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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is how we know what we don't know...
This was my first stab at a Palahniuk novel, and initially, I was preparing myself to be let down. The blurb on the back cover didn't really sell the plot to me, and the opening few chapters - although extremely well-written - give away nothing of the overall tone and direction of the book. However, as the story progresses, the narrative becomes richer and richer, and...
Published on 12 July 2005 by bangbangshootshoot

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did you like Fight Club, Survivor and Invisible Monsters?
Then this book is not for you. Those three books by Chuck Palahniuk are some of my all-time favourite books, but this did just not cut it for me. For one, it tries to be horror, but it just isn't. There isn't a single scary moment in the book, and unlike Haunted, there's no shock value either. Despite being a fairly short book, it feels overly long and tedious; especially...
Published on 11 Jan 2012 by Frederik


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is how we know what we don't know..., 12 July 2005
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
This was my first stab at a Palahniuk novel, and initially, I was preparing myself to be let down. The blurb on the back cover didn't really sell the plot to me, and the opening few chapters - although extremely well-written - give away nothing of the overall tone and direction of the book. However, as the story progresses, the narrative becomes richer and richer, and each little random nugget of wisdom (or nonsense!) encountered along the way begins to take on meaning: '...an artist's job is to make order out of chaos. You collect details, look for a pattern, and organize. You make sense out of senseless facts.' By the end, I was totally wrapped up in the story: I read 'Diary' in one sitting, incapable of putting it down. Detailed descriptions of the painter's materials, as well as frequent references to tortured artists of the past, lend vitality to the ambitious plot. My only gripe is the repeated phrase 'Just for the record', which jarred slightly. Otherwise, Palahniuk's writing is brutally honest, beautifully emotive, and refreshingly shocking in parts. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Everything is a self-portrait", 9 April 2007
By 
Matt Pucci "mattpucci.com" (Here, there and everywhere) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
Chuck Palahniuk's sixth novel takes the form a 'coma diary' written by Misty Wilmot, a washed-up art student whose husband, Peter, has been left unconscious after a botched suicide. Long-time readers of Palahniuk will immediately recognise the author's distinct, so-called nihilistic style, and like Fight Club and Lullaby before it, Diary is both blackly comic and astoundingly original. Take for, example, the opening line from the book's second entry (June 22): "By the time you read this, you'll be older than you remember." In the four pages that follow, Palahniuk succeeds in identifying Peter as a rather despicable character and eliciting sympathy for the long suffering Misty - all by way of a simple science lesson about the movement of the facial muscles.

In truth, there is nothing pretty about Palahniuk's writing, and his 'informative', minimalist style - not to mention a cast of rather bizarre characters - will turn off as many readers as it will attract. The author makes little attempt to hide the fact that he is trying to deliver his own message; indeed, sometimes he seems at pains to get his point across - to the slight detriment of the narrative's flow. And while the numerous artistic and historical references scattered throughout clearly serve a purpose, there is occasionally a sense that ol' Chuck is being a bit smug. For example, the name of the island on which Misty has wound up - the place that still, in spite of everything, holds the key to her dreams - is called Waytansea. Geddit?

And yet this is a beautiful book; an intricate, well executed piece of fiction-writing with a plot that unfolds in an intriguing and twisted manner, as Misty makes one unpleasant discovery after another about her senseless husband. Once again, Palahniuk manages to take the reader and show them a world beyond life's little tragedies, wherein his characters find inspiration from the most unlikely of sources and discover the true strength of the human spirit. Diary is an ambitious, transcendent and inspiring book, and as such, it's one that I highly recommend.

Matt Pucci
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling, 23 Dec 2004
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This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
This book is the most darkly compelling novel I have ever read. I would read, disgusted, almost unwilling to continue, but nevertheless unable to stop; something that I share with the main character of the book. If you enjoyed Fight Club, and Chuck's perfect little narrative soundbytes, you will love this book as much as I do. Here is a classic example:
"Just for the record, the weather today is bitter with occasional fits of jealous rage".
The book is graphic, gritty, and overwhelming. Chuck's repetition of phrases throughout the book such as the one above give it an almost hypnotic quality. You will see where the story is going long before the main character, you will scream for her to stop, to run, praying that she will evade the inevitable.
Books this involving may just save us all from illiterate damnation :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He writes like a pro, 8 Nov 2007
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
Chuck Palahniuk is one of those writers who, after you've read one of his books, you have to read all the others. It's the same way with the works of David Sedaris and Jackson McCrae; Christopher Moore, too. And so I came by way of Diary through Fight Club and Survivor.

Palahniuk's works are dark and disturbing, but there's a wry, cynical humor there also. He obviously owes a debt of gratitude to Kurt Vonnegut and the likes of even Oscar Wilde, but he's made his style his own and it's one heck of a style.

