Stop listening to other people's opinions and form one of your own. That's sound advice, or not. It all depends on how literal you take it.
For a good book, one needs: a compelling story, at least two good characters, a handful of wisdom, a twist of the norm or a lead that defines normal behavior. Mix all these together and wait for a publishing house to realize your mad work of genius and then do two months of touring and signing and then pray to the gods of literature to be merciful.
Well, Chuck P. has that recipe and a few more inside this book. It starts off with a "grab your attention situation" and then develops into a "that lead character is very strange" type thing which then develops into a "is society that much like a herd of cows" and then it comes full circle and finishes where it began.
It's worth a listen. I, myself, have heard it twice now and both times combined were well spent.
I've read before that Chuck Palahniuk explores similar themes among his novels, and if you read fight club, reading this would feel very familiar because of the over all tone. When I first read the summary I found the concept to be very interesting, but sadly, I think the delivery couldn't be more disappointing. I know the voice of the book is supposed to sound deadpan, but more than anything it was depressing as hell. The book started out building up painfully slow,and around midway the plot picks up but ends abruptly as you might have predicted early on starting from the first page. (Oddly, the book begins with the last page, and ends on page 1)
That said, Palahniuk is still a great writer, the writing in the book is as skillful as ever, with satirical references and countless metaphors that would strike you as absurdly funny. Perhaps this is what got most people hooked on the book; but I'm just thinking maybe this kind of satire is not my cup of tea. Even so, perhaps this is as far as I would go with Palahniuk's work. I daresay reading Fight Club and this one would be enough of his best work.
Naval Air Corps - (DC3, C118, P2V Neptune) 1965 - 1970
Mr. Palahniuk has a style of writing that I would describe as a rollercoaster ride. While some of his stories are fast paced, exciting and fun; this ride left me drained and feeling queasy. When the narration was over, I was happy to lift the safety bar and leave. Your experience may be different though.
Enjoyable? There are some quirky, insightful points of view in the story. However, I don't see how this book could ever come off as an enjoyable read.
Paul Garcia, is a great narrator with a wide range of voices. He is good. His narration was what got me through to the end. I will search for other performances/narrations by him.
Sadly, yes. There is a character in this book called the Agent. I can see a Hollywood "Agent" type turning this book into some superficial CGI. There would be some irony there.
I hope this review is helpful. I admit that I am not an English Lit major and don't know much about tropes or styles of writing. I’ve listened to the finish and this review is really, just one guy's opinion. Read all the reviews and decide if you want to jump in the pool. What the heck, go ahead and listen to it. Then, figure out if you went into the deep end or the shallow end of the pool. You might like it. - I dare you.
Trite. Un-original. Disappointing. Predictable. If this audiobook was playing over the intercom system on an auto-pilot guided flight with no one aboard, only vapors in the tanks and engines burning out--I would gladly force the yoke forward and rocket myself terra-bound, but I do not believe the final moments would pass quickly enough to end my suffering. Gilbert Gottfried doing a one-man production of "Little Women," is more appealing than the thought of listening to Survivor again.
Same character archetypes as in many other Chuck's books. Same nihilistic ennui and dull, achingly obvious reveals.
Some ideas are best kept scribbled on napkins and not graced with a cover and space on a bookshelf, let alone an audiobook production.
Born and raised in the Charlestown section of Boston. Irish-American, music (punk rock), crime & history, or anything having to do with those are my favorite subjects.
Not your usual from Chuck but it is a book that I could not stop listening to. I have listened to it more than once since then & while it is a very strange concept, it works & is believable (well most of it anyway).
I didn't see that coming.
This is the 1st novel of Chuck Palahniuk's that I have read/heard. Very unique style and it took me most of the book to figure out how the beginning ties into the rest of the story.
It kept pulling me along for the ride. I would recommend it if you like strange stories that keep you thinking about how things fit together.
If you just on the edge of deciding if you are going to kill yourself or not, listen to the first 20 pages and your next trip is off the bridge.
No hint of hope in those first 20 pages.
The narrator did a good job. My negative view is directed at the author.
The POV, first person character.
I just couldn't go on after listening to the first 20 pages. It was just too morbid; a real turn-off pager. There is no defense of this type of story line. Even starting with the plane and setting up the reader to find out about what happened to that character didn't work. After the first pages, you are hoping that the character does himself in even sooner and the hell with waiting for the plane. The writing itself was passable, but nothing to ever consider rising a purchase with this author again. Sorry, fella, but it was just too much of a turn-off.
At first, Fertility struck me as an odd name. Then, there was Gwen. Then Chuck gave us Tender Branson. Tender? It IS Palahniuk after all so in his second novel, why not. Often, I fall asleep to the "voice" of Tender Branson. A side affect of listening to every title (with the exception of two) is that not only is Palahniuk my favorite writer of fiction but it's just scary with the narrator of every title. Each narrator is JUST THAT GOOD. With Palahniuk, every narrator is perfect (I exclude Diary for reasons obvious if one would listen to the sample). As a result, Tender Branson has me imagining suicide. He is now perfectly etched into my brain by Paul Garcia as was Carl Streator courtesy of Richard Poe etc. I feel as if I am listening to the flight recorder of flight 2039 aka Tender Branson, my savior from very common living. Somehow I am sad. Not just a little but very deeply saddened and somehow feel so much like a fly on the wall of the Sherri's restaurant in Spokane. I'm the wedding coordinator providing the "other" type of sandwich during half-time in New Orleans. Hell, call me Trisha! This IS fiction but it feels so very real. Even laughing through some of the ridiculous home care antics of Tender it feels so real. For the record, I will NOT be killing myself anytime soon but this is how real the teleprompter at my appearance which allows me to write this review is that I would highly recommend this listen to any Palahniuk fan. Finally, it's so good I am afraid to even allow "Haunted" onto my iPod, ever. I would however like Audible to add Fight Club and the soon to come Snuff to the list for those of us on the hunt for all things Palahniuk.
Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.
I believe if you don't have anything good to say, you shouldn't say anything. But I must speak up here. In fact this is my first ever negative review. I really tried to like this book because I loved Fight Club, but this one crossed the line for me. the author tries to make fun of depression and tries to show the humour in someone who tries to convince others to commit suicide and after so much of it, it just wasn't funny. The narrator is completely monotone throughout and the story is very slow and quite depressing. I actually regret buying it.