1. Premise 10
2. Prose 10
3. Plot 9
4. Characters 9
5. Overall 10
Comments (optional - but try to keep it under 3000 words!)
“This is one of the most disturbing and outrageous books you’ll ever read, one that could come only from the mind of Chuck Palahniuk.” So says the text on the back cover – and it is absolutely true. It reads like a complete compendium of ways in which one can be “grossed out.” Not creeped out; not suspensed our or horrored out; but grossed out. If that sounds childish or sophomoric, well, it should be; but in the hands of a genius like Palahniuk (did I say “genius”? I mean that) it becomes a masterpiece. It’s a short story and poetry collection disguised as a novel. Or maybe the other way around; it’s hard to say. The author’s afterword (which should have been a forward, but the editor probably thought people would not go on to read the book if they read it first) describes how the author has read the first short story out loud to numerous audiences, and virtually always has audience members fainting from the graphic grossness. But the book’s chief asset is its total originality. I often wonder what would have happened if I had directed my focus on writing fiction instead of music. And I usually feel that any book I read is one that I could have written if my life had gone that way. Rarely do I read a novel having to admit that I could never have written anything like it. This amazing book is just such a novel. One more impressive book by Palahniuk under my belt should result in him being my favorite male author!
Here’s the September line-up!
“Bloody Bones,” by Laurell K. Hamilton [9-3]
“Naked Empire,” by Terry Goodkind [9-10]
“Death of a Witch,” by M. C. Beaton [9-17]
“The Aeronaut's Windlass,” by Jim Butcher [9-24]
(As always, if there are any books you’d like to recommend for next month, please do so. Also, if you have already read one on our previous lists, you are invited to send your ratings and or comments for that book!)