As usual, the author wraps his books around some theme (infanticide, choking, etc) but the ideas go deeper and more complex than you can imagine. Much in the same was as McCrae's Katzenjammer does with its odd twists and turns. Or the way Martin Amis convolutes his plots in his Money and Success. If you want a book like no other--if you want a lot of them--then read Diary and all other C.P. books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did you like Fight Club, Survivor and Invisible Monsters?, 11 Jan 2012
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
Then this book is not for you. Those three books by Chuck Palahniuk are some of my all-time favourite books, but this did just not cut it for me. For one, it tries to be horror, but it just isn't. There isn't a single scary moment in the book, and unlike Haunted, there's no shock value either. Despite being a fairly short book, it feels overly long and tedious; especially because the plot just doesn't seem to move, and the main character seemingly has no effect on the plot what so ever. Another thing I have to critizise is that this is probably Chuck's least original book. While he is one of the most interesting, original and unpredictable contemporary writers, this just doesn't live up to his standards; I mean, an island full of crazy people? If you've seen "The Wicker Man", you already know the basic outline of the story. The ending was extremely unsatisfying too (I'm not going to spoil anything) and just left the reader feeling "oh well, that's that". The perhaps biggest flaw of the book is the characters; all of them are unlikable. Kudos to Chuck for trying to write a book with a middle-aged, fat, useless woman as the main character, but it just doesn't work.

If you're looking for mystery, go read Invisible Monsters. If you're looking for horror, go read Haunted. If you're looking for action, go read Survivor or Fight Club. Chuck Palahniuk can, and has, done much better than this.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chuck D-livers, 8 Sep 2003
By 
Andrew Cottier (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
As usual I read this Chuck's latest in like 1 day, he is the only author who i actually get excited about and really anticipate the publishing date. With such high expectations it would be easy to be let down but thankfully once again he didn't.
Perhaps less funny than previous works it's still a cracking read, at times quite graphic in the detail and the amount of research he does for his books surprises me every time.
As usual he keeps you off balance, you're never really sure where the book is going until you get there. Fans will probably wondering if there a twist, and as usual you can't really say anything too much of the plot without giving it away.
If you're a fan you won't be dissapointed and if you haven't yet discovered Paluniuk this is not a bad place to start, although I would recomend the classic fight club, because it is just that.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wrong side of a different track..., 4 Sep 2005
By 
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
Diary is another of Mr P's extraordinary books, which will enthral and exhilarate readers from the first to the last page.
One of the things that frustrates me about Palahniuk, which is also probably the greatest reason why he is still manages to evades cheesy main stream writing by continuing in his nihilistic style, is simply this... you never see where a plot line is going. The depth of this book is undeniable. This can lead to frustration when reading Diary as he often leaves you with a substantial headache as you try to figure out the plots twists and turns before they happen.
This book is for the Palahniuk fan not the Chuck starter. Read Survivor, Choke or Lullaby (probably in that order) to get you started... You could even give Fight Club a miss completely. I say this because if you have seen the film you already know the story.
Be amazed, refreshed, stunned, shuffle uncomfortably as you cheer for the antiheroes that Mr P creates and begin coveting from a far at the sheer genius of this awesome writer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written but let down by the plot, 31 Aug 2014
By 
chelsea (cambridge, uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
I really loved how this was written but that was the only reason I carried on reading it. the plot really did let me down as Chuck palahniuk books usually leave me wondering how the hell he did it. everything seemed to take such a long time to get into anything interesting and the ending wasn't great. but I would say its worth a read for the fantastic way its written
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Palahniuk's best, 20 Aug 2004
By 
Joe Sherry (Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
Chuck Palahniuk's latest offering takes the form of a diary kept by Misty Marie Kleinman. The text of this diary, while personal, is directed at her husband, Peter Wilmot. Peter is in a coma for having, apparently, tried to commit suicide. Misty is, and has been for some time, miserable. She lashes out at Peter in her diary and in the process tells her story of why she is writing this diary and brings her life up to date while telling a very interesting story.
Diary examines the life of Misty Kleinman and traces how she got to Waytansea (wait and see, get it?) Island. Misty was an artist when she first started dating Peter Wilmot. In a time and a place where every other artist was trying to do art that made some sort of a statement about society (a teddy bear stuffed with feces), Misty was painting landscapes and pictures of buildings. She was gifted, true, but did not think much of her gift because of what everyone else was doing. She married Peter, a man that nobody else even wanted to talk to.
That is a rough sketch of Misty's origins, but the present day material is much different. It involves Peter in the coma, strange messages inside people's homes, a centuries old tradition/legend of the Wilmot family and how Misty ties into all of this. The novel showcases Palahniuk's wit and style but somehow managed to have more substance and heart that his last couple of novels (Choke, Lullaby). I got the sense that Palahniuk was maturing some as a writer, there is more emotional depth to this work. Diary is probably Palahniuk's best novel since Survivor. Diary touches on the theme of the tortured artist (taken to an extreme, as only Palahniuk can do) and the place of the artist in society. There is also hints of the supernatural in this book, which seems to be a direction Palahniuk is going more and more (Lullaby, for instance), but it is done so well that it doesn't feel intrusive. It is a very good book and I would recommend it as a good starting point to read Palahniuk.
-Joe Sherry
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4.0 out of 5 stars What you don't understand you can make mean anything, 4 Jan 2014
This review is from: Diary (Paperback)
Don't read it expecting a horror because it definetly is not one. read it with a open mind and you may just learn something. I like all the random true facts in the book and the way misty is not like a lot of female characters you get in books and someone women can relate to.
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Diary
Diary by Chuck Palahniuk (Paperback - 2 Sep 2004)
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