This is author Chuck Palahniuk at his deadpan peak, a mesmerizing, unnerving, and hilarious satire on the wages of fame and the bedrock lunacy of the modern world.
©1999 Chuck Palahniuk; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"A perfect comment on our apocalypse-fixated times." (Spin)
"Brilliantly satiric and savagely funny." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Mordant....One's sympathy for the improbably doomed hero is fully engaged." (New Yorker)
Mountain biking, surfing, skiing, literature, philosophy, psychology, theology and my ipod.
I enjoy the cynical, humourous and nihilistic writings of Kurt Vonnegut and Cormack Mcarthy because they entertain, contain characters of interest, and have clever writing and even some good plots. None of these qualities are available with Palahniuk--just gobs of nihilistic sociopathy with no apparent redeeming value. I must admit that I stopped after 4 chapters--couldn't take any more. Since the story is a terrorist's story told on a black box tape, I thought early on that the terrorist's plot would be foiled if I just stopped listening. Obviously some people were able to stomach the whole enchilada--maybe there is redemption in there somewhere, but it was intolerable for me. Good luck if you take this ride.
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.
Somewhere in the middle- entertaining, but nothing life-changing. Has the same dark humor as a lot of his other work, but if you like the others, you will like this.
Of course. I am a fan of Palahnuik's work, and this made me want to read more.
I liked the narrator's performance. I read some reviews that the narration was flat and unchanging, but it captured the perfect vibe for me on how this character would be telling the story- it sounds a lot like Norton's narration in the Fight Club film.
Great book- definitely some really dark spots, but it works if you enjoyed his other work. There was some pretty dark and twisted stuff in this book, probably more than some of his other work, which seemed more for shock value than anything else. Just as a heads-up, it may be a little too dark for some readers to enjoy.
I listened to two hours of that phrase being repeated seemingly endlessly. I'm not interested in what happened for the next four hours or so. I don't understand why anyone else would be either. I am planning to return this one.
I love when I lament coming to the end of a book. The whole thing was so insane, yet made perfect sense. The chapters counted down instead of up and the story unfolds backwards and forwards at the same time. However, I was never lost.
This book, however short, is too complicated to give a synopsis and give it justice.
I don't really know what else to say except that I found the writing to be brilliant. The story was fun and somehow completely relatable, despite the madness.
You should read this book.
First, this book is not for everyone. It is dark. No, it is beyond dark. It is what would happen if you channeled Jack London, Stephen King and Patricia Cronwell into one author.
That warning aside, and if you ignore it and purchase this Audible, you will be forever lost from the moment you hit play. Do not blame me, you were warned.
It is the kind of book that grabs you by the collar from the very first chapter. I was held in a strangle hold listening to Paul Garcia read in a dry tone as one by one people die. I had no problem imagining that he was the character, that voice dry and nearly emotionless, yet somehow bursting at the seams with emotion that sits just below the surface.
It is a dark book. It is the kind of book that gives you nightmares. It is the kind of book where the plot makes no sense in my ordered mind, except in the dark recesses of my soul, it resonated. I understood, I believed.
There is little gore, no sex, just a dry voice droning in your ear, retelling a story as it played out. A man waiting for death, needing to get his story out to the masses before he is gone so he does not die as anonymous as he lived. His life is spelled out by a calendar that tells him what he needs to do each day at what time and for how long. He was born for no reason other than to serve others, like a modern day slave, yet not like a slave.
Best book read so far.
I love how the reader and language is so dry, but hilarious.
Again his voice and tone is perfect for what is being said. And how you would imagine the characters would speak.
Just preview it.
I enjoyed the fact that I knew the ending, but had no idea about the journey that would lead us to the end.
The main character, Tender Branson, occupies the majority of the plot line. His life story is the subject of the book, and a unique one it is.
The mono tonal lack of inflection takes some time to get used to and enjoy. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that this type of performance does justice to the character and his story. If I were to read it myself, I would not have know the character's real voice and why it is so.
Tender Branson. It is his life story after all, it's a cool name, and as we discover, it holds meaning.
Do it. Buy it. Chuck is one of the most interesting story tellers. Even if this is not one of his best (that's not what I'm saying) it is a read well worth while.
I really enjoyed this book. I've not read anything from this type of perspective before and i really found myself enjoying the main character and understanding his faults and finding sympathy for him.
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