Survivor; Not The Show

posted in Books on Jan 3, 2007

And the first book I have completed in the new year is: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. According to my friends, this Chuck fellow writes interesting books, so I picked one up. What most of you would recognize that Chucky wrote would probably be Fight Club, of which a sweet movie was made. What’s interesting, and I haven’t read Fight Club but have seen the movie, is that this novel reads like the way the movie shot. There will be plot development and then there will be interjections to get you to think about something tangential that links to the plot. It all makes sense when you read it, and it feels instantly familiar if you’ve seen the movie. I can only assume his other novels read the same way.

As for the novel itself, it’s about one of the last surviving members of a old religious cult whose members have been slowly committing suicide (in normal cult fashion). As one of the last members, the book follows his life outside of the cult in the real world, where people are brainwashed by media and the want for quick everything: food, cars, salvation. It’s interesting to see what happens to the main character as the book progresses, because, you know, he was a weirdo cult guy. There is a lot of dark humor in the novel, which is good because some of the situations are kind of outlandish, and any author trying to pull off some of the things in the book in a serious manner would just be silly.

So in the end, after it’s all said and done, Survivor is a pretty fun book to read. I got some genuine laughs from it, and even though some of the events are out there, it works in the world that the author creates.