and hilarious satire on the wage of fame and the bedrock lunacy of the modern world.

My friend read Survivor for summer reading one year, and she recommended it to me. If you've never heard of the author Chuck Palahniuk before (like me), you should be familiar with his other work: Fight Club. I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but the name reassured me that the book would be somewhat good. I mean, come on, Fight Club is pretty famous. But I don't think Survivor was as good as Fight Club, because it was only okay, and not amazing. I think the one problem I had with Survivor was that it was a satire. Not that satires are bad, but I feel like a lot of the irony and humor just goes right over my head. There were parts that were funny in the book, but I could tell the author was trying to write a social commentary on society's obsession with fame, and that just didn't interest me a lot. You also can't just jump into Survivor (at least I couldn't). At first, it was hard to read, but once you get into a rhythm and get used to the writing, the story gets better. But Survivor wasn't all bad. The plot was interesting and didn't stall or get boring. I never knew what was going to happen next and the book kept me on my toes. I would recommend Survivor for fans of satire and irony.

6 out of 10.

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