From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of female pleasure. Beautiful You is Palahniuk's much-anticipated satire of the emerging erotic thriller genre, a mash-up of mommy porn and chick lit à la Sex and the City, and fantasy lit à la Clan of the Cave Bear. Imagine if Ira Levin had a baby with Jean Auel.
Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, aka "Climax-Well", a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of orgasmic pleasure for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of sex toys to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for erotically enabled world domination must be stopped. But how?
©2014 Chuck Palahniuk (P)2014 Recorded Books
I love it when I have no idea what's going to happen next.
This was an interesting concept and some good points about sexuality and gender are made, I just feel it would have been best served in a story or novela instead of a book.
Yes... He's been one of my favorites for a long time. But, I have to admit that I haven't really been moved by anything he's written since Rant. I can't tell if Chuck is "losing it", or if I've just kind of grown out of his style. The last few seem to be trying too hard to be edgy or controversial or something.
I guess. It was entertaining, I suppose, but I didn't gain anything from it.
I liked the idea that I felt was being presented in a very satirical story. I loved the overall theme of excessive self indulgence leading to complacent mediocrity, and the anti-materialism that is so present in most Palahniuk novels. On the other hand, I hated the story line. I hated that there was no development of any character. I hated that the deep connection that is generally created in Palahniuk's writing was entirely absent. I didn't hate or love any character. I was ambivalent about all of them, which ultimately lead to me not caring about how things ended up.
I understand that there was a very heavy satirical tone to this book, but as someone mentioned before, if you write poorly for long enough, even in a satirical way, bad writing is still eventually just bad writing. I would have loved for the usual beautifully dark and twisted voice of Palahniuk to be present.
Please no. One was more than enough.
If this was the first Palahniuk book I had ever read, I would have never picked up another one of his books.
I was disappointed. There were moments where I could hear the beloved Fight Club author shining through, and then the rest of the time it felt like someone was shoving a dirty sock in his mouth and this book was the muffled, tortured, and drooling result.
As a huge fan of Palahniuk's works, it pains me to write a negative review, but this book was horribly disappointing. Yes, it contains the dose of "I can't believe I'm reading this" content that you'd come to expect from him, but it doesn't feel original and it is almost completely devoid of the twisted humor which made so many of his works fun to read in spite of their dark subject matter. This book is filled with logical inconsistencies and huge plot holes that are unexpected from an author who usually crafts his complicated story lines so well. The publisher bills this book as a commentary on/parody of the 50 Shades of Gray books, so perhaps to that end it is bad *on purpose*, but it is still bad. That said, the audio performance is mostly great, though there are several spots of bad editing, where the reader goes back and re-reads a phrase or sentence after making a mistake, which is why I rate it 4 stars rather than 5.
Probably my favourite Chuck book so far, which probably makes me a very very bad person!
If a movie was made that mirrored the book perfectly you would never watch it with either your parents or your children. The book begins with a rape (a rape in which only the victim is physically present by the way), written the way only Chuck can write. In those first few moments I caught myself a few times - oh my God did I actually smile at the way that line was written?!
There's a fair bit of over the top satire in these pages - from the obvious 50 Shades Of Grey, to more oblique similarities in the way women flock to the Beautiful You stores (an upmarket sex toy shop) in the same way Apple fans flock to new product launches. There's even an hilarious campaign proposed by Penny, the main character to introduce organic sex toys.
As with all Chuck tales, the story evolves at whatever pace it goddamn pleases, and while you can often guess what is just around the corner, there is the usual late emergences of WTF moments that left me either smiling or appalled or a mixture of both.
I've read a lot of reviews of this book which use the word "smut". While I can see why that word is often used to describe its contents, every "smutty" scene is relevant to the story and the tale couldn't be told without them. If you've read a Chuck book before then you already know you're going to be heading into bad territory, and this is admittedly as bad as it gets.
And Chuck finishes the book off with an hilariously corny final line, which in a typically WTF way, features a naked Happy Days era Ron Howard.
Female narrator was great.
So strange how an author can string a number of absurd events together to somehow create a believable story! (ok, maybe I'm a lunatic but the series of events are actually plausible!)
Palahniuk seems to do this in his books. One moment our character, Penny, is a lowly go-for in a law office trying to make a name for herself. Then, a few short chapters later, she is riding a yak in the Himalayan mountains seeking out a centuries old sex shaman to learn the tricks of the trade in order to save the world.
Yes, this actually happens in the book. Please read it yourself to see how Penny possibly gets from point A to point B! It's worth it!
I was on the fence about giving 4 or 5 stars but I went with 4 because I did not love the ending. Endings are SUPER important to me when I sum up overall. I also have liked other books by this author more than this one, e.g. Survivor
Every time I had to pause this book to continue with my life I thought "what the f**k just happened?" This book is heavily sexual, some points to nauseating lengths. Like way sexier than Christian Grey and nastier than eating humans. Yet I couldn't stop listening even when I found myself saying ew ew ew out loud at work. It was a really great read. If you like indie films like Horns and Blue is the Warmest Color you'll probably still be freaked out. Happy listening. Don't play this out loud in front of kids, parents, or anyone in he generally normal population.
Yes, to both. I will read everything Chuck writes at this point. I never know if it's diamond or coal I'm gonna get. Carol Monda gets a little guttural, but all in all a good performance.
Yep. Will read everything writes, at this point.
No, no reason for it.
This was an interesting read, but I waivered from WTF am I reading to being completely enthralled in the story. It really felt over-the-top, like a parody or a satire of what being a woman is like. Sometimes I feel like Chuck was trying way WAY too hard.. but then again some of his books are just like that.
He's always an entertaining storyteller, but this particular story didn't quite come together as well in the end as others had. I'd still recommend it for a funny, twisted read. It made me think he wrote it in response to Fifty Shades of Grey, just in a totally f$&@ed up manor as only Chuck can do it!
I am a huge fan of Fight Club, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Choke, Lullaby and Haunted, but this was the worst book I've finished in my adult life. Palahniuk spends the majority of the book talking about genitals, in excruciating detail. If you've ever spent too much time staring at a single word and had to word start to look weird and then look wrong you will have experienced this book already. Except its about vaginas. This book looks at vaginas in such extreme detail it starts to sound surreal and absurdist. It's a one note book and it can't get off that note. Normally what I like about his books is how the plot goes through a metamorphosis from one thing to another but this one just gets stuck. I think that was the point of it but even still I didn't enjoy it at all. Skip this and spend your money somewhere else.
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