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Pygmy | [Chuck Palahniuk]

Pygmy

"Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67, on arrival Midwestern American airport....Code name: Operation Havoc." Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the U.S. disguised as exchange students to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified attack of massive terrorism
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Publisher's Summary

"Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67, on arrival Midwestern American airport....Code name: Operation Havoc." Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the U.S. disguised as exchange students to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified attack of massive terrorism. Palahniuk depicts Midwestern life through the eyes of this thoroughly indoctrinated little killer, who hates us with a passion, in this cunning double-edged satire of an American xenophobia that might, in fact, be completely justified.

©2009 Chuck Palahniuk; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[A] potent...cultural satire...[full of] characteristically scathing observations....[A] singular, comic accomplishment." (Publishers Weekly)
"Hilarious....Palahniuk leaps over the line of good taste - and lands squarely on his feet." (Booklist, starred review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (217 )
5 star
 (57)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (82 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (7)
Story
3.9 (82 )
5 star
 (34)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (6)
Performance
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  •  
    Julia Venice, CA, United States 02-28-12
    Julia Venice, CA, United States 02-28-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    23
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clever and funny."

    I wasn't expecting to be so entertained by, and impressed with this book. I felt as if I was sharing a secret language with Mr C.P.
    I don't agree with the negative reviews, although I did let them influence me at first...for months actually and I almost didn't buy this book.
    As I was reading, I realized that they were the ones who were not quite picking up the clever concept. And excuse me, but it made me laugh to hear some say that this is an "anti-american" book...and yet...these same people loved FIGHT CLUB!
    Go figure. PS...great narrator, good job!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrei new york, NY, United States 04-19-11
    Andrei new york, NY, United States 04-19-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    82
    1
    Overall
    "Don't try to listen to it"

    I've read (mostly listen to) all the other works of Palahniuk, and love his writing style. However, this book is a failed experiment to change the writing style. You basically have to try to decipher every single sentence to understand what it really means because when taken literally it makes no sense at all - by design. If that sounds appealing to you, I would recommend picking up the paper version so you can easily pause after each sentence and decrypt... trying to do so from audio while driving is completely impossible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Ogden, UT, United States 05-21-10
    Daniel Ogden, UT, United States 05-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    74
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    "Long live Palahniuk!"

    The dialog of this story is insane. Chuck is an amazing writer. I would recommend this story to anyone who has a twisted sense of humor and if your conservative, this might loosen you up a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander Langely, British Columbia, Canada 02-13-10
    Alexander Langely, British Columbia, Canada 02-13-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "weird but good"

    I was initially turned off by the unusual grammatical style the book was written in but after a couple chapters it grows on you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    krisjs1767 Mercer Island, WA USA 07-23-09
    krisjs1767 Mercer Island, WA USA 07-23-09 Member Since 2006

    krisjs1767

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    148
    19
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    0
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    Overall
    "Amusing satire"

    This is an amusing and clever satirical view of America in the tradition of Jonathan Swift and Terry Southern. I didn't have any trouble with the Clockwork Orange-type argot of the main character ("Operative me").

    However, the conceit of this character (i.e., broken English, primitive, animalistic P.O.V. but also with complex thoughts and using highly technical references) is a bit odd and not completely satisfactory from a story logic perspective. It's sort like asking somebody to dictate their memoirs using a foreign language that they don't speak very well, which upon reflection is maybe just what he was doing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara austin, TX, USA 07-10-09
    Tara austin, TX, USA 07-10-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Unreadable"

    This was just horrible- I have read all his other stuff, but this was unreadable- listened to about 30 minutes and had to move on to something else.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron washington, DC, USA 06-13-09
    Aaron washington, DC, USA 06-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "book is good narrator not"

    this book was quite enjoyable but the narrator ruined the book for me not the best.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Fort Worth, TX, USA 05-21-09
    Thomas Fort Worth, TX, USA 05-21-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "A Big Disappointment (from a big fan)"

    Palaniuk tries to put a new twist into every book he writes, and usually I like them. However, this time his twist makes the book unreadable for me. I don't understand what the character is saying at all. I gave up after 15 minutes, and I still have no idea what the stituation was or what was being said by the main character.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Bogdan 05-20-09
    J. Bogdan 05-20-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Like Cough Syrup for the ears"

    I'm all for experimental structure and new methods of story telling, but this is like listening to nails on a chalkboard. Admittedly, i only got 1/2 way through before putting it down, but i think his unconventional narrative was wreaking havoc on the language portals of my brain. so, i put it down for medical reasons.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jalmky94 CA United States 12-24-09
    Jalmky94 CA United States 12-24-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "disappointed * beware of content*"

    i LOVE every other chuck palahniuk book i have read.
    I HATE HATE HATE this one. well actually, i didnt even finish it. i was very disappointed that there was no indication of the overly detailed rape description. i deleted it from my player and my library.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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