Pygmy Paperback – 3 Jun 2010
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"The boldest book in a long while...ace" (Lauren Laverne Grazia)
"A hilarious novel...as ever, Palahniuk is interested in pushing the limits. He leaps over the line of good taste - and lands squarely on his feet" (Booklist)
"Brilliant... It has moments of poetry" (Daily Telegraph)
"Brilliantly conceived, linguistically inventive and extremely rude" (Anne McElvoy New Statesman, Books of 2009)
"The novel abandons minimalism for a Clockwork Orange-style spin through a semi-invented language. Consequently, it's Palahniuk's most challenging book yet" (Colin Waters The Sunday Herald)
The most ambitious novel yet from the author of Fight Club and Choke.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Now move forward to a mid-Western church in America where a female missionary feels such concern for these children that she arranges an exchange visit for a number of them to stay with American host-families. The children arrive in America to have six months of respite from their harsh existence, and as the host-father puts it, to "to sing our songs and share the fellowship of our homes and church". However, unbeknown to these generous-hearted families, these children have been given a plan: their educators have shown them how to wreak "Operation Havoc", a terrible act of destruction on the evil American town in which they have come to stay.
This book is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. The whole book is written in the first person by one of the children, Operative 67, using a sort of pidgin American which takes some getting used to but provides considerable insight into the regime they have been brought up in.
The book is a satire, but on both cultures. The host-family are a sort of Simpsons-like parody of the ideal American family, mixing a mindless involvement in their church community while indulging in all the excesses of American culture.Read more ›
But this book is different. The satire has its cutting edge back, no doubt due to the one thing that will polarize even die hard "Cult" members about this title; the prose.
Burgess wrote "A Clockwork Orange" in his infamous made up argot of nadsat, and Welsh wrote "Trainspotting" in accurately rendered working class Scottish, establishing a lineage in transgressive literature for telling a tale from the most extreme point of view intimately, and "Pygmy" takes up the baton by relating the usual Palaniuk tale of clockwork chaos in the broken English of an uber-foreigner.
Some people will find this an absolute joy (as I did) and others, missing the point, will complain that it was hard to read. But, just as Burgess's novel of brainwashing was constructed to peform its own kind of brainwashing on readers by forcing them to learn its bastardized Russian-English, so Palahniuk uses an outsider to dissect America by use of clever word twisting.Read more ›
The book is unique, different and well-written. It is the story of Pygmy, one of a group of youths from a totalitarian state that has been sent to the United States, to live with Christian families and experience a better life. At least that is what the Host Families and church believe. Yet in reality these youths have been raised from a young age as agents of the state, part of a planned terrorist attack on the States.
Palahniuk does a great job of dissecting Midwestern life through foreign eyes. It is a satire both of America's fears and of America itself. However the story is just too much - male rape, high school massacre, planned seductions, pregnancies and impregnations. And the whole book is written as a series of dispatches from Pygmy to his home government, written in a halting, misunderstood English. Palahniuk captures a feel about the language, yet still conveys his message.
Palahniuk's books are usually a pleasure to read and so addictive that I cannot put them down. Some I have read more than once, even back to back - finished it and started reading it again. That was not the case this time. Twice I put it down for a few days, and was uncertain I would pick it up again to finish it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read all of Chuck's books and this for me is near the top of the pile along with Survivor and Haunted. :)Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I could not get into this book at all.
I can understand it had a good story line and usually I'm a big fan of Palahniuk's work but the whole book is the written in pig... Read more
Despite really liking books by this author, this was very difficult to read. So difficult that I didn't make it to the end. Not one of his best.Published 20 months ago by Eyal
If you manage to read it initially, and get used to the writing style it may deserve some attention. I couldn't.Published on 23 Aug. 2014 by sp klv
I'm a huge fan of Palahniuk's first five novels. I started to waver a little with the next three, so I stopped checking out his new work. Read morePublished on 4 Aug. 2014 by C. Paknadel
This was the first Chuck Palahniuk book I read and to my mind it's still the best so far. Yes it's one joke all the way through but it's renewed on every page with verve and... Read morePublished on 29 Jan. 2014 by mark rogers