From the very opening of the book Palahniuk lets us know that his narrator, Tender Branson, the last surviving member of a religious death cult, is on a path to self-destruction. The tension in this book lies not in the outcome, because like Tender's soothsaying friend Fertility, we can see it coming 289 pages away, instead it lies in the intricate plot that takes Tender from farm boy to media celebrity and ruin.
This is a novel that examines what happens when religion meets the overindulgences of our consumerist society. In the world that the author envisages, which is all too real in the light of tragedies such as Waco and the Heaven's Gate suicides, the only acceptable religions are those that can be successfully marketed and controlled at a corporate level; the small separatist models of religion are superfluous, and self-destruct. This is also a look at religion itself, at how it can enslave as many people as it appears to liberate. A comic novel that deals with the most serious issues of society, Survivor places Palahniuk among the most daring and technically able writers of his generation.
Adam said the first step most cultures take to making you a slave is to castrate you ... the cultures that don't castrate you to make you a slave, they castrate your mind.--Iain Robinson