SHOCK looks at the ten most perverse books in the Chuck Palahniuk pantheon.
Celebrating the success of author Chuck Palahniuk’s FIGHT CLUB 2 graphic novel, out now from
,earlier this year, SHOCK felt inspired to take a look at the weirder work of one of this generation’s most prolific and controversial writers. Palahniuk is a writing machine, with 17 novels already under his belt since 1996. He’s famously known for his “transgressive fiction” (his self declared style) and literary works that push societal buttons, but in a very intelligent and humorous way…
So strap yourself in as we eagerly serve up our Top Ten Twisted Tales from the brilliant madman, Chuck Palahniuk:
The Horror of Chuck Palahniuk
In the tradition of Anthony Burgess' A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, PYGMY utilizes its own dialect in presenting the narrative, just like the Droogs did in Burgess' book. It's a tale of terrorism masterminded by a teenage exchange student sleeper agent nicknamed Pygmy for his pint size. Insane Palahniuk at his best.
This is a good old fashion, feel good tale, one that revolves around a survivor of a fanatical cult named Tender Branson and his steady rise to fame. Branson is forged by the corporate world to become our next messiah.a new age Jesus Christ. Shockingly funny stuff!
8. BEAUTIFUL YOU
One of Palahniuk's most recent entries is a gushing sensation; what could be more terrifying than a sexual apocalypse that could potentially render men a thing of the past? Imagine a world where dudes aren't getting any and women have replaced men with countless innovative sexual devices that turn them into zombie sex addicts; pure Palahniuk fun.
7. FIGHT CLUB
Project Mayhem, soap, Jack's raging bile duct…it doesn't get any more twisted or nihilistic than this. Chuck's tale of Tyler Durden and the unnamed narrator totally catapulted his career into an entirely new universe with maverick filmmaker David Fincher adapting it into a cult classic film. What are the rules of Fight Club, again?
This insane adventure sees aging porn queen Cameron Perrell trying to go out with a literal bang by attempting to the break the world record for the most copulations ever captured on film. Told from the point-of-view of several of the participants, including Cameron’s possible bastard child; a sinful Palahniuk classic.
The unconventional dystopian biography of Buster Rant Casey, a possible “patient zero”, is truly the stuff of nightmares. RANT’s tale unfolds and is explained by the characters who knew him both in the past and the future, creating a unique perspective and exemplifying creative storytelling.
Chuck's first true dabbling into the horror genre. Lullaby is a creepy narrative of a journalist named Carl Streator who sets out on a mission to destroy all written copies of a haunting lullaby that will kill the reader upon reading the deadly passage. A unique combination of horror and comedy that only Chuck can orchestrate.
Could easily be dubbed THE BREAKFAST CLUB in Hell. DAMNED is the demonically charged tale of suicide victim Madison Spencer and her band of afterlife buddies who are forever damned to Hell. Makes Dante’s INFERNO and PARADISE LOST seem like the Sunday funnies.
The highly anticipated sequel to DAMNED and the second part of a potential trilogy. DOOMED continues the insane adventures of Madison Spencer and her mission to command Satan's-and this time round, God’s-attention. Watch out for the scene charting Madison's experience in a crusty, road side, public bathroom with a horrendously grimy glory hole. Proceed with caution.
This Palahniuk classic easily clinches our top spot . The novel deals with a Mary Shelley/Lord Byron inspired writers retreat weekend and is told through the 19 participating writers and their 23 short stories within stories that are horrifically funny. HAUNTED is a nasty gem, true-to-form Palahniuk and you'll never look at bowling balls, anatomically correct dolls and pool drains the same way. Once you’ve read HAUNTED, you can never unread it so be warned.